Pastry Recipes

Apple-Cranberry Single-Crust Pie

the season for apples and cranberries, so why not put them together? 
Surfing around in Cook’s Illustrated, which I subscribe to online for its
archive, I came upon a pie recipe with apples and cranberries.  It
prepped the cranberries and apples separately and then layered one under
the other to make the pie.  It also called for microwaving the sliced
apples.  Weird, but  . . . 

We’ve made lots of pies without ever zapping the filling.  But
we tried it.  When microwaved, the apples gained a soft and translucent
texture that survived the baking process without getting mushy, which I
feared would be the result.  So, try it!  Anyhow, here’s the
recipe with quite a few changes and with the microwave feature retained.

Apple-Cranberry Single Crust Pie

Yield:  One 9″ pie for eight 

See Abbreviations, if needed

For the cranberries:

2C         fresh cranberries

1/4C      orange juice

1/2C      sugar

For the apples:

1T          fresh lemon juice

TT         several grinds of cinnamon and nutmeg

1/2t        salt

1T          cornstarch

1/2C       sugar

5-6         large, crisp and firm apples (we used Honeycrisps from Washington State)

1            pie dough (pre-made OK), ambient 

1            egg white, beaten

10-12     Red Hots (optional) (lends taste and

1.  Place cranberries, OJ and sugar in a heavy pot and BTB over
medium heat. Stir, as berries pop and break down into a sauce. Continue to cook and reduce the juices until jam like. Set aside to cool

2.  Whisk together the lemon juice, spices, salt, cornstarch and
sugar in a large microwave-safe bowl

3.  Core, peel and slice the apples about 3/8″ thick (use your
mandoline if you have one)

4.  Toss the apple slices to coat each thoroughly  (do Steps
3 & 4 one-apple-at-a-time to prevent  apple slices from discoloring)

5.  Microwave the apples for about 9 minutes until they soften
and look translucent and the  sauce thickens, stirring every 3 minutes. 
Set aside to cool

6.  Lightly grease pie pan, roll out the dough to make a round
that will hang over the pie plate by an inch or more

7.  Place dough into pie plate, smooth out the overhang and place
in fridge to firm up, about 5 minutes

8.  When fillings have cooled (100F more or less), remove pie
pan from fridge then transfer and  spread cranberries to layer them across the bottom of the pie (there should be little if any cranberry juice)

9.  With a slotted spoon or spatula, place apples atop of the
cranberry layer and spread out  evenly by hand (add the residual juice in
the microwave bowl only if the apples look dry)

10  Carefully fold up the pie dough flap over the apples and paint
the flap with beaten egg white

11.  (Optional)  strategically sprinkle the Red Hots (cinnamon
candies) in the center of the pie where there is no pie dough

12.  Bake in a pre-heated 425F oven for about 25 minutes, reduce
heat to 375F until crust is evenly golden brown and the filling
is bubbling joyously, about 25 minutes more

13.  Remove pie from oven, rack and cool 

14.  Slice and serve with a scant scoop of vanilla ice cream

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