Flaky Pie Pastry:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
4 to 5 tablespoons ice water
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
6 large apples (3 Granny Smith apples and 3 Braeburn apples, about 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
½ cup golden raisins
Tip: Use a citrus juicer for freshly squeezed juice.
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water
Approximately 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Flaky Pie Pastry:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt; whisk together to mix. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut butter and shortening into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Drizzle the ice water over the mixture and toss with a fork until the dough is evenly moist and begins to come together in a mass but does not form a ball.
- Divide dough into 2 portions, a larger portion using about 2/3 of the dough and a smaller portion using about 1/3 of the dough. Gently pat the larger portion into a 6 inch disc and the smaller portion into a 3 inch disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and firm, 30 to 60 minutes.
- Remove the larger dough disc from refrigerator. If the dough is too cold and is hard to roll out, let stand at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes. On a lightly floured pastry mat or pastry board, and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a circle about 1/8 inch thick. The circle will be larger than 12 inches, providing enough to line the pie pan and scraps for the leaves. Transfer rolled dough to a 9 inch pan. Trim the overhang to about ¾ inches. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate pie shell until firm, at least 30 minutes.
- From the dough scraps, and using a small sharp knife, cut out 20 leaves. Re-roll the scraps if necessary. Use the back of the knife to press lines into the dough to resemble the veining on a leaf. Transfer to a plate, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Prepare filling while dough is chilling. In a large bowl, combine granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
- Peel, core, and slice apples into ¼ to 1/8 inch pieces. Toss apple pieces into the sugar mixture, stir until well mixed. Sprinkle lemon juice over the apple mixture, stir until well mixed. Let the apples sit to develop the juices (macerate) for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Transfer the apples to a colander suspended over a bowl to capture the liquid. The fruit should release 1 to 1¼ cups of liquid. Transfer the apples to a bowl and toss them with the cornstarch until all traces of the cornstarch have disappeared.
- In a small heavy saucepan over medium to medium-high heat, combine the apple liquid and butter; boil the boil the liquid down to about ¾ to 1 cup, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, about 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is a dark amber color and is syrupy. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Pour the hot syrup over the apples, tossing gently. Add the cranberries and raisins, and toss gently to mix. Set aside until top pastry is rolled out. Just before you are ready to create the lattice top, pour the fruit mixture into the chilled pie shell.
- Remove the smaller dough disc from refrigerator. If the dough is too cold and is hard to roll out, let stand at room temperature for 10 to 20 minutes.
- Roll the dough into a 13 inch circle, about 1/8 inches thick. Using a fluted or straight-edge pastry wheel, pizza cutter, or kitchen knife, cut twelve ¾ inch strips.
- Arrange 6 strips evenly spaced and ¾ inches apart, horizontally over the fruit filling that has been poured into the chilled pie shell, placing the longest strips in the middle. Each end of the strips should overhang the pie by at least 1 inch. Working from the right side, gently fold back every other strip, a little past the center, so that they are doubled back on themselves. Lay a vertical strip down the center next to the folds in the horizontal strips. Unfold the horizontal folded strips back over this strip to create a weave. Again, working from the right side, fold the other 3 horizontal strips back on themselves. Lay a second vertical strip next to the folds. The new strip should be parallel to, and ¾ inch from the first vertical strip. Repeat once more, so that ½ of the pie is woven. Turn the pie around. Weave the opposite side of the pie as you did the first side using the remaining three strips of pastry.
- Trim the pastry strips, leaving a 1 inch overhang around the pie. Fold the pastry strips under the bottom pastry. Gently Press the two layers together to seal the edge. Remove the dough leaves from the refrigerator. Arrange the leaves around the edge, gently pressing the base of each leaf to the woven edge.
- Cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate 30 minutes before baking to re-chill the pastry.
- While pie is refrigerating, preheat oven to 425 degrees F, allowing 15 to 20 minutes for the oven to preheat before baking.
- Remove pie from refrigerator. In a small bowl, combine egg and water; whisk with a fork or wire whisk to thoroughly break up the egg. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the lattice and leaves with the egg glaze. Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the pie. Tip: if you don’t have a pastry brush, dip your finger in the egg and gently spread the egg glaze over the top of the pastry.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil or parchment paper. Place pie on the baking sheet and transfer to the oven.
Tip: Fruit pies are juicy and usually bubble over; bubbling fruit juices are very sticky and can be hard to clean up. There are a few solutions for easy clean up. Place the pie on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with foil or parchment paper. If using foil, grease the foil for easier removal, or juices that have bubbled over will cause the foil to stick to the bottom of the pan. Discard the paper or foil along with the spilled juices after baking. Or, place a non-stick Teflon baking pad on top of un-greased foil, curve up the edges of the foil to keep the juices from spilling onto the floor of the oven, and place the pie directly on the baking pad. Or, place a drip pan lined with foil on a lower oven rack underneath the pie while it is baking to catch the juices when they bubble over.
- Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F. Bake an additional 50 to 60 minutes, or until the juices are thick and bubbling and the crust is a golden brown. Rotate the pan during baking if necessary for even browning. Tip: During baking, if crust is getting too brown, loosely place a piece of foil over the top to prevent the crust from over-browning.
- Remove pie from oven. Cool completely on a wire cooling rack before cutting and serving. Tip: let the pie cool at least 4 hours to allow the juices to thicken. Otherwise the juices will be very liquid and will flow out of the crust when it is cut.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Clements, Carole, Baking, Hermes House, New York, 2001
Williams Sonoma, Essentials of Baking, Welden Owen Inc, California, 2003
Mushet, Cindy and Sur La Table, The Art & Soul of Baking, Andrews McMeel Publishing, Missouri, 2008
Beranbaum, Rose Levy, The Pie and Pastry Bible, Scribner, New York, 1998