Tuesday, November 25, 2008
What I'm planning to make for Thanksgiving
I made the pie below for Christmas last year. Then, as I approached my parents' house, I suddenly realized I had left the pie at home in the fridge.
Should I go back and get it? Doing so would have delayed my arrival almost two hours, and in the end, I decided that I simply couldn't deprive my family of my presence on Christmas for that long, just for a pie.
Then I went home and ate the entire pie by myself.*
The recipe's a wee bit labor-intensive, but the results are worth it. The twist in it is that you cook the apples in the microwave beforehand. I got the recipe from Cook's Illustrated, and the folks behind that organization (they also do the PBS show America's Test Kitchen) say it preserves the texture of the apples better than cooking on the stove top.
I will admit to using a boxed pie-crust mix. I have to draw the line somewhere.
2 cups frozen or fresh cranberries
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar plus 1 tbsp. for top of pie
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp. cornstarch
3-1/2 lbs. sweet apples (6-7 med.), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 egg white, beaten lightly
1) Bring cranberries, juice, 1/2-cup sugar, 1/4-tsp. cinnamon, and 1/4-tsp. salt to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, and pressing berries until berries have broken down and thickened to jam-like consistency -- 10-12 min. Remove from heat, stir in water, and cool to room temp., about 30 min.
2) Meanwhile, mix 1/2-cup sugar, 1/4-tsp. cinnamon, 1/4-tsp. salt, and cornstarch -- add apples and toss to combine. Microwave on high stirring every 3 min. until apples start to get transluscent around edges and liquid is thick and glossy -- 10 to 14 min. Cool to room temp., about 30 min.
3) Place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack and heat to 425 degrees. Remove 1 disk of dough from fridge and roll out on generously floured -- up to 1/4-cup flour -- work surface to 12-inch circle 1/8-inch thick. Roll dough onto pie plate leaving at least 1-inch overhang. Refrigerate until dough is firm -- about 30 minutes.
4) Transfer cooled cranberry mixture to dough-lined pieplate and spread into even layer. Place apple mixture on top, mounding slightly in center, and push down any sharp apple edges.
5) Roll out second disk of dough (as above) and unroll loosely over pie, leaving 1-inch overhang.
6) Using kitchen shears, cut through both layers leaving 1/2-inch overhang. Fold edges under and flute. Brush top and edges with egg white and sprinkle 1 tbsp. of sugar. Cut four 1-1/2-inch slits in top of dough in X pattern.
7) Place pie on preheated baking sheet and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce oven temp. to 375 degrees, rotate baking sheet, and bake till deep golden brown, 25 to 30 min. longer. Cool at least 2 hours on rack.