Cranberry season may have just closed but I need to squeeze one more delicious recipe in! Given that it’s still winter and there’s still a need for a warm, cozy bake I bring you this robust hybrid: Cranberry Cobbler Pie. The perfect balance of sweet and tart, this pie is loaded with fresh cranberries simmered down to a juicy filling mixed with a bit of citrus and warm spices like clove and cinnamon and sweetened with brown sugar. If you want to bake this, read on and if you’re itching for spring, read on, save this recipe, and make it next year during the holidays! You will not be disappointed!
This recipe is half pie and half cobbler. I’ve made a pecan pie crust to encompass the bottom, holding the filling while a cobbler topping which is crispy on the outside and soft and cake-like on the inside surrounds the top of the pie. Let’s break it down into its three parts to better understand the process of baking it, the texture as well as taste:
1. The pecan pie crust is rich, nutty and slightly dense which will support the filling but also melt nicely into it. I use a pecan flour which mixes nicely. I highly recommend pecan flour by Schermer Pecans for its high quality and great taste! Please note that you do not need a pecan flour to make this however and about a cup of pecans finely ground in a food processor works just as well. Mixed with a little flour, brown sugar and some butter, this is a delicate crust that molds itself to the bottom (and sides if you wish) to your pie dish.
2. The cranberry filling is so flavorful and is just sweet enough with a little bit of tart that is complimented well by a bit of citrus flavor from the juice and zest of fresh orange. The cinnamon and clove provide just enough spice and blends well with the brown sugar. Brown sugar is found in the crust and filling of this pie and gives a hint of caramel flavor throughout, brought on by the molasses in the brown sugar. I would like to mention this filling is perfect as just a pie filling or can be used when making a cobbler as well so if you’d like to get creative with this, it will work either way.
3. The cobbler topping is an amazing texture, and it gives a slightly rugged appearance which I love. The inside of the topping is cakey, dough-like and the top is crispy, cracked, buttery goodness!
Let’s get baking!
For the pecan crust:
¾ cup light brown sugar
½ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
¾ cup pecan flour (or 1 cup pecans, finely ground)
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
For the cranberry filling:
2lbs fresh cranberries, washed and rinsed well
1 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
¼ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
Zest of 2 oranges
1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (or 3 cinnamon sticks)
¼ teaspoon ground clove
For the cobbler topping:
1 stick cold, unsalted butter, cubed or grated
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ cups self-rising flour
½ teaspoon fine salt
For the cranberry filling:
For the sake of time, it’s best to get started on the filling first. In a large colander, wash and rinse cranberries; drain entirely. In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add ¼ cup water and whish in sugars until dissolved. Add cranberries and toss in sugar water to coat. Add orange zest and juice, tossing to coat. Sprinkle clove and cinnamon, again, tossing to coat. (If using cinnamon sticks, set on top of mixture while simmering). Bring cranberries to a boil. Reduce burner to a low to medium heat and allow cranberries to simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow to settle. Pour filling into dish, on top of pie crust. Spread evenly using a spatula.
For the crust:
While the filling is simmer, prepare the crust. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously grease a 9 x 9 pie dish or a 3-quart baking dish with butter. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, pecan flour and brown sugar. Pour melted butter into mixture. Using a spatula, fold butter into flour mixture until fully incorporated. The pecan crust will be sticky and paste-like rather than a typical dough. This is okay. Spoon dough into dish and using a spatula or your hands, press dough evenly into the bottom of dish. Spreading the dough on the sides is optional. Bake crust for about 15 minutes. Remove and allow to come to room temperature.
For the cobbler topping:
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cubed or grated butter to flour mixture (I like to grate the butter, creating shredded pieces as it mixes in much easier and saves time). Using a pastry cutter or two forks, mix butter until mixture becomes crumbly. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Stir cream into dough mixture until fully combined. Spoon cobbler dough over cranberries. Using am offset spatula, gently spread dough over cranberries to cover completely. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes until top of pie is slightly golden brown.
Something helpful: The filling may get very juicy while baking so I like to place the pie dish directly onto a cookie sheet before placing in the oven just in case there is a bit of overspill.