Simple Art of Cooking: Giving Thanks for Holiday Pie and Cranberries

Homemade Organic Apple Pie Dessert
Photo credit: bhofack2/iStock/Thinkstock


Yield: 1 pint

1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup dry red wine
1 2-inch stick cinnamon
3 3-inch peels navel orange
1/4 cup orange juice
1 12-ounce package fresh cranberries

Combine first five ingredients in a non-corrosive 3-quart saucepan and stir to mix. Bring to the boil. Adjust heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add cranberries and stir occasionally until cranberries pop and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Pour sauce into a glass or ceramic bowl. Cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves 8 to 10

Note: the pie bakes at two different temperatures.

4 to 5 apples such as Granny Smith or Gala
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup sugar
4 to 5 tablespoons prepared cranberry sauce

Preheat oven to 450°F.

1. Peel and core the apples; cut into 11/2” wedges and place in a mixing bowl. Add the cinnamon and allspice and toss to mix. Add the cranberry sauce and toss again to coat the apples well.

2. Cut the chilled pastry dough into thirds. Refrigerate one third. Combine remaining thirds and roll out the large piece of pastry on a lightly floured surface until about 13” around. Starting at the top end roll the dough onto the rolling pin and carefully lower the dough into a 10- to 12-inch Pyrex pie plate with a lip. The dough is very forgiving and you can move it about to fit the plate evenly. Trim pastry edges overlapping the plate and save. With a fork, prick the bottom dough all over and flute the outer edges of the pastry. Transfer the apple mixture into the bottom crust. Roll out the one-third chilled pastry large enough to cover the pie. If you like, cut little designs out of the trimmings and make a decorative design over the top crust. Brush the top crust and edge lightly with water. Place the pie in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F for 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is golden and juices bubble up. Can complete pie a day or two ahead, reheat in a 350°F oven to serve warm. Serve after Thanksgiving dinner with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

(Short crust pastry dough)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch sugar
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
3 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
6 tablespoons ice water plus 1 teaspoon as necessary

Fit work bowl of food processor with steel knife. Place flour, salt and sugar in work bowl, cover and process with two quick on/off pulses, just to mix. Remove cover and add cold butter and shortening directly into bowl. Cover and process until mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Stop the machine, measure ice water into a liquid measure. Start machine and slowly pour water through feed tube in a steady stream. The moment the last drop of water is in, turn off machine even though the flour mixture in no way resembles a ball of dough. (If ball of dough is allowed to form in the machine the pastry will be overworked.) Remove cover and steel knife and empty contents of work bowl onto a lightly floured surface. If any dough sticks to the steel knife, slide it off carefully and add to mass of dough. Continue to blend the dough as above, gathering it into a ball.

Refrigerate pâte brisée, wrapped in wax paper, before rolling out and proceed as directed in recipe.

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