I made the apple-cranberry pie from Cook’s Illustrated for Thanksgiving. It’s the pie that came with the revolutionary foolproof vodka pie crust, but Smitten Kitchen beat me to the punch on the pie dough (she beats everyone, so no biggie).
Smitten Kitchen just reneged her recommendation of the pie crust due to its stickiness, but still declares it the flakiest yet. I experienced stickiness when mixing the dough, but after the dough slept in my fridge overnight bundled in plastic wrap (at least 45 minutes in the fridge is recommended, but I stretched the pie making over two days), the stickiness was no more. Rolled out perfectly. And the baked crust? Flakiest yet.
So, no more on the crust. Go get the recipe at Smitten Kitchen. The cranberry and apple filling, though! Yum! I’m not a die hard apple pie fan, and wondered why I was even making an apple pie – other than the fact that Cook’s Illustrated wills me to make their recipes through mind control.
The cranberry mash is layered on the bottom of the pie, and apple slices sit on top, guaranteeing cranberry and apple in every bite, but no mixing or polluting of the individual flavors. The scent of butter, apples and roses seduced me as I drove the 45 minutes to my friend’s house for Thanksgiving with the warm pie riding shotgun.
Sorry for no final pie-innards picture (it’s rude to run around with a camera at someone else’s Thanksgiving table). But, trust me; it was beautiful and tasty. Cranberries and apples work well at Christmas, too, ya know! Apple-Cranberry Pie
adapted from Cooks Illustrated
2 cups frozen or fresh cranberries
¼ cup orange juice
1 cup granulated sugar plus 1 tablespoon for top of pie
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon table salt
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 ½ pounds sweet apples (6-7 medium), peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
1 recipe Foolproof Pie Dough
1 egg white, beaten lightly
- Bring cranberries, orange juice, ½ cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally, while pressing the berries against the side of the pan with a spoon to assist in breaking the berries down. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the berries achieve a thick consistency (scrapping spoon across bottom of pan leaves a trail that does not fill in). Remove from heat, and stir in water. Cool to room temperature (30 minutes).
- Meanwhile, mix ½ cup sugar, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon salt, and cornstarch in large microwave-safe bowl. Add apples and toss to coat. Microwave on high, stirring every 3 minutes, for 10-14 minutes or until the edges of the apples are slightly translucent and liquid has thickened. Cool to room temperature (30 minutes).
- Move oven rack to the bottom and place a baking sheet on the bottom rack. Preheat oven to 425°.
- Roll one disk of the refrigerated dough out to a 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick on a generously floured surface. Place dough in pie pan, leaving a 1-inch dough overhang. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Spread the cranberry mixture evenly in the dough-lined pie pan. Top with apple mixture.
- Roll the second dough disk out to a 12-inch circle about 1/8-inch thick on a generously floured surface. Place on top of the pie, leaving a 1-inch overhang.
- Cut both layers of the overhanging dough, leaving ½ inch overhang. Fold the dough under so it’s flush with the pie pan edge. Crimp pie edges. Brush top of pie with egg whites, and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar. Cut slits in top of pie dough.
- Place pie on preheated baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375°, rotate baking sheet, and continue to bake for 25-30 minutes, or crust is deep golden brown.
- Cool for at least 2 hours before serving.