Nantucket Cranberry Pie


We were in a taxi, on our way to see the open studios at the Gowanus canal last Sunday. The temperature had suddenly plunged, barely making it to the mid 50s. As the car zoomed along the elevated section of the BQE, I caught a glimpse of the tops of trees (ash trees?) swaying in the wind. Their leaves had already turned canary yellow and they seemed impossibly bright, against the brownstones and dark asphalt in the background. And I thought It’s ok. Fall is here and I’m ok with that.


When I was little (kindergarten? first grade?), I remember teachers having us color pre-drawn and mimeographed sheets with things that represented each season. The summer had the sun and stalks of wheat. The spring had flowers and swallows: we glued cotton balls to their bellies and filled the rest of their bodies with black crayons. The winter had snowmen and Christmas trees. But fall? I don’t remember what represented fall. Maybe yellow leaves, though it’s unlikely. There were few trees that turned colors the way they do in the Northeast U.S. It wasn’t cranberries or pecan pie or Thanksgiving turkey. I didn’t know about these things until I came to the U.S. later as an adult. It was probably rain. Grey clouds and children holding umbrellas, which we colored with as many colors as we could get our hands on.


This recipe is pure fall. Cranberries and pecans are cooked together with a decent amount of sugar, turning sweet and tangy and crisp, underneath a topping that is rich but not overly so. The original recipe called for three quarters of a packet of butter. I replaced two thirds of that with refined coconut oil (the kind that has no coconut taste) and the result was perfect. It’s still not quite health food, but it’s a great way to ease into the season.

DSC03356Nantucket Cranberry Pie – Adapted from King Arthur Flour


1 tablespoon melted butter
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup refined coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10″ pie plate or 9″ square cake pan. Melt 1 tablespoon butter, and drizzle it into the bottom of the pan. Spread the chopped cranberries and nuts in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with the 1/2 cup sugar.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, melted coconut oil and butter, sugar, flour, salt, vanilla, and almond extract. Spread the batter over the cranberries and nuts in the pan, using a spatula to cover everything. Evenly sprinkle turbinado sugar over the batter.

Bake the pie for 40 to 45 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the pie from the oven and let cool on wire rack. Serve warm, or at room temperature.

Teddie’s Apple Cake


We just came back from a lovely weekend in the Hudson Valley, where we were visiting friends who have moved permanently there and opened a shop in Hudson, NY (It’s called Finch, and it’s amazing). The weather was beautiful, but there was the unmistakable chill of fall in the air.

And if you didn’t know it from the dying leaves, still showing some of their riotous colors of copper and sienna and gold yellows, or from the bright orange pumpkins crowding the farmer stands along the way, you certainly knew that fall was here from the abundance of apples everywhere.


It’s a funny season, the fall. Despite the many celebrations it holds (Halloween, Thanksgiving, Rosh Hashanah), it’s really a season of decay. The glorious life of the spring and summer, the flowers and trees and fruits just wither away during the fall, until the winter comes and everything goes into hibernation, in anticipation of the next spring.


But there are many reasons to love the fall. One of the biggest ones for me are apples. I love apples. So much can be done with them. Every fall, I start to crave apple desserts. Pies and cakes and crumbles and compotes. So, this fall I started with this recipe, which I found on the great Food52 Genius Recipes blog. Simple to make, this isn’t the prettiest of cakes. But it makes a hearty breakfast or a great accompaniment to tea or coffee on a cold fall afternoon. Or serve it with some caramel sauce drizzled over and some whipped cream and you have a dessert to die for.


Teddie’s Apple Cake Adapted from Food52

Note: The original recipe calls for raisins but I decided to use dried cherries because I like their tartness better. I also used pecans instead of walnuts because…well, I just don’t like walnuts.

The top of this cake is really crackly, so you want to make it in a pan where you don’t have to invert it to take it out. You can use a tube pan with a removable bottom, or you can line two loaf pans with parchment paper that is long enough to hang over the sides of the pan. That way, when the cake is finished, you just grab the two ends of the parchment paper and pull the cake out of the pan.


Butter for greasing pan(s)
3 cups flour, plus more for dusting pan
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups peeled, cored, and thickly sliced tart apples like Honeycrisp or Granny Smith (from 2 large apples)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch tube pan. Or butter two loaf pans and line them with enough parchment paper that it overhangs on both long sides of each pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together 3 cups of flour, the salt, cinnamon and baking soda. Set aside.

2. Beat the oil and sugar together in a mixer until well combined, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, waiting until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Beat until the mixture is thick and creamy. Add the vanilla, beat a few more seconds and then stop the mixer.

3. Add the flour mixture in the batter and fold in until just combined. Add the apples, pecans and dried cherries and stir just until combined.

4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan(s). Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before lifting out.