Don’t Mock Me Craisins: How The Cupboard Harvest Pie Was Born

For some reason I wind up with lots of dried fruit scraps. Where do they all come from? Sahadi’s mostly and they are the result of buying them by the pound and 1/2 pound and using them in recipes calling for a cup here and 1/2 cup there.

One year, I wound up with a several pounds of dried apricots after the Chocolate Show. They sat for months and got drier and drier. I kept moving the bag around thinking, “I have to do something with these!.” But they continued to sit around and mock me.

I hate being “nagged” by food. I finally gave in and dealt with them. After I turned some of them into chutney and poached as many as I could stand, there were still MORE! So I created Cupboard Harvest Pie using them and a bunch of other dried fruit scraps I had leftover from making chocolate barks at the cafe.

One thing I don’t care for in a fruit pie is a really runny filling when you cut it. The great thing about this pie is the dried fruit absorbs the juices from the fresh fruit and you get a fairly tidy slice. I’ve made it with both pears and apples. You can use whatever dried fruit you want to “harvest” from your cupboards. Just make sure you use two cups.

Share This:

Cupboard Harvest Pie

Desserts & Chocolate
This pie recipe is perfect for using up leftover dried fruits that seem to accumulate in your cupboards. You can use any type and combination of dried fruits. They will plump up when you cook them with fresh apples or pears by absorbing their juices so the pie needs no thickeners.
Cupboard Harvest Pie


  • 6 large just ripe apples (or 8 large pears) peeled and cored, sliced chunky
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c dried cherries
  • 1/2 c dried apricots
  • 1/2 c dried golden raisins
  • 1/2 c dried raisins or currants
  • 1/2 lemon juiced and finely grated rind
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp powder ginger
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • white sugar for sprinkling
  • Flaky pastry for a 9” double-crust pie. (I’ve included the lard pie crust recipe I used. It makes three crusts, so you’ll have one extra one which opens a world of possibilities.)


  1. Put all the ingredients, except the pie crust, in a heavy saucepan and bring to a gentle boil, stirring periodically. As the fresh fruit releases its juices, the dried fruit will absorb them. Be careful not to scorch the filling. If it gets too dry, add a little bit of water. Cook until the apples/pears are tender. Cool completely.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 °. Line a 9” pie shell with pastry. Fill the pie shell with the filling mounding it slightly in the center. Add the top crust, seal the edges and cut four vents in the top to release excess moisture. Use the scraps to make pastry decorations, if you like.
  3. Wet a pastry brush slightly an egg wash/egg whites/egg yolk mixed with a little water and brush the top crust and sprinkle it with sugar. Bake pie until the pastry is nicely browned about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven. Cool slightly. Serve with gingered creme fraiche.
Yield: 1 9" pie, eight servings


Use whatever dried fruits you want to get rid of to make this pie as long as you have 2 cups worth.

Gingered Creme Fraiche

Condiments & Canning
This simple recipe is a sparkling alternative to whipped cream. I serve it with my Cupboard Harvest Pie. It goes well with rich fruit filled pies and hand pies, but could totally work with a sweet potato or squash pie.


  • 1 pint of creme fraiche
  • 2 oz of candied ginger, chopped fine


  1. Combine creme fraiche and ginger and stir. Allow to sit for 1/2 hour in the refrigerator so the sugar melts and the flavors meld.
Total time:
Yield: 1 pint


You can use sugared candied ginger or candied ginger in liquid for this recipe.

Lard Pie Crust

Desserts & Chocolate
I bought this hilarious “Praise The Lard” t-shirt from Prather Meats at the Ferry Building in San Francisco (you can’t buy them online, but if you go there grab one—it’s a conversation piece), but I’ve never used it much for cooking. Strange for a gal who worships at the Church Of Pork Fat… We were at a Cherry Grove Farm in New Jersey, last month and they had leaf lard so I bought some and rendered lard for the first time this month. This recipe is for an old fashioned lard pie crust. It makes three single crust or one double crust and a single crust. There’s no point to making only one pie crust. if you don’t need the extra ones, freeze them.


  • 14 oz unbleached regular flour
  • 6 oz cake flour
  • 7 oz butter cut into even cubes frozen
  • 5 oz lard, frozen
  • 2 tsp sugar (leave out for a savory pie)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 c chilled water (approximately)


  1. In a food processor, fitted with the steel knife, process flour, sugar and salt to mix. Add the butter and the lard and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse rolled oats and small peas,
  2. Remove to a bowl and stir in water with a fork, adding only enough to hold the dough together. Divide dough into thirds, shape into a flat ball and wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Rest in the fridge for a couple of hours before rolling it out.
Total time:
Yield: 3 single crusts