Apple-Cranberry Pie

Dear World,

 

Today I will tell you about pie, specifically, fruit pie. Even more specifically, I will tell you how to make apple-cranberry pie. This is a really, really good pie. Especially for Thanksgiving, which, incidentally, just happened…conveniently before I got around to posting this. I was going to say you could make this pie for Thanksgiving, and I guess you still can, you just have to wait a year. Anyways, here are some reasons to make this pie.

 

  1. The crust is flaky and buttery and guaranteed to take, like, 3 years off your life.
  2. The cranberries in the filling help cut the sweetness of the apples, providing a whole new level of flavorful complexity to what would otherwise just be a very, very good apple pie.
  3. The apples themselves are cooked in the microwave, and they are still delicious, and this will blow your mind when you eat the pie.
  4. The filling isn’t runny.

 

apple-cranberry-pie

 

OK, with that out of the way, here are some tips for making the recipe, adapted from the Cooks Illustrated Cookbook.

 

Crust:

So here’s the deal. This recipe is all about making the flakiest crust possible. While the original recipe insists that you need to use a food processor to make the crust, I think it’s good to do it by hand because you can get a more uneven distribution of butter in the dough which makes for a really flaky crust. Also, the original recipe uses both butter and shortening, but I just replace the shortening with more butter. This makes for better flavor, but does make the dough sort of unwieldy. As such, it is supremely important that you chill everything that goes into the crust. Seriously, even the flour (I would skip chilling the salt and sugar, just because there isn’t very much of either in the recipe.) Also, this recipe calls for vodka which evaporates out of the crust while it bakes and makes the crust, you guessed it, even flakier. The vodka is completely flavorless, and I think it really helps, but you can definitely just replace it with more ice water.

 

Filling:

This filling is basically a layer of cranberry filling at the bottom of the pie, topped with apple filling. I’ve had really good luck with this recipe. It tasted good and wasn’t runny or goopy. Overall, it’s just super solid (as a recipe, of course, not as a filling consistency. That would be icky.)

 

So that’s basically it. Hopefully the instructions are clear. Please comment if you have any questions, suggestions, thoughts, opinions, pictures of you eating the pie, etc. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Apple Cranberry Pie

From: Theresa Kaplan, adapted from Cooks Illustrated

Ingredients:

    For Crust:

    • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour, chilled
    • 2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 20 tablespoons butter (5 sticks), frozen and cut into .25 inch pieces (alternatively, 12 tablespoons butter and 8 tablespoons vegetable shortening, also frozen)
    • ¼ cup vodka, chilled
    • ¼ cup ice water

    For Filling:

    • 8 ounces (2 cups) cranberries, fresh or frozen
    • ¼ cup orange juice
    • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ cup water
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 3 ½ pounds Golden Delicious Apples
    • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten

    Directions:

      For Crust:

      1. Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter.
      2. Incorporate the butter by picking up handfuls of the dough and rubbing it between your fingers, letting it fall back into the bowl. Do this until the butter is evenly distributed in small clumps and there is no more loose flour mixture.
      3. Sprinkle in vodka and ice water. Continue the above mixing process until the dough starts to come together. (You might not need all the liquid; you don’t want your dough to be any wetter than it needs to be to just stick together.)
      4. Gather the dough up and divide it into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Flatten the dough into disks, wrap it in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for an hour or more.

      For Filling:

      1. In a medium saucepan, boil the cranberries, orange juice, ½ cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, mashing up berries a bit as you go, until the mixture forms a jam-like consistency, and a spoon dragged along the bottom of the pot leaves a line that doesn’t fill in immediately. This should be around 10-12 minutes.
      2. Remove from heat and stir in water. Let the mixture cool until room temperature, about 30 minutes (the filling can now be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.)
      3. While the cranberries are cooking and chilling, mix ½ cup sugar, the remaining ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt, and cornstarch in a large bowl.
      4. Peel, core, and cut the apples into ¼ inch slices. Add the apples to the sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cornstarch mixture, and toss to coat.
      5. Cover and microwave the apples for 10-14 minutes until the apples begin to turn translucent and the liquid is thick and glossy. Be sure to stir the mixture every 3 or 4 minutes as it cooks. Cool the apple mixture to room temperature, about 30 minutes. At this point the apples can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

      Assembly:

      1. While the filling is cooling, preheat oven to 425˚. Be sure to place a baking sheet on a rack below the one you intend to cook the pie on to catch any dripping.
      2. Roll out the larger piece of dough into a 12 inch circle on a well floured surface. Loosely roll the dough over the rolling pin and then ease it into a 9-inch pie plate. Cover the crust loosely and chill for 30 minutes until the dough is firm.
      3. Roll out the smaller piece of dough into a 12 inch circle. Wrap it and chill it for 30 minutes until the dough is firm.
      4. Unwrap the dough and spread the cranberry mixture in the bottom of the pie. Cover it with the apples, mounding them in the middle. Roll the second disk of pie dough loosely over the rolling pin and ease it over the pie. Pinch together the edges of the crust and trim any excess from around the edge of the pie plate.
      5. Cut 4 2-inch slits in the top crust and brush it with the egg white. Sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar over the crust.
      6. Place pie in oven over the baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes until the crust is light brown. Reduce the oven temperature to 375˚, and rotate the pie. Continue to bake for another 25-30 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Let the pie cool for around 2 hours on a wire rack.
      7. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed.

      Lights, Camera, Action

      College is a never ending whirl of excitement. Classes are crazy but fascinating, the weather in New York is beautiful and perfect for exploring, and most importantly of all, Restaurant Week was extended to Restaurant Month, so I’m finally full (albeit out of money).

      But most exciting of all, this weekend my friend Alex has commissioned me to feed his film crew! Which means I’m cooking! For people! In a kitchen! Last night they had their first production meeting, tomorrow they’re shooting and by Sunday they’ll have a movie. Team Fishmonger is entering a 48-hour eco-friendly film contest for an opportunity to screen at Cannes. They’ll receive prompts tomorrow morning and in two days they have to have a film. I’m responsible for making sure they don’t die of hunger along the way.

      (No Pressure)

      To celebrate the project, I started them off with a pair of Miss Mary’s [Multipurpose, Magic] Fudge Pies, a remnant of our trip to Tennessee. Last night they were good luck pies, but they can serve every purpose, from “please be my friend” to “sorry you just got dumped.” I’ve used them in every situation possible. And they never fail. They’re magical.

      I’m sorry to say I didn’t even a little bit make up this recipe – all credit goes to Miss Mary Bobo and Jack Daniel, for creating something that cannot be improved upon. Once you try this pie you will never make any other pie again. It puts a positive spin on the world. And that is how I know this team is going to win. And why I will accept full responsibility when they do.

      Stay tuned for more photos and recipes from the set!

       

       

       

      Miss Mary’s Fudge Pie

      From: Adapted from Jack Daniel’s Website

      Ingredients:

      • ¼ cup (½ stick) butter
      • 1 ½ cups sugar
      • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
      • 2 eggs, beaten
      • ½ cup evaporated milk
      • 1 tablespoon Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
      • 1 (9-inch) graham cracker pie crust (See Below)

      Directions:

      1. Heat oven to 350°F. 
      2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. 
      3. Pour in bowl and stir in sugar and cocoa powder. 
      4. Stir in eggs, evaporated milk, and Jack Daniel’s. 
      5. Pour into the piecrust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until set. 
      6. Cool completely. 
      7. Serve slices with a dollop of whipped cream sweetened with sugar and a little Jack Daniel’s.

      Graham Cracker Pie Crust

      From: Gabrielle Siegel, Adapted from Epicurious

      Ingredients:

      • 10 Graham Crackers
      • 5 Tablespoons Butter

      Directions:

      1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 
      2. Break graham crackers in food processor until they reach a sandy consistency. 
      3. Don’t over process them. 
      4. Melt butter in saucepan and stir in graham crackers. 
      5. Press graham crackers into a 9-inch pie pan and pre-bake for 10 minutes. 
      6. If you’re making this for a pie that doesn’t go in the oven, bake for around 15 minutes, or until golden brown. 
      7. But honestly you shouldn’t be making other pies.