Tag Archives: cranberries

Mock Cherry Pie

Mock Cherry Pie
Mock Cherry Pie

I’m not sure of the origins of Mock Cherry Pie but my grandmother made a version of this delight when I was a small child.  Sometimes called cranberry pie, it’s not an altogether common pie (at least in my circles) these days but it is very tasty and colorful with its deep ruby red color. It lends itself well to a lattice top crust but is often made with a standard full top crust.

Mock Cherry Pie
Mock Cherry Pie

Either fresh or frozen cranberries can be used for this filling.  I like to coarsely chop up most of the cranberries for the filling but leave some whole to give texture to the filling. The idea behind chopping the cranberries in half is that it quickly releases the juice from the berries in the cooking process.  But, don’t get crazy and chop them too finely as the pie won’t have texture if the berries are ground up too fine. Adding the raisins to the filling enhances flavour complexity and also makes the filling more substantial.  The sweetness of the raisins counters the tartness of the cranberries.

The cranberries I am using in this filling came from Mikita Farms in Farmington, near Souris in the eastern part of Prince Edward Island. To my knowledge, this is the only cranberry producer that wet harvests the berries on the Island.  To see photos I took in 2014 of the wet harvesting of cranberries, click here.

Corralling the Cranberries
Corralling the Cranberries

Cranberries freeze really well so I keep a large bag of cranberries in my freezer for use year-round. This time of the year, many farm markets will have bags of these tasty berries available so don’t hesitate to pick up a bag and store them in the freezer for later use.

Fresh PEI Cranberries Charlottetown, PEI
Fresh PEI Cranberries

The key to making the filling for this pie is to get it thickened so that it does not run when the pie is cut.  It takes a little patience but is worth the effort.  It’s important to cool down the filling before putting it in the unbaked pie shell as, otherwise, it will break down the fat in the pastry causing it to be a soggy crust.  About 30-40 minutes of cooling time will be just right. Remember to stir the filling as it cools as this will help it to cool faster and also aid in its thickening.

Mock Cherry Pie
Mock Cherry Pie

This is a lovely rich dessert, perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas. A scoop of high quality vanilla ice cream goes particularly well with Mock Cherry Pie.  The wine I have selected to pair with this dessert for my Thanksgiving dinner this year comes from Benjamin Bridge Vineyards in Gaspereau Valley, Nova Scotia.  I discovered this wine through the 2015 PEI Fall Flavours Culinary Festival for which Benjamin Bridge was this year’s wine sponsor.  Benjamin Bridge wines were served at the signature culinary events during the month-long festival in September.  My wine selection is Nova 7. This is the perfect wine to pair with this dessert because it has a hint of sweetness to compliment the tartness of cranberries and a beautiful pale blush color. I think I will seriously have to go on a field trip and pay this winery a visit!

Mock Cherry Pie Paired with Benjamin Bridge's Nova 7 Wine
Mock Cherry Pie Paired with Benjamin Bridge’s Nova 7 Wine

Mock Cherry Pie

Ingredients:

Pastry for 9” double pie crust

2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
1 cup sultana raisins
½ cup boiling water

1 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
Pinch salt
1/3 cup cold water

1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp almond flavouring
1 tbsp Cointreau
1 tsp finely grated orange rind
1 tbsp butter

Method:

Chop 1 1/3 cups cranberries in half. Leave remaining 2/3 cup whole.

In medium-sized saucepan, combine the cranberries, raisins, and boiling water. Cook over high heat to the boiling point. Reduce heat to medium and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In small bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch with 1/3 cup cold water. Whisk until smooth. Add 1-2 tbsp of the hot mixture to temper the sugar-cornstarch mixture (don’t worry if a few cranberries get scooped up, too) and pour it into the hot cranberry-raisin mixture. Stir well.

Cook over medium heat, stirring often to prevent scorching, until thickened – about 11-13 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, almond flavouring, Cointreau, grated orange rind, and butter. Stir well. Let cool for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Preheat oven to 400°. Prepare pastry for bottom crust and roll to desired thickness. Transfer pastry to a greased 9” pie plate. Trim pastry.

Pour cooled filling into crust.

Roll out pastry for top crust. If desired, cut into strips for lattice top.

Dampen edges of bottom pie crust.

Place top crust (or, alternatively, lattice strips) over filling, gently pressing the outside edges to seal to bottom crust.

Using kitchen shears, trim excess pastry.

Crimp pastry edges or press together with the tines of a fork. If using complete top crust, cut vents in pastry to allow steam to escape as the pie cooks (omit this step if using a lattice top since there are obviously already lots of spaces for the steam to escape).

Place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the lower third of the oven for 10 minutes at 400° then reduce heat to 375° and bake for 45-50 minutes longer or until the crust is lightly browned and juices start to bubble from the filling.

Transfer pie to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting and serving.

Yield: 8 servings

Mock Cherry Pie

Yield: 1 - 9" pie, apx. 8 servings

A rich and flavourful pie that combines cranberries and raisins with a hint of orange flavour.

Ingredients

  • Pastry for 9” double pie crust
  • 2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup sultana raisins
  • ½ cup boiling water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp almond flavouring
  • 1 tbsp Cointreau
  • 1 tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 1 tbsp butter

Instructions

  1. Chop 1 1/3 cups cranberries in half. Leave remaining 2/3 cup whole.
  2. In medium-sized saucepan, combine the cranberries, raisins, and boiling water. Cook over high heat to the boiling point. Reduce heat to medium and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. In small bowl, combine the sugar and cornstarch with 1/3 cup cold water. Whisk until smooth. Add 1-2 tbsp of the hot mixture to temper the sugar-cornstarch mixture and pour it into the hot cranberry-raisin mixture. Stir well. Cook over medium heat, stirring often to prevent scorching, until thickened – about 11-13 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla, almond flavouring, Cointreau, grated orange rind, and butter. Stir well. Let cool for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Preheat oven to 400°. Prepare pastry for bottom crust and roll to desired thickness. Transfer pastry to a greased 9” pie plate. Trim pastry. Pour cooled filling into crust.
  5. Roll out pastry for top crust. If desired, cut into strips for lattice top. Dampen edges of bottom pie crust and place top crust (or, alternatively, lattice strips) over filling, gently pressing the outside edges to seal to bottom crust. Trim excess pastry. Crimp pastry edges or press together with the tines of a fork. If using complete top crust, cut vents in pastry to allow steam to escape as the pie cooks (omit this step if using a lattice top since there are obviously already lots of spaces for the steam to escape).
  6. Place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet and bake in the lower third of the oven for 10 minutes at 400° then reduce heat to 375° and bake for 45-50 minutes longer or until the crust is lightly browned and juices start to bubble from the filling.
  7. Transfer pie to a wire rack and let cool completely before cutting and serving.
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Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffins

Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffin
Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffin

Early last October, I traveled to Farmington, near Souris, PEI, to watch the wet harvesting of cranberries at Mikita Farms.  With other commitments, I did not have a chance to get this posting published to my food blog until now.

One of the recipes I developed with the Mikita Farm cranberries is for Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffins.  With eggnog now being available locally year-round (at least on PEI), there is no need to save these tasty muffins just for the Christmas holiday season.  If you can’t find eggnog in your locale, homemade eggnog can also be used in the recipe that follows this post.

Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffin
Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffin

But, first, let’s take a look at where the cranberries came from.

Here, before it was flooded with water, is a photo of the cranberry bog where the berries grow.

Cranberry Bog

We continued on to Souris for lunch and, when we came back a few hours later, the bog had been flooded and this is what it looked like.

Flooded Cranberry Bog
Flooded Cranberry Bog

We didn’t see the machine (in the photo below) at work churning up water and dislodging the cranberries from their vine so they could float to the top of the water but it certainly is an interesting looking machine.

The cranberries grow with little pockets of air in them that allows them to float when a bog is flooded.

The photo below shows cranberries dislodged from their vines floating on top of the flooded bog.

Floating Cranberries
Floating Cranberries

Workers prepare the booms around the perimeter of the bog.  These will be used to gather up the floating cranberries.

Preparing the Booms to Corral the Cranberries
Preparing the Booms to Corral the Cranberries

In the photo below, you can see the boom is in place around the perimeter of the bog.

Drivers on four-wheelers slowly pull the booms along the bog, moving the cranberries with them.

Corralling the Cranberries
Corralling the Cranberries

A worker guides the booms along the route.

Coralled, crimson cranberries!

Corralled Cranberries
Corralled Cranberries

The pump truck in the photo below sucks up the corralled berries from the bog.

Workers make adjustments to the booms so that as many cranberries as possible are ready for transfer to the waiting truck.

Just as we were leaving the farm, a load of freshly-harvested cranberries arrived at the farm gate stand which was particularly busy on the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend when we visited.

From here, the cranberries are bagged and ready for sale.

In addition to selling the raw product, Mikita Farms also produces cold-pressed cranberry juice from cranberries grown on their farm.

I love cranberries and always have a big bag of them frozen for use over the winter.  I also make and freeze a lot of cranberry sauce.

Cranberries and bananas are a great flavour combination.  Eggnog also goes particularly well with cranberries so I combined all three flavours in muffins and covered them with a tasty streusel topping.

Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffins
Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffins

These bistro-style muffins pack a rich flavour punch and are a treat for sure!  They also freeze very well.

Cranberry-Banana and Eggnog Muffin
Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffin
Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen), coarsely chopped
1½ tbsp sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup rolled oats
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp allspice
1 tbsp grated orange rind
⅔ cup brown sugar, lightly packed

1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup eggnog
½ cup + 1 tbsp cooking oil
¼ cup orange juice
1½ tsp vanilla
2 tbsp maple syrup
⅓ cup mashed banana

Streusel

Ingredients:

¼ cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp chopped pecans
½ tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp butter

Method:

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Coarsely chop the cranberries, leaving some of the tiny ones whole.

In small bowl, sprinkle cranberries with 1½ tbsp sugar. Toss lightly to coat cranberries with the sugar. Set aside.

In medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the streusel. Mix well.

Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal. Stir in chopped pecans. Set aside.

Prepare muffin tins by greasing or spraying with cooking oil, ensuring the top of the muffin tins are also well-greased.

In large bowl, combine dry ingredients and orange rind and mix well.

Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients. Set aside.

In separate bowl or large mixing cup, add the lightly beaten egg, oil, banana, eggnog, maple syrup, orange juice, and vanilla. Whisk together well.

Pour wet ingredients into well in dry ingredients.

Combine just until dry ingredients are barely incorporated. Do not overmix.  It’s okay to still see a little bit of flour in the batter.

Gently fold in the sugared cranberries.

Ladle or spoon batter into prepared muffin tins filling almost to the muffin tin rim.

Sprinkle with streusel mixture.

Transfer muffins to oven and immediately reduce heat to 400ºF. Bake 20-22 minutes or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Let muffins rest in muffin tins for about 5 minutes then carefully  transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

Yield: 12-14 standard-sized muffins

Cranberry-Banana and Eggnog Muffin
Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffin

The photo below shows the texture of the muffins.

Texture of Cranberry-Banana and Eggnog Muffins
Texture of Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffins

 

Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffins

These delectable Cranberry-Banana Eggnog Muffins combine three wonderful flavours to make muffins that are perfect for Christmas breakfast, brunch, or an anytime treat.
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Author My Island Bistro Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cranberries fresh or frozen, coarsely chopped
  • tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • tsp allspice
  • cup brown sugar lightly packed
  • 1 tbsp grated orange rind
  • 1 extra-large egg lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup eggnog
  • ½ cup + 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • cup mashed banana

Streusel

  • Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. In small bowl, sprinkle chopped cranberries with 1½ tbsp sugar. Toss lightly to coat cranberries with the sugar. Set aside.
  3. In medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients for the streusel. Mix well. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse oatmeal. Stir in pecans. Set aside.
  4. Prepare muffin tins by greasing or spraying with cooking oil, ensuring the top of the muffin tins are also well-greased.
  5. In large bowl, combine dry ingredients and orange rind for muffins and mix well. Make a well in the middle of the ingredients. Set aside.
  6. In separate bowl or large mixing cup, add the lightly beaten egg, eggnog, oil, orange juice, vanilla, maple syrup, and mashed banana. Whisk together well.
  7. Pour wet ingredients into well in dry ingredients. Combine just until dry ingredients are barely incorporated. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the sugared cranberries.
  8. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins filling almost to the muffin tin rim. Sprinkle with streusel mixture.
  9. Transfer muffins to oven and immediately reduce heat to 400º. Bake 20-22 minutes or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  10. Let muffins rest in muffin tins for about 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

Recipe Notes

Yield:  Apx. 12-14 standard-sized muffins


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Muffins
Cranberry Banana Eggnog Muffins

For other great muffin recipes from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Best Zucchini Granola Muffins
Blueberry Muffins
Rhubarb and Orange Muffins
The Bistro’s Bran Muffins

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