November 30, 2010

Cranberry-Apple Crumble Pie

Cranberries. Small, round balls of bouncy joy.  (You knew they bounced, right?)  Fresh cranberries are seldom seen outside November/December and so, are indicative of the holiday season and nothing else for me.  They make lovely decorations, but they make even better eats.  I put them in some awesome scones and made a delicious sauce, but they really seemed to shine in this apple-cranberry crumble pie.  This is the most perfect apple pie I’ve ever had the pleasure of eating, let alone making.  I know, I said I already have my apple pie just a few months ago, and it is the same crust, but the filling is even more perfect and the crumb topping is so much more flavourful and easier to eat than a top crust.  
The filling is perfectly cooked to give a great consistency. Not to goopy, not to thick.  It’s got a bit of cinnamon in it and the lemon really brightens it up.  The cranberries make for a beautiful foil to the sweet apples.  The crumb topping is just how it should be, nutty, buttery and cinnamony.  This pie evokes a familiar fall scent, colour and taste that is perfect for Thanksgiving.
Cranberry-Apple Crumble Pie
Adapted from Gourmet, Thanksgiving Issue, November 2009

2 1/2 c flour
1/2 t salt
1 c cold butter, cubed
1/4 c ice water
3 T sour cream (I used yogurt)
Crumble Topping:
3/4 c flour
1/4 c brown sugar (I used dark)
1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t salt (leave out if you use salted butter)
4 T unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 c pecans, coarsely chopped (I used walnuts)
2 lb firm apples (about 5), peeled, cored and thinly sliced (I used honeycrisp)
8 oz of fresh or frozen not thawed cranberries
1/2 c brown sugar 
3 T flour
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
2 1/2 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 c unsalted butter cut into 1/2 inch pieces

To make crust: in a large bowl, whisk flour with salt.  Using a pastry blender cut in butter until there are only fine crumbs with a few larger pieces.
In a liquid measure whisk water in with sour cream.  Drizzle over flour mixture and toss briefly with a fork adding a little more water if necessary until ragged dough forms.

Divide dough in half and press into 2 disks, wrap.  Refrigerate until chilled, 30 minutes or longer.

For the topping, stir together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a bowl.  Blend in butter with your fingertips until large clumps form, this stir in nuts.  Refrigerate until needed.  
For the filling, stir together apples, cranberries, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and lemon juice in a large bowl.
To assemble pie preheat oven to 425 F with a rack in the lower third of the oven.  Roll out pie dough on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin to around 13 inches, then fit to the plate.  Trim the excess, leaving a 1/2 inch overhand, then fold the overhand under and crimp decoratively.  Transfer fruit filling to pie shell and dot with butter.  Loosely cover with foil and bake until apple droop slightly, about 30 minutes.  Reduce oven temp to 375 F and sprinkle crumble topping over filling and bake, uncovered, until crumble is browned, filling is bubbly and apples are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Cool completely.  

I topped mine with maple whipped cream.

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