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Harvest Pie with Autumn Leaves Recipe

Course: Dessert
Total Time: Under 4 Hours
Skill Level: Easy
Cost: Inexpensive
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 Harvest Pie with Autumn Leaves

Photo by: Joseph De Leo

Here’s a pie I love to make when the leaves are turning, the pumpkins are crowding farm stand shelves, and the pie-baking bug has bitten me good. The filling is a real grab bag of fall favorites: sliced fresh apples and pears, diced pumpkin, and dried cranberries for extra sweetness and a splash of color. I use the pastry trimmings here to create a center spray of leaves. You can use a leaf cookie cutter, but even for someone as artistically challenged as myself, it’s no trouble to cut a basic narrow leaf shape–something simple, like a birch leaf, not a maple-and make a few veins in it with the back of a paring knife. I put four of these on the top crust, stems ends in the middle with the leaves I pointing out to the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions.

This is the perfect pie for a fall outing or activity–a leaf-raking party or tailgate party, for instance. I love the juiciness of this pie, so I’d recommend serving it within an hour of baking. Do use a small sugar pie pumpkin, by the way-the larger ones tend to be too watery to use in a pie.

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings.


For the filling:

  • 1 cup fresh apple cider
  • 4 cups peeled, cored, and sliced apples
  • 3 cups cored and sliced ripe pears
  • 1½ cups peeled and seeded sugar pie pumpkin cut into ½-inch chunks
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

For the glaze:

  • Milk
  • Granulated sugar


1. If you haven’t already, prepare the pastry and refrigerate it until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.

2. On a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the larger portion of the pastry into a 13½-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Invert the pastry over a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan. Center it, then peel off the paper. Tuck the pastry into the pan; without stretching it, and let the edge of the pastry drape over the side of the pan. Refrigerate while you make the filling.

3. Put the cider in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and let boil until it is reduced to ¼ to 1/3 cup; keep a heatproof measuring cup nearby to check it. Set aside. Put the apples, pears, pumpkin, and cranberries in a large mixing bowl. Add the reduced cider and granulated sugar and toss well to mix. Set aside for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

4. In a small mixing bowl, combine the corn-starch and brown sugar. Add this to the fruit and mix again. Mix in the lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, and cloves. Set aside.

5. On another sheet of floured waxed paper, roll the other half of the pastry into an 11½-inch circle. Moisten the rim of the pie shell with a damp pastry brush or finger. Turn the filling into the crust, smoothing the top with your hands. Invert the top pastry over the filling, center it, and peel off the paper. Press the pastries together at the dampened edge, then trim the pastry flush to the edge of the pan with a paring knife. Using a fork or paring knife, poke several steam vents in the top pastry; put several of the vents near the edge of the pie, so you can check the juices there later.

6. Gather the pastry trimmings into a ball, then roll the dough about 1/8 inch thick on a sheet of floured waxed paper, flouring the dough as needed. Cut the dough into 4 leaves (see Headnotes), using the back of a paring knife to make a lengthwise vein down the center and smaller ones running diagonally to either side of the line. Lay the leaves on top of the pie with the stem ends in the center and the tips pointing out to the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions. Brush the top of the pie lightly with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

7. Place the pie directly on the center ove n rack and bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Remove the pie from the oven baking sheet back in there oven and bake until the juice but the thickly at the edge, another 30 to 40 minutes.

8. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and let cool for 30 to 60 minutes before serving.

© 2002 Ken Hardrich

Editor's Note

Nutritional information is based on 10 servings, includes 1 tablespoon each of milk and sugar for the glaze, but does not include All-American Double Crust. For nutritional information on All-American Double Crust, please follow the link above.


Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

146kcal (7%)
25mg (3%)
9mg (14%)
131mcg RAE (4%)
0mg (0%)
0g (0%)
0g (1%)
5mg (0%)
1mg (3%)

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