My annual contrib to the meal is apple cranberry currant pie.
PREP AND COOK TIME: About 1 1/2 hours, plus at least 1 hour to cool
MAKES: 8 [adult male or teenager] servings
1/4 cup Gran Marnier [or brandy, if you are short on the good stuff]
1/4 cup currants [look like tiny raisins – you could use raisins in a pinch but they are not the same]
1 cup fresh [or thawed frozen] cranberries [I find fresh make a tarter pie – I am OK with tart]
About 1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup tapioca flour [I never use cornstarch in a fruit pie]
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 oz 1/2+1/2
6 cups sliced/chopped Granny Smith apples [about 2 1/4 lb]. I like the skin on for this pie – it’s more “rustic”.
2×9-inch pie pastry shells – I either make my own or buy really great shells at Central Market. When I make my own it is in no way unusual.
1. In a small bowl, combine Gran Marnier and currants. Cover and let stand until currants are plump, at least 1 hour. [Sometimes I cheat and do not soak this long. No biggie. The plumpness of currants is mainly a texture deal. Also, pre-warming the Gran Marnier quickens the plumping]
2. Chop/slice apples, skin on, using a mix of techniques for slices and chunks. If there will be a delay between prep and oven, put the 6 cups of apples in a big bowl and add a little OJ to keep them from browning. LATER YOU MUST THOROUGHLY DRAIN AND PAT DRY THE APPLES! My grandmother taught me the OJ instead of lemon juice trick about 56 years ago.
3. Sort cranberries and discard any that are bruised or decayed. Rinse and drain berries.
4. In a large bowl, mix sugar, tapioca flour, nutmeg, and salt. With a slotted spoon, lift currants from Gran Marnier ; reserve Gran Marnier. Add currants, cranberries, and chopped apples to fructose mixture and mix well. Taste and add more fructose if desired. Pour filling into unbaked pie pastry in pan. Cut hole pattern in top crust. Mix 1/2+1/2 with reserved Gran Marnier and cinnamon and brush liberally on pie crust. Carefully braid foil around pie’s edge to keep pie from from crisping-burning on crust edge that overlaps the pan during baking. [Later, pass off the tiny pieces of foil that some guest finds in the crust edge as “healthy mineral”. :-)]
5. Bake on the bottom rack of a 375° oven until juices bubble around edges and through top holes, 55 to 65 minutes. If pie browns too quickly – check after 30 minutes – cover loosely with foil.
6. Set pie, uncovered, on a rack until cool to touch, at least 1 hour.
Filed under: Bites and Pieces |