I know it is a bit late, but I promised you all Apple-Cranberry Pie. So here it is. I had intended to make it for Sukkot, but transporting a pie on the bus to be eaten a few days later is just not a good idea. So I made it for Shabbat last week and it was delish.
The reason it has taken me so long to make this pie is because we have been busy over Sukkot and just now are getting back to normal. Also, now that the holidays are over, people have come back from their travels overseas and we can see them again.
We spent most of the holiday in Jerusalem at Rocker Dude’s parents because they have a big sukkah and holidays are about family right? (Yes, yes, and food).
Being based in Jerusalem does have it’s advantages, though most of the attractions are outside the city. We spent Shabbat of Sukkot in Beit Shemesh at our friends’ parents and had a great time there. Thanks so much W.’s! The Little Rocker especially loved the little fish pond outside the house and had so much fun deciding which fish belonged to which families. (Because every family has a father, mother and one baby right?) Then on Monday we went to the Monkey Park in Ben Shemen. I’m not sure who was more excited to go – Rocker Dude or the Little Rocker. Rocker Dude has always had a thing for monkeys and somehow he managed to pass it on to the Little Rocker. We obviously made sure to bring Momo, her constant simian companion, so that he could meet his cousins. There was a section at the end where 30-40 squirrel monkeys were running loose all around the people walking through and the Little Rocker made sure to lift up Momo so that he could meet all those little monkeys. She was most excited when she saw a baby squirrel monkey riding piggy back on the mommy monkey – now she knows I’m not crazy when I want to carry her piggy back.
We spent the last day of Sukkot, actually Simchat Torah, at our friends in Ginot Shomron and had a wonderful time. The Little Rocker made sure to get her fair share of treats (though I have to admit that I hid most of them afterward when she wasn’t looking – saving them for prizes and things). There was even a small horse ranch outside the town and we took the Little Rocker to go and feed the horsies. She had a lot of fun, even if she fell down on a rock on the way and scraped her nose. And then we came back home – finally. It ain’t easy to be away for a week and living out of suitcases, but somehow we managed it.
We were invited out to friend’s for both Friday night and Shabbat lunch last week. Now that the Little Rocker is older and Shabbat comes in earlier, we can take her out at night and pretend that we have a life too ;). I was asked by H. to bring a dessert. Immediately I thought – “Apple-Cranberry Pie! This is my chance!” Now cranberries are usually a problem to find here in Israel as they are a cold weather fruit – something that doesn’t exist here (the weather I mean). When I looked at the recipe though, one of the comments made was that the filling had a lot of liquid and the author was worried that the crust would get soggy. So I decided that this would be a perfect opportunity to use dried cranberries – problem solved!
Instead of using the pie crust that came with the recipe , I used Dorie’s Good For Almost Anything pie crust recipe. I have used it before and we have an understanding. I will make a good filling for it and it will behave and stay light and flaky. It’s a mutually beneficial arrangement.
The cranberry layer
The hardest part for me is always making the crust. I love making pies and tarts but when I think about making the crust, all of a sudden I start getting lazy and I put off making whatever I was going to make. That’s the point when I rethink my plan of making a pie and start looking for one-step recipes that don’t require chilling. In my dream mansion (which will have a hover golf-cart so that we can get around all the land without messing up the gardens) I will have a huge freezer where I can make tons of pie dough and have it frozen in single-use size packages. Then I never have to feel lazy again. But until that magical future (hey – it could happen!) I just have to deal with what I have – i.e. a small freezer and no time. So last week, in order to prevent the Friday afternoon laziness, I made the crust dough on Thursday night. Go me! Advanced preparation – woo hoo! And then when I woke up on Friday morning, I had a crust that was ready to be rolled out and used.
The apple layer
I knew that H. and Y., well especially Y., like fruity desserts, so this pie would be perfect. The hardest part was waiting for the filling to cool before I could put it in the pie shell. I solved that problem by watching three episodes of Pan-Am. It is not such a bad show – kind of Mad Men-esque in that it takes place in the sixties and the characters do and say things that would get them sued today, but otherwise it is a lighter show. They don’t deal with some of the heavy things that Mad Men deals with. Of course, that may be because the show is only about 6 episodes in. Rocker Dude thinks that I only like fake shows, meaning shows that don’t make you think. But I ask you, does How I Met Your Mother really make you think? And besides, we watch Castle together and that makes you think, sort of. The point is, that by the time the three episodes were over, it was time to pick up the Little Rocker from nursery (her first day back after vacation) and when we came home, she helped me fill the pie and cover it with the top layer of dough. What a helper!
The pie baked really nicely and the crust came out nice and flaky and flavorful, even if I did use margarine instead of butter. Such is Jewish life.
Thanksgiving is coming up and I encourage everyone to try this pie for their Thanksgiving meal. It has the quintessential fall flavors of apple and cranberry and tastes delicious!
This recipe comes from Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures who took it from Cook’s Illustrated.
2 cups dried cranberries
1/4 cup apple or orange juice
1 cup (7 oz) sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 1/2 pounds sweet apples (6-7 medium), peeled, cored & cut into 1/4″ thick slices
1 double crust pie dough (recipe here)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon sugar in the raw
To make the cranberry filling: In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, juice, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries have plumped and absorbed almost all the liquid, about 10-12 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the water, and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
To make the apple filling: In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon salt and cornstarch. Add the apples and toss to coat thoroughly. Microwave the apple mixture on high power for 8-10 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes with a rubber spatula, until the liquid is thick and glossy and the apples have started to turn translucent around the edges. Let the apple filling cool to room temperature. You can microwave the apples for less time if you want more of a bite to your filling. (Note: both fillings can be made up to 2 days ahead of time and refrigerated.)
While the fillings are cooling, preheat oven to 425 F. Place a rack in the lowest position and place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack. Roll one disk of dough into a 12-inch round on a floured surface. Line a 9-inch pie plate with the dough. Spread the cooled cranberry filling in the bottom of the dough-lined pie plate. Place the cooled apple filling on top of the cranberry layer, mounding it slightly in the center. Roll out the second disk of dough to a 12-inch round on a floured surface. Transfer it to the top of the pie plate. Use kitchen shears to cut through both layers of pie dough, leaving about 1/2-inch overhang. Fold the dough under itself so that the edge of the fold is flush with the outer rim of the pie plate. Use your fingers to create a fluted edge or use the tines of a fork to seal the dough. Brush the top and edges of the pie with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with the sugar in the raw. Use a sharp paring knife to cut slits in the top crust.
Bake the pie on the preheated baking sheet until the top is light golden brown, about 20-25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 F and continue to bake until the crust is deep golden brown, about 25-30 minutes longer. Transfer the pie to a wire rack to cool for at least 2 hours before serving.