Attention Everyone. I have found my new favorite pie crust. So, throw away all your other recipes. Don’t listen to anyone else when they tell you they have the best pie crust. I have it. I found it. It’s mine now. Mine. And you’re going to benefit from it. You, if you’re near me, because I’ll be making you a pie. You, if you’re on the internet, because I’m sharing this with you.
Ah, but don’t let me gush too much about the crust. Because the FILLING of this pie? The filling, friends. It’s special too. THIS IS A REALLY FUCKING SPECIAL PIE. All of it. Together. Baked in the oven. Warm and condensed.
Because, silly me! I forgot. I forgot about how much I love pies. How basic they are. Simple butter crust, fruit and sugar, in the oven, cooled to thickness, forked in mouth. I’ve been complaining about my unstable boat forgetting that pies are the answer. Pies are never emotionally incapable. Pies would never lie to me. Pies are never so cute that they think they can get away with being a total dickslap. Pies! Pies pies pies pies pies! Just say it with me.
And another thing. It’s almost Thanksgiving. My favorite holiday. FAVORITE. Favorite favorite pie crust parsnips mashed potato volcano dark meat stuffing stuffing stuffing holiday. Gibberish! It’s what I’ve been reduced to!
AND ANOTHER THING. Those cranberries are so RED. Red cranberries and sweet white apples and brown sugar and EVERYONE’S HAPPY.
AND TWO MORE THINGS. 1) My catamaran has been repaired. 2) Golden raisins! GOLDEN!
I want you to be happy, reader (unless you have wronged my heart, in which case I hope you never find happiness. oh, you, i’m just kidding!). Therefore, it only makes sense that you make this pie for you and your family on Thanksgiving. You’ll remove it from the oven and feel a great pride in yourself. And you’ll smell it and only be slightly sad that you have uncontrollable urges to eat your poor warm flaky progeny.
Flaky Tart Dough
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup ice cold water
3 cups + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup + 5 tbsp unsalted butter, very cold
In a small bowl, add the salt to the water and stir to dissolve. Keep very cold until ready to use.
Put the flour in the bowl of an electric mixer (or any large bowl). Cut the butter into 1-in pieces and scatter the pieces over the flour (or grate frozen butter into the flour with the large holes of a box grater). Mix with the paddle attachment of your mixer until the butter is still in pieces the size of a pea (or using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter until the size of small peas). Add the salt-and-water mixture and mix for several seconds until the dough begins to come together in a ball but is not completely smooth. You should still be able to see butter chunks.
On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into 2 equal balls and shape each into a disk 1-in thick. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
Place a disk of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to 1/8″ thick. Carefully transfer to the pie dish. Cut the excess off. Roll out the other disk. When you’re ready to put the top of the pie on, lightly moisten the edge of the pie with water, press the top crust on and crimp with your fingers or a fork.
Rosy Apple Cranberry Pie
from the Pie and Pastry Bible
Pie crust for a 2-crust pie
4-5 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4″ thick (i used winesap and granny smith
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup granulated sugar (i used demerara sugar. does it make a difference? damned if i know)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
4 tsps unsalted butter
2 1/2 tbsps cornstarch
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup golden raisins (or 2 extra tbsp sugar)
In a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, sugars, cinnamon, and salt, and toss to mix. Allow the apples to macerate for a minimum of 30 minutes and maximum of 3 hours at room temp. Transfer the apple mixture to a colander suspended over a bowl to capture the liquid. You should have about 6 tbsps of liquid.
In a small saucepan, boil down this liquid with the butter, to 1/4 cup, or until syrupy and lightly caramelized. Swirl the liquid but don’t stir it. Meanwhile, transfer the apples to a bowl and toss them with the cornstarch until all traces of it have disappeared.
Pour hot syrup over the apples, tossing gently. Add the cranberries and raisins and gently mix.
Pour the filling into the pie crust. Moisten the edge and press the top crust on. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before baking (this will relax the pastry and keep it flaky).
Preheat the oven to 425. Set an oven rack at the lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on it. Cut several slits into the top of the pie crust and set the pie directly on the baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the juices are bubbling out through the slits and the apples feel tender but not mushy. After 30 minutes you can protect the edges from overbrowning with a foil ring. Cool for at least 4 hours before cutting. Store at room temp for up to 2 days.
[this post is dedicated to my dear Sassafras, the best dog there ever was]