I’ve always had a terrible relationship with pie dough. We should see other people but I keep coming back to it over and over again with miserable results. One day I’ll learn my lesson or we’ll kiss and make up for real. I have no problems with cookie crumb crusts but getting the right thickness for pie dough and artfully crimping the crusts pretty much always ends in tears.
I made a really fun salted caramel pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving this year. The filling was deliciously smooth and creamy but it was a little let down by the crust. I swore to myself that I would put my big girl pants on and practice until I could make a flaky and beautiful pie crusts.
I hope you all really like pies…there are going to be a lot of them in 2014.
Lucky for me there is some pie-speration right here in Norwalk, CT. It’s home to Michele’s Pies! After our first visit a few weeks ago I went home and immediately ordered both of her cookbooks (more on those next year).
I wanted to make a winter pie that was a little bit Christmassy and this Cran Apple pie perfectly fits the bill. Tart and sweet. The pie crust isn’t perfect but it’s still a lot better than my previous efforts.
2 cups AP flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup + 2tbs crisco, cold
5 tbs ice water
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 cups apples (4 large apples cut, cored and cut into 1/2 inch slices)
2 tbs lemon juice
zest of 1 orange
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup AP flour
1 tbs cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 tbs unsalted butter
- Make the dough. In a medium bowl mix together the flour salt. Using a pastry blender or your fingertips mix the crisco in until it resembles course crumbs (not too much though when you roll the dough out you should see the crisco marbled throughout the dough).
- Add in the ice water 1 tbs at a time until the dough forms a ball that easily stays together. Flatten the dough into a disc. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425 F. Divide the pie dough in two and on a lightly floured surface roll the dough until it forms a 10 inch circle.
- Place the dough into a 9 inch pie place so the edges drop over the rim.
- Make the filling. In a large bowl mix together the apples, lemon juice, and orange zest. Set aside. In a small bowl mix together the sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Mix the flour mixture into the apples. Add the cranberries and toss until all the ingredients are incorporated.
- Pour into the prepared pie shell and dot with the butter. Using the rest of the pie dough roll out another 10 inch circle. Place on top of the filling and using your thumb and forefinger crimp the edges together.
- Use a fork to make a ventilation slit at the top of the pie and brush all over with the heavy cream .
- Bake on a lined baking sheet in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 250 F and bake for 40-45 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the juices bubbling.
- Transfer to a cooling rack for 1 1/2 hours.
adapted from Perfect Pies & More