26 November 2006

Turkey Day Apple Cranberry Pie

It was a quiet Thanksgiving with friends for me. On the buffet table was turkey with all the traditional trimmings—yams, mash potatoes, stuffing, and green beans. And since it was Thanksgiving, I really tucked in; I pushed aside any concerns about calories, piled my plate high, and went back for seconds without any guilt

For my part, I brought an apple pie to the meal. I can enjoy a good piece of pie anytime, but I only seem to bake pies between Thanksgiving and Christmas; although I might make the odd berry pie in the suumer. And my pie baking during the holiday season always includes a least one apple pie. This year tried a new recipe from Food & Wine for a double-crust apple cranberry pie. I added a few squirts of fresh squeezed orange juice to the sliced apples, but otherwise I followed the directions below. The cranberries made the pie somewhat tart. While I didn't mind, I could see that others might prefer a sweeter apple pie with a more traditional warm spice flavor.



Double-Crust Pastry
1 1/2 pounds tart apples
1 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and picked over
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


On a lightly floured surface, roll half of the Double-Crust Pastry into an 11-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the round to a 9-inch pie pan and fit it against the bottom and sides without stretching. Using a small sharp knife, trim the dough flush with the rim. Refrigerate the pie shell for 30 minutes.

Using a small sharp knife, peel, quarter and core the apples. Slice them lengthwise 1/4 inch thick. In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the cranberries, sugar, flour, orange zest, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Pour the filling into the pie shell. Dot with the butter.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly moisten the edge of the pie shell with cold water. Roll out the other half of the Double-Crust Pastry into a 12-inch round and drape it over the pie. Trim the overhanging dough to 1/2 inch. Tuck the excess dough under the rim of the bottom pie shell and press to seal; crimp decoratively. Using a small sharp knife, cut 3 or 4 steam vents in the top.

Bake the pie for 20 minutes. Cover the rim with foil to prevent overbrowning. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the apples feel tender when a cake tester is inserted into the center of the pie.

Transfer to a rack to cool.



2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening or lard
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water


In a food processor, combine the flour and salt and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening and process until the mixture is rough textured, with particles the size of peas.

Add 3 tablespoons of the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing briefly after each addition. Add another tablespoon of the water and pulse just until the dough begins to hold together. Add 1 more tablespoon of water if necessary.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and gather it into a ball, handling it as little as possible. Divide the dough in half. Pat the 2 pieces into disks, wrap in wax paper and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes or overnight before rolling out.

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