This was my first foray into a true all-butter (as in no other fats--this broad don't mess with lard or shortening!) pie crust. Really, it wasn't as terrible as I feared, and was hugely successful and sinfully flaky and delicious. Another thing I can add to the "what took me so long?" list.
I made the crust ahead of time, knowing it would keep just fine in the fridge until I was ready. This saved me a huge amount of waiting around and work time on the day I needed to make the pie. With all the other holiday baking I had going on, anything I could do to economize on my time was certainly worthwhile!
Then the next anxiety-ridden step was lifting the dough and molding it in the pie plate. Thankfully, I was able to lift and place it with no tears and no cracks. Whew! I decided on the simplest crimp for the crust, but even that took a bit of work to get the hang of--it's simply pinching the dough, but you have to make sure it holds correctly (you're pinching the "extra" dough that had been trimmed and left hanging over the edge of the pie plate). Just like using a piping bag, it took a little work (and practice on scrap bits) to get it right.
By the time I was done, I was actually quite pleased with my very first pie crust! I mean...it looked like all the photos I had seen! Thankfully, the only step left for the crust was to pop it in the fridge while I worked on the filling. This crust simply bakes with the filling, so I didn't need to use pie weights to blind bake or anything. I didn't even need to prick vents in it. I like it: keep things simple!
The filling for this particular pie was apples and cranberries. Because the recipe used 3 Honeycrisps and 2 Granny Smiths, that's exactly what I used. As well as half a bag of fresh cranberries. Perhaps the best part was that once the apples had all been peeled and sliced, you mixed them with some lemon juice and spices and left them to macerate and give up quite a lot of juice! The juice was then caramelized on the stovetop and dumped over the apples and cranberries once they were placed in the pie crust. Oh my!
|Caramelizing the spiced apple juice.|
|Almost ready for the oven!|
Now, I said earlier the pie crust recipe makes enough for a double-crusted pie. This is just a bottom-crust pie. So what topped it? Why, a delicious crumble!
*Should your crust tear, you can just use some of the extra scraps to make a little patch--once it's baked, no one will ever know.
And as for that other crust left waiting in my fridge? I used up a few leftover ingredients in the pantry/fridge to make a lemon buttermilk pie with an orange cranberry jam sauce on top. MMM MMM!