Monday, January 2, 2012

Any Day A Holiday Pie


Alex whipped this one together for the holidays. As she said, "I had all these apples, you see; something had to be done." I believe, however, that the following pie should not be relegated to only "holidays." After all, any day you get to eat pie ought to qualify for holiday status in its own right.
Excuses for pie run in the family. :)
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APPLE-CRANBERRY PIE
Requirements: one deep pie dish; one oven; double pie crust; four to five medium-sized tart apples (about four cups of chopped apples); two cups of cranberries.
Other ingredients: apple-pie spice; cardamom; brown sugar; butter; flour.
The process: Preheat oven to 375. Rinse the cranberries, shake in a tea towel to dry, and deposit in a large mixing bowl. Core the apples (do NOT peel them!) and cut in eighths, then slice fairly thin - 1/4 to 1/8 inch. Deposit with the berries in the bowl.
Next, add two tablespoons of flour; 2/3 cup of brown sugar; and spices to taste (a lot, in my case - a tablespoon of apple-pie spice and a teaspoon of cardamom, plus a healthy dash of grated orange peel) to the fruit and mix well. Let it sit while you get the bottom crust into the pie pan.
Next, mix the fruit again and then pour it into the pie pan. Capture fugitive berries and replace them. Dot the fruit with a few bits of butter, and top with the other crust. Cut a few steam vents, seal the edges, and place it in the oven with an anti-browning device over the edges (I have a silicone ring courtesy of my BFF; foil also works).
Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the edge covers and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes till nicely browned. Remove from the oven and let cool ... mostly ... before slicing.
Like all fruit pies, this one lacks structural integrity. Slicing the apples finely helps a lot with that. You could also slice the berries in half if you wanted to take the time.
Please note the sugar ratio. We are talking about roughly six cups of fruit, to 2/3 cup of sugar. I really could have used even less, especially since there's that gelato on top. The apple pie recipe I started with called for a full cup of sugar. In my opinion, that is more than any fruit pie - except maybe one made with rhubarb - needs.
You can always add maple syrup ... or gelato ... if your pie is too tart, but y'all, fruit is intrinsically sweet. And I for one would rather taste the fruit than the sugar.
This little beauty served as Christmas Eve chili potluck dessert for six ... and Christmas morning breakfast dessert for two.

1 comment:

Ellen Honeycutt said...

Sounds good. Pie for breakfast is one of my favorite aspects of the holidays. My apples turn to mush; I think I must be cooking mine too long (like 50-60 mins). It's good, but a lot like applesauce pie!

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