Spoiler alert: the pie is not the only drunk thing in this story.
I did not go home for Thanksgiving this year, so I joined a friend and her family up in Maryland. Last week, as I was daydreaming about what savory side dish I would bring, my oven promptly bit the dust. Lovely.
I am not one to show up empty-handed, so I still volunteered to bring a dessert. However, being oven-less, I asked my friends who live in Georgetown to let me borrow their kitchen. Tuesday night, I packed up my ingredients and headed over.
We arrived just past 8:00 PM. As of 11:07 PM, we had completed the following prep work:
- Drink 4-5 bottles of champagne
- Watch various YouTube clips of Jimmy Fallon
- Listen to songs off the new One Direction album (at my insistence)
- Paint nails
- Order sushi
- Smudge nails
- All mutually agree that Adele is great
Ah yes, the pie. Motivation was at an all-time low, but just when I was about to call it, my friend Shannon shot up off the living room floor in a rallying battle cry: “THIS PIE IS HAPPENING. GET UP.”
Let me just say, baking is NOT my strength. I broil, sautée, braise, poach and roast, but baking is whole different animal. It’s like actual chemistry. So this is an uphill battle even when I’m sober.
In addition to me being a (tipsy) novice baker, I was also a) trying a new recipe and b) trying a new recipe without all the measurements. Yeah. When I copied it down over the phone, I may have missed some details. But, onward.
What you will need:
- 1 Pillsbury pie crust
- 12 oz bag of cranberries
- 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 2/3 cup sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Another glass of champagne to get you through this
- 1 TBSP butter
- Orange juice
- Orange zest
- Berry jelly/jam
- Someone’s cell phone balanced in blender to amplify your Spotify playlist
- An egg
- Good friends who encourage you to handle a stove when you’re 6 glasses deep
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. If you’re like me and my friends, your stove is from the 1960s and you just kind of assume it’s preheated when it’s really hot.
- Get a pie pan and place Pillsbury crust in pan. I didn’t remove it from the foil it came in, I just put the whole thing in the glass dish. It’s not hurting anyone.
- Combine orange juice and a little bit of water to make about a ½ cup mixture. Add sugar to the liquid. Add the mixture to pot on the stove at whatever heat you want.
- Stir until sugar is mostly dissolved.
- Add ¾ of the bag of cranberries. Save the last ¼ of the bag.
- Stir until you hear the berries start to pop. Once you’ve heard a few pops, add the remaining cranberries.
- Stir in orange zest (literally no idea how much. I zested about 1 tsp and then got frustrated and threw the zester in the sink).
- Add some salt. Not sure how much, but I always err on the side of caution with salt. I did a few sprinkles.
- Stir in vanilla extract.
- Remember that you have butter. What’s it for? No one knows. Now seems like a good time to add it, though.
- You have an egg too. Hmm. Add that I guess?
- Stir in walnuts.
- Pour into pie shell.
- Bake 30-45 minutes. Keep an eye on the crust so it doesn’t burn.
- While the pie is in the oven, heat berry jelly and sherry in a pot over some level of heat. Basically, you want a glaze to pour over the pie once it’s done. I used ½ cup of jelly and I think that was too much. I used ¼ cup of sherry and that wasn’t enough. I added more sherry so it ended up being more like 2/3 cup sherry.
- Once pie is done, spoon your glaze over the top of the pie (not too much).
- Refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be served at room temperature.
As I’m writing this, I haven’t actually tried it yet, so I can’t tell you how it turned out. Fingers crossed – I’ll let you know the verdict after Thursday! Until then, enjoy this gif of James Franco eating pie.
Author’s update: the pie came out REALLY WELL! After nervously warning everyone that the chef had been three sheets to the wind during the pie’s creation, I was pleasantly surprised to bite into a tart, citrus-y, slightly sugary slice of heaven.