Pumpkin Cranberry Swirl Muffins
Got some leftover cran sauce? Have I got an idea for you :)
I am all about the pies this summer. And this fall. Perhaps winter also. But right now I am running a two-week streak of making a pie every weekend, and it is kind of tempting to keep that up next week. Actually, I pretty much have the recipe for pie crust and the general formula for a fruit pie memorized. Best party trick ever, I know.
I don’t need to tell you that this was tasty. But it was even more than that. It was everything you hope a fruit pie will be – rich, intense and not too sweet. Not too complex – because it doesn’t always have to be. Sometimes you just want a pile of fruit and pastry in your mouth. I mean, who doesn’t?
What’s even better about this pie is that we shared it with friends Pete and Aggie on a (very) warm summer night, and paired it with Pete’s fresh cherry ice cream, which was insanely delicious. We had eaten dinner just outside Multnomah Village and split up to give Aggie’s sister a ride somewhere while Dave and Pete went to get beer. They came back with my current favorite, Full Sail Sessions Black Ale (non-sponsored endorsement). I don’t even usually go for Black Ales. But I do now.
Anyway, it was just a nice night. Portland summers are so long in coming, and then so fleeting. It’s hard to think about a couple of months from now when we’ll all dread being outside. But, what am I doing? This is a post about pie and I will not let it be an unhappy one. Behold, pie:
Preheat the oven to 400. Roll out one of the pie crust recipes between two sheets of plastic wrap. Use plenty of flour so it doesn’t stick – especially if it happens to be warm in your Pacific Northwest kitchen. 🙂
Peel off one side of the plastic wrap and slide your hand underneath the pastry and the plastic layer under it. Place your pie pan on top of your hand and flip the crust over into the pan. Remove the other layer of plastic wrap very, very gently.
Stir the cornstarch and the sugar together in a plastic or glass bowl, and then add the blueberries and the lemon juice. Pour the berry mixture into the pie shell.
Prep the second batch of pie crust. As always, I strongly prefer the lattice crust. Especially when you are dealing with beautiful fruit pies that have pretty colors to shine through. But if you must, a flat, regular pie shell will do just fine. Make sure to either poke it with a knife a few times or cut a cute design out with a cookie cutter to let the air vent out.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 400, and then reduce the heat to 350. Bake for an additional 40 minutes at the lower temperature. If the edges start to brown, cover them with aluminum foil by folding a square of foil into quarters, and then cutting a quarter of a circle out of the middle (think the first step in a paper snowflake, but this time you’re using the outside). You don’t have to attach it to the pie in any way, just let it rest on top of the outer crust and make sure the middle still shows through so it can finish baking.