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Let’s Hear It For The Old Ladies

Someday, I want to be an old lady who works at a polling station on Election Day.

You know the ladies I’m talking about?  They’re usually in charge, even though it takes them forever to find your name on the voter rolls.

They drive Buicks to the polling station at a cool 15 miles per hour.  They get their hair poofed for the occasion, and they’re old enough to have voted for Herbert Hoover.

They’re very nice, but you know they want to tell you that voting is a solemn act and you should not be wearing leggings and a Pearl Jam t-shirt right now.

I love those ladies.

They are part of a long line of extremely cool people.

Women suffragists protesting in February, 1913, seven years before they got the right to vote.

And I can’t wait to see them tomorrow.  I’m so excited to vote, y’all.  I love the way it makes me feel.

But I know some of you won’t be voting because you are a citizen of another land.  So I made you a pie.  It’s a creamy pumpkin pie topped with a slightly tart cranberry glaze.  You’re going to love the easy ginger snap crust.  It, too, is going to make you feel pretty good inside.

Just make sure you wash the cranberry glaze off your hands before you touch up your hair.  Sticky fingers can really ruin a good poof.

Cranberry-Glazed Pumpkin Pie {Download & Print Recipe}

Ingredients adapted slightly from Pie Lab’s recipe in the November, 2011 issue of Food & Wine magazine, and told in my own words.


For the pie crust

1 1/2 c. crushed gingersnap or Biscoff cookies

1/2 c. walnuts

4 Tbsp. butter, melted

For the filling

1 c. canned pumpkin puree

1/3 packed brown sugar

1 tsp. honey

3/4 tsp. ground ginger

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

pinch ground cloves (optional)

2 eggs

3/4 c. heavy cream

For the glaze

1/4 c. orange juice

1/4 c. water

1/2 c. sugar

1 Tbsp. flour

2 c. cranberries (fresh or frozen)

1/2 c. walnuts (optional, for sprinkling on top)


First, make the crust.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Put the gingersnaps (or Biscoff cookies) and the first 1/2 c. walnuts in a food processor and pulse until they’re finely ground.   Add the melted butter and pulse until it’s evenly distributed.  Press the crumbs into a pie plate.

Make the filling.  In a medium bowl, put the pumpkin, brown sugar, honey, ginger, cinnamon, salt, cloves, eggs and cream.  Whisk until smooth.  Pour the filling into the crust.  Cover the rim of the pan (the crust) with strips of foil to keep the crust from burning.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the filling is just set.  Cool on a rack.

Make the cranberry topping.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the orange juice, water, sugar and flour.  Whisk it until smooth.  Add the cranberries and cook for about 5 minutes, until the liquid has thickened and the cranberries have just started to pop.  (If too many of them pop, the cranberries will look mushy, instead of pretty and round, on top of the pie).  Remove the cranberries with a slotted spoon and spread them on top of the pie.  Taste the glaze, and if you like it, drizzle a few tablespoons (up to all of the glaze) on top the pie.  Refrigerate until it’s chilled.  If desired, sprinkle the remaining 1/2 c. walnuts on top of the pie just before serving.


Sloooowly waking up from a double nap. . .

33 Comments Post a comment
  1. Amy #

    Do you know I’ve never actually been to a voting booth? Since I’ve been old enough to vote, I’ve always mailed in an absentee ballot. Sounds like i’m missing out on chatting with some cute little grannies though. Maybe in 4 years when I’m *hopefully finally settled in one place for a while.

    You know, I love pumpkin pie so much but for some reason I never think to make it other than that one day of the year it’s required to be made on (at least in my family). Adding that cranberry glaze on top sounds great! I love adding tart sauces to all desserts…

    November 5, 2012
    • Darn, yes–all else being equal, you should probably move to a state that lets you vote in person. There’s a little special somethin’ about getting that “I VOTED” sticker that warms the heart!

      Have I told you yet that I love your gravatar picture? What an awesome back to your wedding dress. You look gorgeous! Love the earrings, too.

      November 26, 2012
      • Amy #

        Thank you! My wedding photographer just posted some highlights from the wedding on her blog, so i just updated my pic today…very observant of you 🙂 I’ll be sharing all the pics she posted soon. I love them!!!

        November 26, 2012
  2. I’m blitzing up seven pumpkins from Halloween – but it’s a shame I’d not find cranberries or ginger snaps here! I might be able to use ginger biscuits but they are pretty sharp compared to the US version. I do low carb crusts – butter, Splenda and ground almonds. Tasty and easy! Shame I have to use last year’s batch of pumpkin as I didn’t use it all up…

    November 5, 2012
    • I am so interested in your crusts! Butter, splenda and ground almonds? Sounds awesome. I’ve never baked with the splenda baking mix, but I’d like to try it. Sounds like you’re a fan. . .

      November 13, 2012
      • Just straight Splenda – I hear you’ve got a version that is half brown sugar? Not available in Ireland yet, and sort of pointless really. I can taste it if I use it in a pie filling, but not in the crust (or iced tea, or my coffee). We try to do low-carb here – hubby lost over 70lbs doing it – but he has a huge sweet tooth!

        November 13, 2012
  3. I LOVE those ladies! There’s usually an older gentleman working the line of people waiting to vote, and I love seeing him flirt and banter with the old ladies. So wonderful. And I can’t wait to try this pie! 🙂

    November 5, 2012
    • Aw. . . I’d love to see that, Dana. Hope you had a fun trip to the polling station last week!

      November 13, 2012
      • I did, thank you! This time I was entertained by three little girls pestering their adult chaperon (she was the mother of one of them) to know who she was going to vote for. They they took turns smacking her butt and then denying it. Comedy.

        November 13, 2012
  4. Because it’s ‘birthday breakfast’ tomorrow where I work, and because we have THEMED birthday breakfasts (no unadorned b-day breakfasts here, nuh-UH, honey), there is a call for ‘Fall Comfort Foods’ for tomorrow. So I think I will get comfy with this wonderful-sounding recipe. Thanks for the timely, if accidental, help!

    November 5, 2012
    • I’ve never worked at a place that did birthday breakfasts. What an awesome idea! Way better than cake–though I did like how the cakes got brought out at around 4:30 at my last job–just when you feel like the afternoon WILL NEVER END.

      November 13, 2012
  5. This really made me smile…because one day I wanna be one of those little old ladies too.

    November 5, 2012
    • Well if we ever find ourselves living in the same place, andrea, we should volunteer together. We could get our hair done just beforehand. . .

      November 13, 2012
  6. Brooke (Crackers on the Couch) #

    My state only does absentee voting. I hate it. I loved taking my boys to the polling station when we lived in CA. Now I take them to a drop off box. Not quite the same thing, but better than taking them to the mailbox. This pie… It may just convert me into a person who eats pumpkin pie… It’s nearly as drastic as changing parties and requires me to completely throw out my staunch anti pumpkin pie beliefs. But you put cookies AND walnuts in the crust. Convictions…melting…*gasp!*

    November 5, 2012
  7. Lyn #

    I’m an Election Judge this year! I live in a very conservative area, and they needed judges from my party because there must be least one judge from two different parties for each function at all times. Be especially kind to those retired ladies and gents! On election day they must be at the polling place at 6:00 AM and may have to stay until at midnight, and they’re not allowed to leave the building. The govn’mt saves money by paying only $10/hr. It is fun to see everyone, but your vote counts just as much if you vote early or mail it in, and those old ladies could go home at a reasonable hour.

    November 5, 2012
    • Lyn, I thought of you as I checked in at the table with the designated old lady on election day. How was it? Did you have fun? It sounds like an exhausting job. Did anything interesting happen, or was it pretty non-eventful? My brother worked at the polls all day in Ohio. It sounded pretty grueling.

      November 26, 2012
  8. Too funny! They do look like that, don’t they (even in Canada!). Good luck with your election.. and if it goes sideways.. have another slice of this yummy pie!!

    November 5, 2012
  9. That’s one great looking pie and is it my imagination or has Thunder calmed down now that the role of older more mature sibling is upon her?

    November 6, 2012
    • Well, Stacy. . . Thunder has calmed down a LITTLE. Any energy she has saved by calming down, however, she uses to teach Seymour how to (a) remove pillows from their pillow cases; and (b) eat the stuffing out of them.

      So all in all, we’re about where we started. 🙂

      November 26, 2012
  10. I prefer to vote in person too – I like to see my ballot go into the machine – mailing it just doesn’t seem right – I don’t’ quite trust it LOL

    November 6, 2012
    • Yeah, doing it in person is pretty fun. The whole ceremony of it. I liked it back in the old days when you actually punched your choice into the ballot (before the hanging chad fiasco). Now, in Alabama, you connect two parts of an arrow in pen to indicate your choice. Like this: — –> and you fill in the middle to connect it. It just wasn’t as exciting. 🙂

      November 6, 2012
      • weird LOL
        I have always had the fill in the empty val completely with black pen versions – I obsess about leaving no hint of white just in case but it seems like there is little room for error

        November 6, 2012
  11. susanintheboonies #

    I’m crazy about the old ladies AND the old men who work the polls. Absolutely adore them!

    November 6, 2012
    • Oh I’m so jealous you have some older gents working at your polls! I only seem to get the old ladies. The lady who found my name on the voter registration papers this morning had the most PERFECT, puffy white hair. It was exactly the awesomeness I was hoping for.

      November 6, 2012
  12. Love this! (And the recipe.) I was a tad disappointed when I voted today. There were always treats (not necessarily for the voters, though) at the polling stations in California (where I lived for 24 years), but this a.m. in Cambridge, MA…nada! How can those people survive an entire Election Day without doughnuts, and cookies, and…pie??

    November 6, 2012
    • Mindy, I hear you. I just found out that my brother is working the polls in Ohio from this morning until probably 9:30 tonight. That’s such a long time. I hope he brought string cheese or something, yeesh!

      November 6, 2012
  13. Great last line!! Saw those old ladies today. They were frazzled at times, but still lookin’ fine

    November 6, 2012
  14. Thank you for making me a pie. It almost makes up for the endless hours of election coverage that I was subjected to. In Canada.

    November 10, 2012
  15. Whoa, that looks amazing! I want to scoop those cranberries up and just eat them with a spoon… (even though I also love pie…). Voting is definitely exciting! I voted early by mail, though, so I missed the whole little old lady aspect!

    November 11, 2012
  16. My great aunt Eleanor is one of those ladies. she has been one of those ladies for 50 years, no joke (she is 90). She’s got a New York accent as thick as pumpkin pie, drives a gigantic Buick, and she for SURE would not appreciate leggings and a Pearl Jam tee on voting day.
    She went to sign up this year to be one of those ladies again, and they told her she was “too old.” they wouldn’t let her man the voting table. Do you know that spunky old lady doesn’t even wear GLASSES and she probably gets more done in a day than I do, and can stay up way later than i can, and they told her she was too old?
    So, in four years, i promised her that i will be one of those ladies for her. To carry on the tradition. Now, i’ll only be almost 40 (okay, fine, technically i will have just turned 40), but i don’t think there’s a minimum age.
    here’s to the old ladies.

    November 13, 2012
  17. Anne Gooch #

    Katherine, this looks declicious! I am going to see if I can convince Chris to make it this year. (He does pies for Thanksgiving, because I don’t. My contribution is supposed to be scalloped potatoes. We’ll see how that goes.)

    November 20, 2012
    • Hi Anne! How’d they go? I’ve never made scalloped potatoes. Scott made mashed potatoes this year. I worried when he put CHIVES in the GARLIC PRESS at the beginning of the mashed potato process, but in the end he really pulled through. They were pretty tasty.

      November 26, 2012
  18. HomeSweetHowland #

    Love, love, love this post! I stumbled across your blog today, and I’m quite enjoying reading here… I grew up in a small town and occasionally helped out at the polls during election times, and I must say that your description of the ladies is spot on. Love it! And that pie… oh my! Looks delish!

    December 10, 2012

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