It’s the holiday season and odds are that means you’re going to be invited to an event (or two) and be required to bring a culinary item to contribute. While some of us revel in the seemingly impossible and truly enjoy the challenge of an intricately created handcrafted treat, for most of us, the holidays are already so jam-packed with events, that finding the time to actually make anything other than a run to the store for a pre-made product can be a struggle.
Luckily for us all, there are easy alternatives out there, including this wickedly easy (and wickedly delicious) cauldron pie! This whole pastry will take you 15 minutes to assemble and bakes in just 30, meaning from start to finish, you have an entire pie in less than an hour! That’s faster than getting in the car, going to the store, and grabbing one from the freezer case.
The cauldron pie gets its name from the fact that it’s baked without a pie tin, with the pie crust itself simply crimped into a cauldron shape and placed on a baking sheet and filled with a vibrant, bubbling green mixture of spiced apples and tart cranberries. I mean, really…how much easier can this get?
To make your own cauldron pie you will need:
- 1-2 tart baking apples (I used Granny Smiths and Honeycrisp) seeded and chopped but not peeled (equal to about 2 cups)
- 1 package instant French Vanilla pudding
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 Tablespoons white sugar
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- Green food coloring
- 3 Tablespoons water, divided
- 1 ready to use refrigerated pie crust
- 1 Tablespoon black food coloring
- Cornstarch for dusting
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon green sanding sugar
- 1 Tablespoon large round green nonpareils, divided
Preheat your oven to 400F/204C.
While your oven is preheating, dice up your apples and remove the seeds and stems.
Don’t worry about peeling them. You can if you really want to, but that’s just extra work and you really don’t need to for this recipe.
In a large bowl, mix your instant pudding mix with your cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and white sugar. Add in your diced apples, dried cranberries, 2 teaspoons of your water and your green food coloring. Toss to coat and set aside while you prepare your pie crust. You should end up with roughly 2 cups or so of fruit filling.
Unroll your pie crust. Knead in your black food coloring until the color is as dark as you’d like and evenly distributed through the pie dough.
If you find your dough is sticky, sprinkle it lightly with a bit of cornstarch and continue kneading.
Dust your workspace with more cornstarch and roll out your pie crust to approximately 9″ in diameter and 1/4″ thick.
Once your pie crust is rolled out, transfer to a baking tray lined with either parchment paper or a silicone baking liner.
In the very center of your pie crust, spoon your filling into a mound, making sure you’re keeping roughly an inch and a half of bare crust all around the edge.
Carefully fold up the edge of your pie crust over your fruit filling, pinching the edges together to seal, leaving the center of your pie open and your fruit filling exposed.
Work your way around the edge of your pie, folding and pinching your crust as you go. Gently wrap the crust up and around your fruit, making sure the sharper corners and edges of your apples don’t poke through the pie crust. You also want to really make sure you fully pinch your edges together as the last thing you want is a pie blowout in the middle of baking!
To create the lip of your cauldron, roll the edge of your crust back over itself from the inside out and again pinch gently to seal. Once you’re done folding and rolling and pinching your edges, you should end up with a shape like this:
Mix your remaining tablespoon of water with your egg and use as an egg wash and brush onto your crust.
Sprinkle the exposed fruit filling of your pie with your green sanding sugar and 1/2 tablespoon of your green nonpareils (save the rest for a bit, we’ll use them at the very end).
Pop the whole thing into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the fruit inside is tender and the filling is bubbly.
Once it’s done baking, remove from the oven and while it’s still hot and the filling is bubbly, sprinkle with your remaining nonpareils and allow to cool fully before serving.
A scoop or two of vanilla ice cream is the perfect way to top this cauldron pie off, but to be honest, it’s delicious plain as well (and if we’re being honest, it’s also a perfect pie for breakfast too!)
Want more scary fast treats you can whip up in a flash this holiday season? We have scary fast raspberry brownie bites as well as scary fast Jack O’Lantern pies, both guaranteed to get you in and out of the kitchen and on your way in a flash.