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This recipe – which changes a couple of times a year – is something I have tried, and thought it special enough to pass along to my visitors. I hope you like it as much as I did.
This pie really has the smell and taste of the winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Winter Solstis, Christmas, New Years, Spring Equinox (when cranberries are gone but when rhubarb will begin!!) As written this recipe is sharply tart, but still sweet, and solidly fruity; it can be sweetened further adding honey and surgar to taste.
2 pkgs cranberries (1lb bags)
¾ c brown sugar
¾ c honey
2 T melted butter
3 T tapioca (rounded tablespoons)
2 oranges (grate entire peel2 then add juice and pulp to berries)
½ t cinnamon spice
1/8 to ¼ t mace, nutmeg and clove spices (use ¼ t and fill ½ to 2/3 rds)
2 T vanilla extract (add after above ingredients have been cooked together until berries pop, and mixture is thick and cooling)
There is enough filling to truly fill a 9” pie plate (1-1/4” to 1-1/2” thick pie). Be sure to make enough pie crust to line the plate and still cover the filling. I use 3 c of white flour, ½ stick of butter, and 1-1/2 c of yellow Crisco, a pinch of salt, ¼ c of white sugar, and a little orange zest2. I use a fork and a knife or two knives to “cut” the shortening into the flour, e.g., the knife and fork pass each other so close they almost but do not touch. The four will begin to pill or ball up into small pea-size lumps and easily compresses into larger lumps. Then I add a little buttermilk (about1 ¼ c but add a little at a time stopping when the crust is doughy but not wet). If needed fill a ¼ c with water and add as needed to just wet the crust dough, to a point where it is not sticky and can be handled. The crust dough can be rolled very thin, so watch that it stays at least 1/8” or 3 – 4 mm, poke a fork over the flat surface to ventilate the cooking crust, then wrap an edge around the roller and slowly lift and wrap the crust onto the roller. Position over the plate and unroll the crust centered on the plate. Two-thirds of the crust dough goes for the pie plate lining; one-third will cover the top. I sprinkle a little sugar over the inside bottom, to generally seal the crust bottom so it doesn't get soggy; although, this filling really doesn't need it.
2 Making Orange Zest --
Save all orange peelings, and let air dry somewhere convenient. After several days the peelings are thin and hard.
They can be broken into 3/4” pieces and ground in a blender or similar device, and this powder can be stored for quite a while. If you don't have a grinder, break the peelings into 1/4” pieces. The orange peel is very edible and I love it in curried vegetables and fish, as well as pies.