It's no secret that The Mister's favorite dessert is PIE! Specifically, APPLE PIE! I haven't baked his much desired pie in quite a while and feeling a bit inspired today I decided to change up his traditional apple pie by adding fresh cranberries. While looking through my cabinets to see what I might have on hand to pack a little more WOW punch into his apple cranberry pie, I found a bag of dried blueberry infused cranberry/raisins. Hmmm...now the wheels are turning. Why not soak the raisins in something...like rum or brandy? I don't have any rum or brandy but I do have rum extract/flavoring. And oh look...I have a big and beautiful fresh lemon! So I grabbed 6 apples and the lemon from the refrigerator, pulled a bag of frozen/fresh cranberries from the freezer, took the raisins and flavorings from the cabinet and then headed to the spice rack for some cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cardamom. Let's start baking!
Apple - Cranberry Pie
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup cold shortening
5 to 7 tablespoons ice water
1/2 cup raisins (I used blueberry infused dried cranberries)
2 tablespoons of rum extract (or real rum if you have it). Water may also be used
1 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries (divided)
3/4 cup sugar (divided)
6 medium apples
2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel (zest)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Glaze for the top crust:
2 teaspoons sugar
dash of ground cinnamon
dash of freshly grated nutmeg
dash of ground cardamom
1 tablespoon cream
- In a small bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt. Cut in the COLD butter and shortening until crumbly. If mixing in a food processor, pulse just a few times. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork just until the dough holds together when you pinch it in your fingers. (If mixing in a food processor you'll only need to pulse it 6 or 7 times.) Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a flattened circle shape and wrap them separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or overnight).
- In a small bowl combine the raisins and rum and let them soak together for about 20 minutes.
- Place 3/4 cup cranberries and 1/4 cup sugar in a flood processor and pulse until the cranberries are rough chopped. Transfer the chopped cranberries/sugar mixture to a large bowl. Add the apples, the rum soaked raisins, tapioca, lemon juice, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and the remaining1/2 cup of sugar. Stir to combine all ingredients together. Let the filling mixture stand for 15 minutes.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out half of the dough (one of the flattened dough rounds) into a 1/8th inch thick circle and transfer it to a 9 inch pie pan. Trim the pastry to at least 1/2 inch beyond the rim of the plate to allow for crimping later. Spoon in the filling mixture onto you pie pastry lined pie plate.
- Roll the remaining dough to 1/8th inch thick circle and cut into approximately 1/2 inch wide strips. Create a lattice pattern by weaving the pie pastry dough strips like a basket weave.. Trim and seal the strips to the edge of the bottom pastry and then flute or crimp the edges. With the remaining 1/4 cup of fresh cranberries, place the berries into the openings between the lattice strips.
- FOR THE GLAZE: in a small bowl mix the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom and set aside. In a separate bowl whisk the egg and cream and brush over the lattice top. Sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon/spice mixture over the top of the of the egg/cream washed lattice.
- Bake on the lowest oven rack at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F and bake for another 40 - 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
- Cool for at least 30 minutes. If is delicious served warm with a small ball of vanilla ice cream.
This is most definitely NOT your traditional apple pie. It is packed with flavors. The contrast of the sweet apple, zingy cranberries, tart lemon and spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and a hint of cardamom make this pie unforgettably flavorful.
Until next time,
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