Last week, Geoff's mom gave me a couple buckets of apples from her tree, and later that week, a coworker sent me two interesting apple pie recipes. So, on Sunday, Geoff and I made pies. (Geoff, groovy guy that he is, peeled all the apples and made two reduction sauces. Awesome.) I'll share the first pie today and the other one later this week. Probably when I run out of goofy Melly pictures. Heh.
The first pie was an apple cranberry pie, which turned out to be deliciously tart. It was a fun twist on apple pie, but because the filling was all fruit, it still felt fairly traditional. I have always made straight-up apple pie for Thanksgiving, but this one is on my short list for this year.
Droopy pie. This is what I get for cutting it while it was warm.
Recipe came from Bon Appetit, via Epicurious.
Original recipe here.
For Cranberry Layer
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup 100% cranberry juice
2 cups cranberries (I used a 10-ounce package of frozen cranberries, which worked great)
Note: I think you could use a can, or maybe a can and a half, of whole cranberry sauce instead of making this layer. I haven't tested it, but it would be easier and less expensive. If you try this, let me know how it goes!
For Apple Filling
3 3/4 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced. Use a mix of apples, tart varieties if possible.
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2/3 or 3/4 cup granulated sugar, depending on how sweet you like your pie. I used about 2/3.
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
double pie crust (see recipe below)
2 tablespoons butter, cut into cubes (optional)
egg beaten with a little water, or milk
1 tablespoon sugar and a pinch of cinnamon (optional)
Stir 3/4 cup sugar and juice in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cranberries; bring to simmer. Reduce heat; simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Cool. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)
Toss all apples, flour, lemon juice, cinnamon, and sugar in large bowl to blend.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out 1 dough disk between two pieces of parchment paper to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch deep-dish glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Spread cranberry mixture over crust bottom. Top with apple mixture; dot with butter (optional). Roll out second dough disk and drape over apples. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Press crust edges together to seal; crimp. Cut a few decorative slits to allow steam to escape. Brush crust with milk or egg mixture. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over crust (optional).
Bake pie 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 375°F and bake until crust is golden, about 50-60 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool at least 2 hours.
Perfect Pie Crust
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup cold shortening
1/2 cup cold butter, chopped
1 tablespoon white vinegar
6-7 tablespoons cold water
1 egg and 1 teaspoon of water for egg wash
Whisk or sift together the flour and salt. Then, add the cold shortening and cut it into the flour with a pastry cutter until the mixture has the texture of sand. Next, add the butter and cut it into the mixture until the butter pieces are about pea-sized. Add the tablespoon of vinegar and work it into the dough, then add the water a couple of tablespoons at a time, cutting the dough between each addition. Add the bare minimum of water for the dough to hold together (I usually use 7, which makes it a smidge less flaky, but much easier to work with). Form the dough into two balls and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes before rolling out.