This Holiday Pie Recipe is, Well, Easy as Pie

The holiday season is when we want to bring out our most festive desserts, but with all the season’s extra goings-on, it’s important to save ourselves time and stress.

This showstopper pie is luscious and beautiful and can be easily created by following some simple steps (the first step being, don’t try to make it “perfect”). Use your favorite pie crust recipe, but if making pastry from scratch gives you angst, opt for prepared pie crusts and use my new trick: brush the top with flavored liquid coffee creamer instead of the egg glaze to give extra flavor and shine. The important thing will be that you created a special dessert that will be a loving gift for your family and friends – and you will still be enjoying the holiday spirit.

Cran-Apple Pie
Yield: 1, 9-inch pie to serve 6

Pastry for double-crust, 9-inch pie
Egg glaze
1 egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Roll out one piece of pastry and line a 9-inch pie pan. Pour in filling (recipe below).
To make lattice, roll out second piece of pastry to a 10-inch circle and use a paring knife to cut 10 strips. (Know that they don’t need to be perfectly even. Imperfections add character to your pie.) Start in the center of your filled pie and lay the longest strip across. Place another long strip across to form a cross. Then continue placing strips on either side of these two beginning strips, lifting up strips as needed to make a uniform over-and-under design. Trim pastry edges to about 1 inch over the rim of the pie pan. Save extra pastry for creating leaves.
Use your fingers to crimp the edges. Brush entire top with egg glaze.
Roll out extra pastry and use a cookie cutter to cut out holly leaves and then drag the back of a paring knife along the center and edges of each leaf to create veins. Roll small bits of pastry into holly berries. Place on top of pie and brush these with egg glaze.
Bake pie 40 – 45 minutes until golden brown.

3 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon almond flavoring
1 cup sugar
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon

In a large bowl, toss apples, cranberries, vanilla and almond flavoring. In a small bowl, stir together sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add to apple mixture and toss to mix well.