Monday, December 28, 2015

Apple Cranberry Pie.

I. Love. Cranberries. It's one of my favorite things to bake with, which is why baking in the fall and winter is the best. This year, I decided that I wanted to make a pie from scratch for Thanksgiving. It was a total experiment that (thankfully) turned out delicious. Apple pie is obviously such a classic. But I wanted to make one a little more festive and different. Loving cranberries like I do, I decided to make an Apple Cranberry pie!
I used Ali's pie crust recipe and instructions from Gimme Some Oven. As I suppose I should have expected, my dough never looked like hers. But it still turned out flaky and delicious, baked beautifully, and held up under all the fruit and juices.
I wish I could describe to you how delicious this pie was! My family loved it, and I was so excited that my first pie from scratch was such a success.  I've always been more of a cake person than a pie person, but this pie was amazing.  I'll definitely be making this again!

Apple Cranberry Pie
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven and Brooklyn Supper's Cranberry Apple Pie

PIE CRUSTS (makes two crusts, one for bottom and one for top)
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 8 Tbsp. ice cold water (more or less)

3 large granny smith apples, cored and cut into slices
3 large honeycrisp apples, cored and cut into slices
1 cup fresh cranberries
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
zest of 1 orange
1 Tbsp. orange juice
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. clove

1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp. sugar

Using a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Then add in half of the butter cubes, pulsing a few seconds at a time until just incorporated. Repeat with the remaining butter. It will still be clumpy at this stage. Then in a bowl with a spatula, mix the liquid into the dough a tbsp at a time. Basically, you want enough water to incorporate all the dry ingredients, but not enough to make it wet. You might need slightly less or slightly more than the 8 tbsp of water.

Divide the dough in half and pack each one into a fairly tight ball (like you're making a snowball). Then pat each ball into a thick round disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour (I made mine the night before I was going to use them, so refrigerated overnight). The dough will keep in the fridge for three days.

While dough is still in the refrigerator, prep the oven by preheating to 425 and placing a rimmed baking/cookie sheet in the oven to get nice and hot. Then make the filling by stirring all ingredients together in a large bowl. Let them all sit together while you prepare the crust to soak up all the flavors and release some of the juices.

After chilling the dough, turn one of the disks onto a well-floured surface and roll out into a circle of at least 12" in diameter and approximately 1/8" thick. (Dust the top of dough as needed to avoid sticking to the rolling pin.) Place the dough in the pie plate and gently press into the bottom without stretching it. Trim off any excess dough with a knife, leaving about a 1" border around the top of the pie plate/pan. Keep this in the fridge to stay cool while you work on the top dough. Roll out the other dough (again about 12" in diameter and 1/8" thick) and then cut into strips. I made mine pretty wide (about 1 1/2"), but you can make them as thin or as wide as you like. 

Now you're (finally) ready to assemble your pie! Take the chilled crust from the fridge, SPOON apple mixture into it until full. Do not pour. You want to keep as much of the juices out of thepie as possible to avoid a soggy bottom.

Follow these directions to weave the lattice on top. Then brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.

I also used some of the excess crust to make some leaves-- just cut them in a rough leaf shape with a sharp knife, score them with a line down the center and off to the side to mimic the veins in a leaf. It's a simple but nice touch! Place these on top of the sugared crust and brush each with egg and sprinkle with sugar.

Place pie on the preheated baking sheet in the oven.  Bake for 25 minutes at 425 then rotate pie and reduce heat to 350. Bake for another 30-35 minutes until top is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Keep an eye on it and cover with foil if crust starts to get too brown on top. 

Let it cool for as long as possible before serving. At least four to five hours would be my recommendation in order to let everything set so the filling will stay together. Feel free to serve it whenever you need it, but be prepared for the filling to seep out. This cooled for about four and a half hours before eating, and you can see how it held up very nicely when slicing.
And there you have it-- my Thanksgiving Apple Cranberry pie!

What are your favorite pie recipes??