I, like most of us, continue to try to find ways to use up the Thanksgiving leftovers. While I never really grow tired of apple pie, I was looking for something just a little different since I made four different pies for Thanksgiving. I also wanted to use up my leftover cranberries. What a delightful surprise this tart was. I actually made two of them and we devoured them at a recent Sunday evening dinner with neighbors. I used Northern Spy apples which is a favorite pie apple here in Michigan – I have fond memories of my grandmother’s apple pies made with them. You can certainly use any apple that you like for pie, but keep in mind that the cranberries add tartness, so if you use a tart apple like a Granny Smith, you’ll want to increase the sugar a bit. Another of my favorite baking apples is the Macintosh because of it’s sweet/tart flavor, but they are not as firm and I think a firmer apple works better in the tart. I served the tart with whipped cream because, you guessed it, I had it leftover, but vanilla ice cream would be an even better accompaniment. As is also typical for me, I used Pillsbury pie crust – I know I’ve sung its praises before, but I can’t emphasize enough how much more likely I am to make a pie, tart, or quiche if I don’t have to mess (literally) with the crust.
- 1/4 Cup (firmly packed) Light Brown Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Sugar (plus additional for sprinkling on crust)
- 1/4 Cup Flour
- 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. Ground Nutmeg
- 3-4 Large, Firm Baking Apples, such as Northern Spy – peeled, cored and sliced
- 1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Cranberries
- 1 TBS. Unsalted Butter
- 1-2 TBS. Lemon Juice
- 2 tsp. Milk or Cream
- 1 Pie Crust (store bought or see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 425 Degrees. Add sliced apples to a large bowl and coat with lemon juice to prevent them from turning brown. Add sugars, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and cranberries. Toss ingredients until well combined and the apples and cranberries are well coated with the dry ingredients. Lay the pie crust out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pile the apple cranberry filling in the center of the crust leaving about a 2 inch rim around the edge. Dot the filling with pieces of butter. Fold the edges of the crust over the filling – working your way around the whole tart. Brush the crust with milk or cream and sprinkle generously with sugar. Bake at 425 Degrees for 15 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 350 Degrees. Bake for another 50-60 minutes until the crust is golden brown, the apples and berries are softened. If crust starts getting too brown during the cooking process, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Allow to cool slightly and then transfer to a serving plate or, if not serving immediately, a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream.
For Homemade Pie Crust:
Pate Brise (Pie Crust):
- 2 1/2 Cups All Purpose flour
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 Sticks ( 1 Cup) Unsalted Butter – well chilled and cut into small pieces
- 1/4 – 1/2 Cup Ice Water
The key to a good flaky crust is to use very cold ingredients and don’t overwork the dough.
Add flour, salt and sugar to a food processor and mix until combined. Add butter and pulse for 7-10 seconds until flour mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add water in a steady stream through processor tube, pulsing while adding. Continue pulsing and adding water just until dough holds together. Dough should not be wet or mushy, but must hold together enough to roll out – if it doesn’t hold together to form a ball, slowly add a little more water until it does. Divide dough into two equal parts and form into balls, slightly flatten balls (they will chill faster and be easier to roll out). Cover in plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour. Remove 1 dough disc from refrigerator and place on a floured work surface. Flour a rolling pin, and roll dough out to desired thickness or size necessary to fit in pie plate. Repeat process for top crust after filling bottom crust.