A Twist on an American Classic: Cranberry Apple Pie

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Pie, pie everywhere. It’s a sign or something.

I have been seeing recipes and pictures of pies everywhere you can imagine. Chalk it up to the season. That’s fine. But I took it as a sign that I should make pie. All right, maybe I was just craving a nice slice of sweet, tasty goodness with a buttery, flaky crust. Last week, I decided that this week’s special dessert would be pie.

Ina told me to do it. When I was making last week’s dessert, Ina Garten was on her show making gourmet blueberry and strawberry-rhubarb pies complete with lattice crust. Then one of my good friends told me to do it. There I was scrolling through Facebook, minding my own business, when all of a sudden, I see this picture of a mouth-watering, perfectly latticed peach pie. You should know that my friend, Moe, is my role model and one of the best and most inspiring influences in my life. Apart from being the nicest human being, she makes the best desserts that I have ever had the pleasure of tasting and makes them look like they were the easiest things to make. She’s amazing. Anyway, her pie had a lattice crust. Then and there I said, “Gosh darn it! I’m going to make a pie this week and no one is going to stop me.”

I wanted something that tasted like fall, so I went searching for a recipe that would be perfect. After reading that cranberries are in season, I determined that I needed to make something with cranberries, but was very cautious in choosing a recipe. Cranberries can be terrible if they’re not incorporated correctly.

I found THE perfect pie recipe on a cute blog called Brooklyn Supper. The crust is buttery and flaky, not terribly bland. The filling is perfect: sweet and tangy. The cranberries add a certain element that makes the pie interesting. I don’t mean to sound unpatriotic, but normally, I would choose almost any dessert over apple pie. It’s just so boring and blah to me. Been there, had that. No thanks.  But this pie—I wanted a second piece; however, there was no second piece to be had because everyone had served themselves ginormous slices. Do you know how frustrating it is to want seconds, but no seconds exist? Yes, I’m sure you do; we’re all friends here, right?

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It all starts with a few apples. I chose to use ones that I had never even heard of before. What? I thought they were very pretty…and hoped they would work out. These Ambrosia apples turned out splendidly. And guess what? I didn’t even peel them. Call me lazy, but I just didn’t want to spend half an hour peeling apples. I couldn’t even taste the difference, but a few members of my family could—you know, the I-cry-every-meal-because-I-hate-all-kinds-of-food ones. I’m not annoyed, really. But either way you do it, the apples will taste great!

Slice them, add in a cup of fresh cranberries, grate in some orange and lemon zest, toss in the sugar, flour, and spices, and you’ve got a delectable apple pie filling.

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The crust is simple. If you’ve got a food processor, the process is even easier. The crust loaded with cold butter, which really makes it what it is, and after being chilled, this crust is easy to handle.

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Add the filling to the bottom crust, but be careful not to add in the juices from the bottom of the bowl, or you’ll end up with a soggy crust. Doesn’t the picture below look delicious? So many flavors waiting to be baked and eaten.

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Now, I was dying to try the lattice technique again. I had tried it once before, and it didn’t look right at all. It wasn’t terrible, but it definitely didn’t look Ina Garten approved. This time, I was really quite happy with the way the lattice looked. I even added leaves for a more decorated look. My crust crimping could use more practice though, but I’ve found my go-to crust recipe to practice with.

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Yes, I do love those leaves. Maybe next time, I’ll use them as decoration around the crust. That would hide any imperfection in my crimping.

Into the hot, hot oven it goes. I ended up covering the crusts with foil about half way through, and they turned out beautifully.

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Mmmmm. The sugar-topped, crispy crust, the spiced, tangy filling…Now, I just want to cut myself a huge slice of this pie. It’s my new favorite right now. And for a girl that doesn’t appreciate apple pie as she should, that says quite a bit. Now, my next goal is to master cutting a piece of pie that doesn’t look like I threw it on the floor before I put it on the plate.

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Please try this pie. It would be a great addition to your Thanksgiving table—an American classic with a tangy, New England twist. Let me know what you think.

Until next time.

Happy Baking!

Here is the link to the recipe for Cranberry Apple Pie on the Brooklyn Supper blog!

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