Christmas is in the air: bells ringing, children singing, and green and red and carols everywhere.
Let us help you celebrate with nostalgic Christmas pie and a Christmas blessing to you all.
There are many tastes and fragrances that I associate with Christmas. The smell of blue spruce and Douglas fir evoke fond memories for me and you too, I expect. I remember the pageants that we put on each year in the little Baptist church in Fort Worth, Texas. When the play was over, all of us children were given cellophane bags full of oranges, apples, nuts and candies. Although I didn’t like the candy, I loved opening the bag to smell the delicious perfumes. My mother also made a very good fruit cake. She didn’t put the citrus rind in it – just cherries, pineapple, raisins and nuts. Then, there are mince meat pies and apple cider which delight my spirit.
So I decided to combine all of those tastes and fragrances into one festive dessert. That is, everything but the Christmas tree, that aroma you’ll have to obtain in your own way.
For this pie you can use your favorite pie crust recipe. You will need a top and bottom crust. The filling below makes enough for a deep dish 9 inch or a normal depth 10 inch pie.
You will need:
3 Apples 2 Tbs. Cognac
2 Pears 1 ½ cups of Sugar
1 Orange 1 ½ teaspoons of Cinnamon
1 cup of Golden Raisin ½ tsp. of Nutmeg
½ cup of chopped Walnuts ½ tsp. Ground Cloves
1 cup of whole Cranberries ½ cup of Flour
½ tsp. of Salt 3 Tbs. of Butter
1 Egg 2 Tbs. of Milk
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Peel, core and slice the apples and pears.
- Remove the zest from the orange. Chop the zest into small pieces.
- Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice from it. Discard the peel.
- Chop the walnuts if they are in halves.
- Melt the butter in your microwave.
- Beat the egg and two tablespoons of milk together in a small bowl or cup. This is an egg wash to brush on the top crust. The egg wash promotes browning.
- In a large bowl combine all the ingredients but the egg wash.
- Line the bottom of the pie dish with one of the pie crusts.
- Pour in the filling. If there is too much filling for your pie pan, put the excess in ramekins, without a crust, and bake them as individual desserts for somebody’s lunch.
- Top the filling with the second pie crust. Crimp the edges together.
- Brush the top crust with the egg wash.
- Cut 4 or 5 slits in the top crust for steam vents.
- Bake for 45 minutes to one hour.
- If you want your pie to be even more spectacular, make a simple frosting for it. Mix 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar with enough milk to make it spreadable (two or three tablespoons) and one teaspoon of vanilla.
- Spread the frosting on top of the pie while it is still warm.
- Merry Christmas!
We seek many things during the Christmas season; the perfect gift, the best Christmas pie, the merriest Christmas entertainment, the right Christmas decorations. But how often do we seek wisdom in the midst of the world’s Christmas cacophony?
“Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding. For she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. . .Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. Her ways are pleasant ways and all her paths are peace” (Proverbs 3: 13-17).
We can learn something about wisdom from the wise men in the Christmas story. Theologians have deemed them Kings because of the prophecy in Psalm 72: 10. “The kings of Tarshish and of distant shores will bring tribute to him; the kings of Sheba and Seba will present him gifts.”
But they weren’t like our nation’s “kings” today, or the kings in Psalm 2 who as Handel’s Messiah contemplates, with long drawn out counterpoints, “Imagine a vain thing.” They “take counsel together against the Lord, and against His Anointed. ” Rather, the wise men were kings who followed God’s counsel to “kiss the Son”, and serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.
Why were they wise? They were sages in their own countries certainly, men, who possessed earthly honor and glory. But they were more than worldly-wise, because they followed God’s mystical guidance and put everything else aside to seek the One who was to be the true king of all. They considered everything else loss that they might gain Christ.
How can we seek Christ above all this Christmas season? I have a friend who has a unique chance to do that this year. It may seem loss on one level, because her family won’t be coming for their usual Christmas dinner on the 25th. But it is gain spiritually because her plan is to spend the extra time in worship and quietness before Him.
I’ve decided to decorate our Christmas dinner table to especially honor Christ. Usually it’s just candles and flowers, but this time an interesting nativity and flowers. What can you do to honor Him this Christmas than you’ve never done before? I would love to hear your creative ideas.
Sometimes with all the shopping and activities, Christmas can seem empty because it’s too full, full of things that don’t have any lasting importance. May the Lord gives us true fullness as he teaches us this Christmas to be wise.