Apple Cranberry Pie
Apple Cranberry Pie
My oldest boy Ricky adores Thanksgiving - he's my Prime Foodie Kid, and he loves to get involved with me in our entire over-the-top-approaching-ridiculous feast and celebration. Planning, shopping, experimenting with new recipes - the whole shebang. It dawned on me a few years ago though that in his opinion, Thanksgiving exists for one reason - Apple Cranberry Pie.
I know many people associate pies with summer time - when the berries and tree fruits start appearing in abundance and seem to just beg to be turned into gorgeous, glossy pie fillings. But for me, pie time is autumn - my favorite pies have always been the ones that my grandmother first taught me to make; apple, pear, pumpkin and sweet potato. Perhaps it's the memories that came with my first pie lessons, but my favorite pie flavors are those of autumn.
A few years ago I had a surplus of cranberries - I do that sometimes. I buy way too much of something, and then have to figure out ways to use it up. In this case I had several pounds of fresh cranberries, and was working on an apple pie. The cranberries were on the counter, and I simply grabbed a couple handfuls and threw them in with the apples as I was loading the crust. WOW! Talking about a happy accident! Of course I've learned since that I didn't do anything new or brilliant - people have been making pies with this wonderful combination for years. But at the time I went about it the hard way - experimenting on my own.
Eventually I came up with this particular version, sweet and tart, with firm apples and the bright highlight of the cranberries, all highlighted and countered with a bit of orange zest. And while I love to bake cakes, I'm a cruddy cake decorator. Pies on the other hand - well. It doesn't take much skill to rock out a gorgeous pie crust with lots of 'oooo' factor when it hits the table. So with a beautiful appearance and a phenomenal flavor, this pie is Bombshell all over.
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- zest from 1/2 orange
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg, freshly grated or skip it
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
- 4 cups sliced peeled tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin, a mix of Jonagold and Granny Smith is awesome
- 2 cups fresh cranberries
- 2 All Butter Pie Crusts
- 2 tablespoons butter
- a couple tablespoons of sugar - to finish the crust
- optional - small canape or cooking cutters for the crust
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- In a large bowl, mix together the first eight ingredients, stirring to combine really well.
- Add apples and cranberries; toss gently.
- Place one pastry crust in the bottom of a nine inch pie plate.
- Add filling, arranging apples as tightly as possible. Dot with the butter.
- Roll the remaining pastry to fit top of pie. Cut vents in top crust, using decorative cutters if you like.
- Bake at 425F for 10 minutes on the center rack.
- Reduce heat to 350F. Place a baking sheet under the pie on the bottom rack to catch spillovers.
- Bake 50 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
At the thirty minute mark, check the pie crust. If the edges are getting too dark, place thin strips of aluminum foil loosely around the edges to prevent over darkening. Allow the pie to cool completely before cutting - this allows the filling to completely set, and prevents the inside from running when it's cut. And yes, you will want either lots of whipped cream, or good vanilla ice cream. Or both!
- The Thrillbilly Gourmet
Combining classic technique with everyday food for spectacular results!