Mediterranean Cranberry Orange Blossom Pie

by | Pies

Cranberry Orange Blossom Pie

This Mediterranean influenced pie has a gluten-free almond and coconut crust, filled with a puree of fresh cranberries, sweetened only with dates and scented with orange blossom and zest. 

Orange Blossom Cranberry Pie

Mediterranean Flavors

Mediterranean flavors are at the core of all my cooking, simply because they are what I grew up with; Middle Eastern, European and North African cuisines.

Dried fruits, such as dates, apricots and figs are often used to add sweetness to foods rather than processed sugar, as is honey. Healthy Energy Bites, with dried fruits and nuts, are definitely ‘old world’ though relatively new here in America.

Healthy Energy Bites

Flower waters, such as Rose Water and Orange Blossom water, from edible flowers, are just a few exotic extracts that are used to flavor Mediterranean recipes.

Orange Blossom

Orange blossom water is distilled from the bitter orange blossom. The scent is delicately floral but the flavor is one that really has no substitute. Gentle, floral, exotic and so unique. 

Since I was a kid, I’ve been familiar with the scent and flavor of orange blossom water. My Syrian mom often drizzled it, instead of vanilla extract, in so many of the pastries, cakes and cookies she baked. 

While creating this Mediterranean cranberry pie, even though cranberries are not Mediterranean, I wanted to bring the flavors of that region to this pie, therefore making it uniquely my own!

Orange Blossom Water & Rose Water

Cranberry Pie

It’s funny how we often see pies with various berries but don’t often see pies made with cranberries. Ever wonder why?

Cranberries are bitter and tart as all get out. You certainly can’t eat them raw like you would blueberries, blackberries, raspberries or strawberries. It would be like sucking on a lemon. But… when cranberries, just like lemons, are treated with TLC, they are magnificent!

For starters, here’s how you can enjoy the magnificent flavor of the bitter cranberry in a luscious sweet pie, yet not sweeten it with sugar! Intrigued?

Dates! Yes, dates are going to be pureed in the filling of this pie, along with the fresh cranberries and when it is baked and sliced you will never go back to eating an American, syrupy sweet cranberry pie again. Promise!

Dried Fruits In Place Of Sugar

Cranberry and Orange

We all know that cranberries and oranges are a marriage made in the kitchen, as you will find in my Cranberry Orange Blossom Muffins. The sweet zest of an orange, along with sweet, fresh orange juice is nothing short of delicious. 

Let’s take that cranberry and orange marriage on a honeymoon and add a little orange blossom water! Oh my, you won’t believe how beautiful the flavor and scent will become.  

IMG_8936
Fresh Cranberries

Gluten-free Pie Crust

Now that I’ve got you totally hooked on the Mediterranean flavors of the cranberry orange pie, lets win you over totally by making this luscious (not to mention gorgeous color), pie, by making it gluten-free!

No. I’m not taking about using a gluten-free flour with ingredients in it I can’t even pronounce. I’m talking about a pie crust that you would swear is a giant cookie when you bite in. 

Almond meal, coconut flakes, coconut oil instead of butter, though you could use butter too, with fresh orange zest and an egg to hold it all together and you might just start making this crust for all your other pies. 

Enough chatter. Let’s make this pie!

Ingredients Needed

  • Coconut oil
  • Almond meal
  • Coconut flakes
  • Pitted Dates
  • Egg
  • Salt
  • Orange juice and Zest
  • Fresh Cranberries
  • Cornstarch
  • Orange blossom

Equipment Needed

  • Food Processor
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Pie Plate
  • Spatula
  • Oven

Mediterranean Cranberry Orange Blossom Pie

Recipe by Robin DaumitCourse: Pies, DessertCuisine: Mediterranean
Servings

8

servings

Gluten-free almond and coconut crust, filled with a puree of fresh cranberries, sweetened only with dates and scented with orange blossom and zest. 

Ingredients

  • Coconut oil – ¾ cup

  • Almond meal – 1 cup, more if needed

  • Coconut flakes – ½ cup

  • Pitted Dates – 8, 2 for the crust, 6 for the filling

  • Egg – 1

  • Salt – ¼ teaspoon

  • Fresh Orange juice – 1/4 cup

  • Fresh Cranberries – 2- 12 oz bags

  • Eggs – 2

  • Cornstarch – ¼ cup

  • Orange blossom – 1 teaspoon

  • Orange zest – 1 tablespoon

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Place the coconut oil, almond meal, coconut flakes, 2 pitted dates, egg and salt into a processor and pulse a few times.
  • Slowly pour in the orange juice while the machine is running until the dough comes together into a ball. Add a little more almond meal if the dough needs it. The dough will be sticky but will form a ball. No need to wash the processor bowl just yet.
  • Press the dough into a pie plate. There is no need to roll this dough. Set aside.
  • Place the cranberries and 6 dates into the processor and pulse enough to break the berries and dates into small pieces.
  • Add the eggs, cornstarch, orange blossom and orange zest. Turn the processor back on and puree the ingredients.
  • Transfer the batter into the prepared pie shell.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes or until the center of the pie is firm.

Notes

  • Delicious with a dollop of mascarpone or yogurt
CranOran
Cranberry Orange Blossom Pie
 

My Muffin Madness

 

In my family, I’ve always been known as the ‘Muffin Queen’. Out of necessity, I created muffins for breakfast, lunch, on the go snacks, sometimes dinner and a sweet yet healthyish treat for dessert!

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