How did it get this late in the year guys?
I don’t know, but I’m guessing those of you celebrating a holiday tomorrow and probably even many of you that aren’t, are busy doing lots of baking now that the holiday season is in full swing. This year has been quite a whirlwind for me but I’m really enjoying that things seem to be settling down a little bit for the end of it.
I don’t typically bake that many pies throughout the year but I think there’s some unspoken law that says when the holidays roll around at least one or two pies are mandatory. Oh, and also when planning the dessert menu for Thanksgiving or Christmas a pie or two is almost always on the top of the list as nonnegotiable.
So as strange as it is after so many years of baking for a blog, I’ve never used fresh cranberries before. Mostly it’s because when I started blogging in Chile I didn’t have them available to me, but it’s also because I generally prefer craisins for using in recipes just because they are sweet and taste good on their own so it’s a bit easier to get the right balance of sweet and tart.
Some of my family prefer their pie on the sweeter side rather than tart so I will note that using craisins in place of the fresh cranberries is totally an option (but about half the amount), especially if you aren’t a big fan of the tartness in your pie. It really will just depend on your personal preference. Another thing I like to do when making fruit pies like this is to precook the filling before assembling the final pie for baking. I know many recipes will call for simply adding the fruit into the crust fresh, but I just feel like you get a better finished product and can have a little more control over it when you start with partially cooked fruit.
Alright, so I hope your baking is going well and I’d love to know what you think if you decide to try this. Be sure to let me know in the comments what you think and if you share a picture on your socials be sure to tag me so I can share it!
Spiced Cranberry Apple Pie
- 5 -6 medium apples peeled, cored, and chopped into cubes
- 2 cups fresh cranberries *see note
- 1 2/3 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons almond milk
- 2 tablespoons regular or course sugar
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 cup ice coconut oil cubed or organic vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C). Combine flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of food processor and pulse. Add coconut oil and pulse a few times more until crumbly. Add water and process until the dough comes together adding a little more water if necessary. Turn out onto lightly floured surface and form into a ball, then divide in half and flatten each half into disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 1 hour or until ready to use.
While pastry is chilling, make filling by combining coconut oil, apples, cranberries, brown sugar, and orange zest in a medium saucepan. Cook the fruit over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Whisk the cornstarch with about 3 tablespoons water and add to the pan. Bring just to a boil then reduce to low and simmer until thickened, about 1 additional minute. Stir in vanilla and remove the filling from heat; set aside.
Heat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C). Roll out one half of pastry dough on lightly floured surface into a circle that is roughly 13 inches in diameter. Gently roll around rolling pin and lift over a 9-inch pie pan. Unroll over pan and press down then trim edges leaving 1 inch of overhang.
Pour cooled cherry filling into crust, usin a rubber scraper to clean the bowl. Now roll second half of dough just like the first and either cut into strips for a lattice top or leave solid and simply cut slits for venting. Place on top of filling and trim and crimp edges (You can use the extra to make decorative pieces for top. I made cute little hearts and leaves!). Brush top with almond milk and sprinkle with sugar to make it sparkle!
Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees then reduce heat to 350 degrees F (180 C) and continue baking 25 - 30 minutes until crust is golden brown around edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool before serving.
*If you prefer to use craisins instead of fresh cranberries use more like 1 1/4 cups of brown sugar.