Thursday, November 8, 2018

Cherry Cranberry Pie and A Family Tradition

Thanksgiving is one of my favorites holidays.

I was thinking about why that might be... 

(and truly, there are too many reasons 
to count)

Of course, I love having the family
 all in one place...cozy and making memories...

The smells...the house and all those warm, 
beautiful baking smells... Oh, to
walk into a home that is 
cooking a Thanksgiving's glorious.

and I love all the traditions our
 family has carved out over the years...

but most of all..
 ... it might be, 
because of ... 

the side dishes.

(My family knows I love them more
than sweet potato souffle... they do, ...I promise)

Thanksgiving is all 
about the side dishes...
and the desserts too.

It's absolutely about the desserts.

Thanksgiving is of course about family, and taking 
time to be grateful and counting our blessings...

When it comes to the big meal, 
I could skip the turkey and have only the side-dishes.
--the sides, and maybe a slice of pecan pie.

So, today...I am sharing a beloved family recipe, 
my dad's Thanksgiving Spicy Dressing.
It's spicy and flavorful and 
Thanksgiving just wouldn't
 be the same without it.

In every photo, of every Thanksgiving meal...the
dressing is there... 

And for dessert... 
a pretty Cherry-Cranberry Pie.

Sweet and a little tart,
 this pie hits all the right autumn notes, 
especially if you are looking for something 
extra special to add to your dessert lineup.

Not to be outdone...I am sharing another dessert recipe, a
Gingersnap Cheesecake with Cherry-Cranberry topping...
(coming soon)

Because one dessert is never enough... not
on Turkey Day anyway.

Thanks as always for reading the blog...
I love all my readers...
even more than
 I love mashed potatoes and gravy on Thanksgiving...
and that's saying quite a lot...

Have a lovely day friends.  xo

Grandpa’s Spicy Dressing with Sausage
Recipe Courtesy of Chuck Roudebush
Blue Ribbon Kitchen, Karri Perry
Baking temp: 350
30-40 minutes covered, 15 minutes-uncovered- total time:  45-55 minutes
Serves 15-18 people

16 cups dried bread crumbs- (using white, wheat or other more neutral bread flavors)
2 cups celery, including leaves- large dice
1 ½ cups yellow or white onion-large dice
1 cup (16 TBS) unsalted butter
1 ½ lb. hot bulk sausage (For less spice: use half hot sausage and half sage or mild sausage)

2 tsp poultry seasoning
½ tsp paprika
2 tsp ground sage
1 tsp thyme
3-5   drops Tabasco sauce
½ tsp salt
¾ cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped

3 large eggs-lightly beaten
6-7 cups turkey/chicken broth

Step 1: Prepare bread crumbs, by cubing bread  (1-2 inch cubes ) and toasting until dry, on two baking sheets at 250 degrees in the oven.  OR use store-bought bread  cubed crumbs for this dressing.  (16 cups are needed)

Step 2: In a very large mixing bowl, place the dried bread crumbs.  Set aside.

Step 3: On the stove top, brown the sausage in a large skillet.  Transfer to a plate to cool slightly.

Step 4: In a large skillet on medium heat, add the butter, chopped celery and onions, sauté until the celery and onions are softened (about 10-15 minutes) 

Step 5: Add the cooked celery/onion/butter mixture to the dried bread crumbs. Gently stir.

Step 6: Add all the spices, parsley and Tabasco sauce and the cooked sausage to the bread crumb mixture, stirring well to combine.

Step 7:  Begin adding the broth,  1-2 cups at a time, drizzled over the dressing mixture, allowing the bread crumbs to soak up the liquid.  Gently stir to move the bread crumbs around, allowing the entire mixture to be moistened.

Step 8:  Add the beaten eggs, and fold into the dressing mixture to combine.

Sep 9: Using a large ice cream scoop, portion the dressing into a large buttered casserole dish.

Step 10: Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees covered for 30-40 minutes.  Remove the foil and continue to bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until the dressing is hot and the tops are golden and lightly toasted.

To Make Ahead:  At Step 10, cover and refrigerate prepared dressing.  Bake adding additional time to heat through.


Know your sausage brands... Some brands of bulk sausage are very hot -hot sausage ...while other hot sausage brands are less aggressive in the heat department.  For this recipe I used Country Pride brand, and I have used Jimmy Dean Sausage in the past, which were usually on point.  When a package says 'Hot- Sausage', it can be really hot and spicy......  maybe test-taste your cooked sausage before adding the full amount to the recipe to decide if the heat-level is right for  you and your guests.  (We've had a Thanksgiving here and there where the sausage dressing was super hot... and we needed extra ice waters too cool off)  ha.   

If making for children, consider making this recipe with mild or sage sausage, and omit the Tabasco.  Sometimes the spice can be too much for younger ones.

Cherry-Cranberry Pie
Baking temp: 375
Time: 60 minutes
Yields: 9-inch pie

Pie Dough
2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3 Tbsp Crisco shortening -either butter flavor or original is fine
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
¼cup- plus 2 Tbs ice cold water and vodka mixed 50/50

2 cups rinsed fresh cranberries
3 cups mixed cherries (Costco Brand Frozen Michigan Tart/Sweet/Sour Mix) OR use 1 cup each of sour, tart and sweet cherries- canned/drained
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup clear gel (available at Jungle Jim’s baking aisle or King Arthur Flour)
½ tsp orange zest
4-6 Tablespoon fresh orange juice

Step 1: Mix together flour, sugar and salt, set aside.  Make pie dough by cutting in (using a pastry blender or food processor) butter, shortening  into the flour, sugar and salt.  Add liquid a little at a time…Once dough comes together, shape into 2 equal disks and let rest, covered tightly, at least one hour in the refrigerator.

Step 2: Roll out 1 dough round to ¼ inch thick, fill pie plate.  Set aside in refrigerator.

Step 3: Mix together the sugar and the clear gel, set aside.  In a medium sauce pan add the cranberries, and the orange juice.  Cook over medium heat while stirring.   The cranberries will begin to pop, releasing their juices and will become saucy.  Add the cherries and the sugar/clear gel mixture to the cranberries.  Stir for 3 minutes more as the cherries begin to thaw.  Turn off the heat, add the zest and let the mixture cool.  (It is OK if the cherries are not fully thawed- they will thaw during the bake)
Step 4: Fill pie shell with the cooled cherry-cranberry mixture.  Add dough cut-outs in decorative shapes to the top of the pie if desired, or apply a full top crust, being sure to vent the pie by making  4-5 slits in the pie dough.

Step 5: Bake in preheated 375-degree oven, on the lowest rack for 60 minutes or until the filling is bubbling in the center and the crust is golden.  Allow to cool before serving.

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