Cranberry-Apple Pie and Going Home

I know, I know– Thanksgiving is over, and it’s time to diet again in anticipation of your next eating marathon (only 23 days to go!!!).  But this pie is SO yummy! And it would work just as well for Christmas as it did for Thanksgiving.  You could also make it just because.  After all, it’s fruit, right?  I’m pretty sure a nutritionist would definitely endorse a 1:1 exchange of fresh fruit and pie in your diet.  If you’re not sure, you should probably check with La Diva Dietitian, whose website I stumbled upon at work (seriously, I was doing actual work when this came up, I promise!) and who might be the most amazing ever.  Also, brace yourselves– this is going to be a longggg and photo-heavy post.  I handed the camera over to BF for the pie-making session, and he turned into QUITE the shutterbug!

My (very cooperative) photographer for the night-- the only photo I took myself!

My (very cooperative) photographer for the night– the only photo I took myself!

As you might have guessed, since maybe you did too, I went home for Thanksgiving this past week.  It was a wonderful visit full of people I love, both friends and family.  And one of my dearest friends Alex stayed with my family for the holiday, so I got to pretend like I had a sister for a week– there was lots of late-night gossiping to be done!

Alex hard at work on the filling.

Alex hard at work on the pie filling.  BF hard at work on sneaking cookies and checking Twitter.

In between life chats, we managed to squeeze in a little pie-making for the family dinner on Turkey Day.  I came across a recipe for Cranberry-Apple Pie a while ago, and thought it sounded perfect– you still have the classic apple pie taste going on, but it gets a fresh and wintry twist from the cranberries.  So I decided I’d make my  family my guinea pigs (sorry guys).  Good thing this turned out well!

My very first post goes through the steps of making pie crust by hand (you can find it here!), so the following is mostly going to just be photos of the process:

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Cut shortening in with a pastry cutter.  Mix in water and transfer to pie board, handling minimally.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut shortening in with a pastry cutter. Mix in water and transfer to floured pie board, handling minimally.

pie crust

Roll out dough and use your pie plate to ensure that the dough will fill it, leaving about an inch extra around the plate.

Roll out dough and use your pie plate to ensure that the dough will fill it, leaving about an inch extra around the plate.

Loosen dough (I use a frosting spatula).

Loosen dough (I use a frosting spatula).

Use one hand to hold the pie plate and the other to flip the board (don't get hesitant here.  It's like ripping off a bandaid-- the faster you go for it, the better)!

Use one hand to hold the pie plate and the other to flip the board (don’t get hesitant here. It’s like ripping off a bandaid– the faster you go for it, the better)!

If your crust tears in some spots, don't worry about it.  Just use overhang crust to patch it!

If your crust tears in some spots, don’t worry about it. Just use overhang crust to patch it!

Gently push the crust into the pie plate and trim any excess.

Gently push the crust into the pie plate and trim any excess.

Pinch around the edges to create an easy crimp.

Pinch around the edges to create an easy crimp.

When you're done, it will look like this!

When you’re done, it will look like this!

Roll out excess crust and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (and walnuts, if you're me and are using leftover cinnamon bun filling you found in the cupboard.  Thanks mom!)

Roll out excess crust and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar (and walnuts, if you’re me and are using leftover cinnamon bun filling you found in the cupboard. (Thanks mom!)

Roll 'em up and bake (only part of the time!) right along with the pie.

Roll ’em up and bake (only part of the time– keep an eye on them!) right along with the pie.

Meanwhile, force captive friends to slice apples and cranberries and stir with sugar (exact measurements below).

Meanwhile, force captive friends to slice apples and cranberries and stir with sugar (exact measurements below).

Pretty, no?

Pretty, no?

During the pie's initial bake (again, see below), mix the crumb topping ingredients til you have coarse crumbs.

During the pie’s initial bake (again, see below), mix the crumb topping ingredients til you have coarse crumbs.

Sprinkle on pie and reinsert in the oven for remaining bake time.

Sprinkle on pie and reinsert in the oven for remaining bake time.

The pie should be golden-y and bubbly around the edges when it's ready.

The pie should be golden-y and bubbly around the edges when it’s ready.

Details for the pie’s filling (original recipe here):

  • 2 c. Apples (peeled, cored, and sliced thin)
  • 2 c. fresh cranberries (if frozen, thaw)
  • 2/3 c. Sugar
  • 1 T. Lemon Juice
  • 1 1/2 T. Flour

Stir ingredients well and transfer to pie crust.  I like to do this a bit in advance to let flavors meld, but if you don’t do that, no biggie.  Bake at 400.  After 30 minutes, remove and add Crumb Topping:

  • 1/2 c. Flour
  • 1/2 c. Sugar
  • 1/2 t. Cinnamon (feel free to be liberal here; I was and didn’t regret it)
  • 4 T. cold butter, cut into small pieces

Rub butter into dry ingredients til coarse crumbs form.  Top pie with crumbs and return to oven at 375 for 30 minutes.  Allow pie to cool before serving.

Just because Thanksgiving is over doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to keep making pie.  If anything, Thanksgiving should have opened the floodgates on pie for the season!  This pie turned out really well– I was nervous that the filling would lack pizazz because there aren’t any spices in it, but the tartness of the cranberries gave it a lot of flavor.  My guinea pigs were all pretty happy with it, which is my usual measure of success for these things!  Up next this week (it’s finals season for me, so I will probably be blogging a bit more often in an attempt to escape my textbooks for a little while) will be not one, but TWO salad recipes to help you and your scale become friends again post-holiday.  Or at least not mortal enemies?

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