Monday, November 29, 2010

The Most Food-Filled Hoilday

I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land - Jon Stewart

What we're really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? - Erma Bombeck

Photo by Mark Thomas not me.

I celebrated Thanksgiving this year. It's a tradition. The husband's parents flew in and we spent most of our 4 day vacation at his sister and brother-in-law's house. With all holidays spent with families it was a stressful one but we had a good time and I made an AMAZING pie. Seriously, I rocked the shit out of this pie.

Now I like cooking, but I really love baking. My secret dream is to own my own little bakery where I can whip up delicious treats for my friends but also have a kick-ass food menu that resembles Hot Chocolate, The Bristol, and Longman & Eagle. You know what I mean. Now that you know my little secret, I will tell you one thing that for sure will be included on the menu and that is Apple Cranberry Pie.

I like to brag from time to time, but only when I totally deserve the right to do it. This pie is one of those times. Hot damn was it good!
First the crust, it was flaky and buttery and basically perfection
The layer of tart but sweet cranberry sauce covered the bottom of the pie crust and then it was topped with thinly sliced (I FINALLY used my mandoline) golden delicious and granny smith apples that had been tosses with flour, sugar, cinnamon and a little nutmeg.
I baked that bitch for like an hour and SCAGIMAGOWZA (pronounced sca-ja-ma-gow-za) it was amazing. My family enjoyed the hell out of this pie. As did I.

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup 100% cranberry juice

2 cups cranberries (about 8 ounces)

2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced

1 3/4 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

(makes top and bottom crust)
3 cups all-purpose flour
5 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2teaspoon salt
8 to 10 tablespoons ice water

Make dough:
Blend together flour, butter, and salt in a bowl with your fingertips or a pastry blender (or pulse in a food processor) until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Drizzle evenly with 4 tablespoons ice water and gently stir with a fork (or pulse in processor) until incorporated.

Squeeze a small handful of dough: If it doesn't hold together, add more ice water, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until incorporated, then test again. (Do not overwork dough or pastry will be tough.)

Turn mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 4 portions. With heel of your hand, smear each portion once or twice in a forward motion to help distribute fat. Gather all of dough together with scraper and press into a ball, then flatten into a 5-inch disk. Chill dough, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, until firm, at least 1 hour

Stir 3/4 cup sugar and juice in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cranberries; bring to simmer. Reduce heat; simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Cool. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)

Toss all apples, flour, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl to blend.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch deep-dish glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Spread cranberry mixture over crust bottom. Top with apple mixture; dot with butter. Roll out second dough disk on floured surface to 13-inch round; drape over apples. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Press crust edges together to seal; crimp. Cut 1-inch hole in center. Brush crust with milk. Mix remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and pinch of cinnamon in small bowl; sprinkle over crust.

Bake pie 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 375°F and bake until crust is golden, about 50 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool at least 2 hours. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.