Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday is PIE DAY!

Today features the promised recipe from the "new baby care package" I delivered last week.  Cranberries are one of my favorite ingredients for baking, and I think that they are terribly underutilized.  Everyone has the ubiquitous cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, but many folks don't venture far beyond that.  Our farm was in cranberry country (Wisconsin is one of the top cranberry producing states), and I loved being able to pick up 5 or 10 lb bags of cranberries at our local grocery store.  They freeze really well, so it's easy to sock away a bunch to add punch to your baking all through the winter.  I have even found that you can toss them into a pie still frozen and get great results. 

When I baked these, I wanted a pie for the care package and a pie for us, so I used a single pie crust for each and just baked them "rustic style" by rolling the crust a little larger than I normally would, then just flopping it over (artistically, of course) the filling.  This method is less fussy than doing a double crust, and it leaves a big swatch of the filling visible on top of the pie to tempt.  You can also use this recipe to make a single, deep dish pie with 2 crusts.

Cranberry Apple Raisin Pie

2 crust pastry
3 cups apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup golden raisins
2 cups sugar
3 T flour
2 T butter
1/2 t cinnamon or nutmeg, or a combo

-mix apples, cranberries and raisins together with 1 cup of the sugar

-pour into prepared crust 
-top with remaining sugar and flour
-dot with slices of the butter
-sprinkle with cinnamon/nutmeg
-top or flop with crust
-bake at 350 for 65-75 minutes, until filling is bubbly and crust is browned

Cranberries add a tart surprise and gorgeous color to a traditional apple pie, and you could certainly omit the raisins and add more cranberries if you like a really tart pie.  Adding the raisins sweetens the mix, and adds a very cherry-like flavor to the pie.  You could also add chopped pecans or walnuts to either of these for an extra treat-just feel free to experiment and come up with your favorite combo. 

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