This year I spent Thanksgiving with one of my best friends and her family. At dinner we decided to go around and say what we were thankful for. It seemed kind of humorous as everyone started the same way, “I’m thankful for my friends and family.” Even though it may seem cliché, I think it demonstrates people are what really matter.
So my internet friends, I must tell you I have the best people in my life. I don’t even know where to begin in expressing how lucky I am to have the most loyal and supportive people around me. I have wonderful relatives, and incredible friends who have become family. I am thankful for the unconditional love, support, and loyalty I get from all these people.
Okay enough of my sentimental, mushy-gushy rant; time to talk about pie! I picked this recipe because it seemed like a fun way to jazz up apple pie, and I wanted something a little more Thanksgiving-y. I opted out from making my own crust on this one, mostly because I didn’t realize how much refrigeration time it required. So the Pillsbury stuff in a box worked just fine.
A lovely side-effect of baking this pie is how good your kitchen smells when you have the apples and cranberries cooking on the stove. Serious fall smell-gasms. The recipe tells you to cook the apples in a Dutch oven; I do not have a Dutch oven so I hoped my biggest pot would suffice. It did. When I got the filling ready to put in the pie I stole a spoonful to taste test, delicious. I think I would add a few more apples the next time, as the cranberry flavor was a little overpowering. I rolled out some of extra dough scraps to decorate the top of my pie. I went the lazy way and rolled the dough out with a drinking glass, then hand cut the leaves. A rolling pin and some cookie cutters would probably work too. I’m always a little nervous to try out a brand new recipe on people without being able to taste the finished product before it gets served. Luckily, this recipe did not fail me! The pie stayed together nicely when it was sliced, which is always a plus. I have made pies where the filling all spilled out from between the crust after you take out the first piece. Aside from it looking good, this pie was pretty delicious if you don’t mine me tooting my own baking horn.
I like to have a pretty traditional Thanksgiving meal, however dessert is one course I like to experiment with new recipes. I will definitely be making this one again.
Apple Cranberry Pie (original source: Williams Sonoma)
Ingredients (for the filling only…I used store bought crust):
3 1/4 lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbs. vanilla extract
10 oz. fresh cranberries
1/4 cup water
To make the apple-cranberry filling, in a 5 1/2-quart Dutch oven, stir together the apples, brown sugar, 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar, the cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, salt and cornstarch until the apples are evenly coated. Set over medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and vanilla, and let cool for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan, stir together the cranberries, the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and the water. Set over medium-high heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries have broken down slightly and the liquid has thickened to the consistency of a loose jam, 13 to 15 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes. Add the cranberry mixture to the apple mixture and stir to combine.
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven, place a baking sheet on the rack and preheat the oven to 400°F.
Let the pie shell, dough round and cutouts stand at room temperature for 5 minutes. Transfer the apple-cranberry filling to the pie shell and gently place the dough round over the pie. Trim the edges flush with the rim of the dish and press the top and bottom crusts together to seal. Brush the underside of the cutouts with the egg wash and gently press them onto the top crust, decorating as desired. Brush the entire top crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with the granulated sugar.
Place the pie dish on the preheated baking sheet. Bake until the crust is crisp and golden brown, about 1 hour, covering the edges with aluminum foil if they become too dark. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 1/2 hours before serving.