Cranberry walnut pie is a traditional rite of passage to the start of Fall weather. Tangy cranberries and crunchy walnuts, nestled into a flaky crust. Yum!
I know that I have mentioned before that one of my little guys has life-threatening food allergies. He is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. He was only a year old when we discovered the allergies. I gave him a bit of peanut butter on a cracker. Imagine my shock when he started to go into anaphylactic shock. No one in our family (that I was aware of) had a nut allergy. Thankfully, my mother, the nurse, was with us, and told us what to do. The whole situation and diagnosis felt so out of control. I felt horribly guilty that I gave him the peanut butter in the first place. Scary stuff. We ended up clearing all of the nut products out of our house. Our home had to be safe place for our son. That I could control.
Now, over 7 years later, we are well acclimated to living a nut-free lifestyle. But I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t miss the nuts. I do. It’s just not worth risking my son’s life over. Hubby and I indulge when we are away from home. You’d better believe that if we are out to dinner together and there is a nut-encrusted-anything on the menu, we are going to order it. It could be cardboard–we’ll still order it with smiles on our faces.
But, every time Fall rolls around, I am continually nagged by pie. Yes, pie.
Specifically, cranberry walnut pie, with its caramel richness.
A richness tempered by the tang of the cranberries.
I used to love making this pie. I’ve won friends and influenced people with this pie. It’s that good. And yet, the recipe has been collecting dust in my recipe box for years. Tragic, really. I wanted to share this cranberry walnut pie recipe with all of you, but there is no way that I could bring the ingredients in my house, let alone contaminate all of my baking utensils. Sigh. What to do? Bake it at someone else’s house? With all of their stuff? Possible.
While I was daydreaming about the cranberry walnut pie, I started to think of my friend Cathy B. at Bright Bakes. Cathy is a former fellow food blogger with a passion for pie. We met through our blogs, and quickly discovered that we have quite a bit in common. We share similar food philosophies. We are passionate about baking. We both live up north. I could go on. I’ve always felt that food brings a sense of warmth and community. But isn’t it amazing how the internet can bring people together? People you wouldn’t have ordinarily met? I love how you can meet and develop friendships with people miles, even continents away. What a blessing.
So I asked my new friend Cathy if she would be interested in a collaborative effort of sorts. And guess what? She enthusiastically agreed! So, I sent my recipe to her and she whipped it up in her kitchen so that we can both share it with you. She even photo documented the whole experience.
BTW, Cathy is a much more accomplished photographer than I am, so these are probably the prettiest pictures that you will ever see on Comfortably Domestic. True story.
Let’s make Cranberry Walnut Pie!
1, 9-inch pie shell. I recommend making your own.
5 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. all-purpose flour
1/3 C. dark brown sugar, packed
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash of ground cardamom
Pinch of sea salt
1/3 C. dark corn syrup
1 large egg
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
2/3 C. whole, fresh cranberries
2/3 C. walnut pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Then, blind bake your favorite pastry for a 9-inch pie shell. Allow to partially cool while you prepare the filling. For a fuller pie, you can use an 8-inch pastry shell, but you’ll have to adjust the overall baking time. Keep the oven on.
Melt the butter, and set it aside for a minute. Then, in a large bowl, add the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and sea salt. Whisk the dry stuff together to combine. Pour into the melted butter. Listen to the slight crackle of the sugar melting under the hot butter, and smile.
Add the egg, corn syrup, and vanilla, whisking until it looks smooth and has a caramel color.
Consider taking a bath in this mixture, and then regain your focus.
Fold the cranberries and walnuts into the filling mixture. You can almost hear their cries of joy. Pour the filling into the still warm, blind baked pie shell. Bake the pie on the middle rack of the oven for 30 minutes, or until filling is set.
Isn’t that a beautiful pie? By now the smell of the pie is driving you completely mad. But be patient!
All that gooey filling needs more time to firm up a bit. Allow the pie to cool completely before slicing. Slice too soon, and the filling may be runny. Your patience will be rewarded.
On another note, look how flaky Cathy’s pastry is:
Girlfriend’s got skills. She uses her mom’s recipe. Unbelievably flaky.
Huge hugs and thanks to Cathy for helping me share this cranberry walnut pie recipe. Be sure to visit her blog and share the love.