Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Solution For All Taste Buds - Cherry Pumpkin Pie

Whether we're having Thanksgiving with four people or twenty it always feels like you can't please everyone. Some like plain stuffing while the meat lovers want sausage and there's those who want fresh cranberry sauce when a select few love the canned version (my dad included). And, of course, the age old debate of cherry versus pumpkin pie. That always seems to be our biggest conflict, so this year I decided to silence both sides by creating a half cherry, half pumpkin pie.

It's not as daunting as it sounds. You will need two pie crusts, one can of cherry pie filling and one pumpkin pie filling (I typically use the recipe on the back of the Libby's can - shh don't tell - but a homemade recipe will work just as well).

Begin by placing one pie crust in the bottom of the pie pan. Then, cut the second pie crust in half and put one half off to the side for later. This will become the top of the cherry half of the pie. With the other half cut a slice the width of the height of your pan. I prefer to use a pizza cutter, but a knife will work just fine. Place this vertically down the center of the pan, allowing it to divide the pumpkin and cherry fillings. Press a fork into this addition, both across the bottom and up both sides, to ensure a gapless seam.

Next, pour the cherry pie filling into one side. Typically a whole can will fit into that one half. Then pour in the pumpkin pie filling.  The cherry pie filling will support the weight of the pumpkin pie liquid. However, unlike the cherry filling, you will have an overflow of pumpkin filling. I choose to put the surplus in a separate smaller dish for a crustless, mini pumpkin pie. With the tad bit of crust that will be left over you can create cute leaf decorations for both the main pie and the smaller pumpkin ramekins.

Finish off the pie by placing the half pie crust you've set aside on top of the cherry pie, once again forking the edges to ensure a good seal. To allow for pressure relief, slice 3-4 slits into the cherry's crust before baking. Place the pie in the oven and follow the pumpkin pie baking directions. Cherry pie is more forgiving and can stand up to the pumpkin pie's longer baking time. To keep the crust from burning you can place tin foil over the cherry half.

Pie Pan by Emile Henry, available at Williams Sonoma.

The pie is done when the pumpkin half is no longer jiggly and a knife, inserted near the center comes out clean. I cooked mine a bit too long, which explains why the center divider pulled away from the cherry crust. Serve with some homemade whipping cream and you'll be the talk of the party! Has anyone done this with other types of pies?

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