I’ve set out on the very serious task of brainstorming ALL of the Thanksgiving pies. Good reason. I’m preparing the welcome most ALL of my family to New Orleans for Thanksgiving. There will be no turkey in my oven. There will be no stuffing. Green beans and cranberry sauce are a major maybe.
There will be a tremendous amount of gumbo and an equally tremendous amount of pie, Apple Cranberry among them.
In addition to a bounty of gumbo and pie, I’m also prepared for a week full of (ohhh gosh) family fun with a detailed week-long itinerary, a bull horn, a few bottles of bourbon, and a whistle. I mean… right?
Grab your apples. Grab your cranberries. We’re here to smash bang.
I used to varieties of apples for this pie. Variety is nice for flavor and texture. Honey Crisp (aka the best apple in the world) for it’s sweet side. Granny Smith for it’s sour kick and firm texture.
Peel and slice like a boss.
Apples are combined with lemon juice, granulated sugar, brown sugar, spices, and salt.
Toss all the way. All the spices and all the sweet onto the apples coating them both evenly and generously.
Now for the extra step that separates the men from the boys… the great apple pies from the good apple pies.
Place the lemony, sugary spiced apples slices in a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl. The lemon and sugar will help the apples release some of their juices into the bottom of the bowl. After about 30 minutes you’ll have a mixture of apple juice with sugar and spice. We have grand plans for this juice. Bigtime.
Collect the juice from the apple slices and bring it to a simmer in a small pot with a pat of butter. The mixture will thicken and concentrate as it cooked down.
Essentially, we’re creating a spiced apple caramel, concentrating the flavors and adding it all back to the sliced apples.
While the apple caramel cooks down, toss together cranberries, cornstarch, and the apples!
Cornstarch is our thickener that will come to a simmer in the oven with the fruit and thicken the juices inside the pie shell.
Fruit with cornstarch tossed in the buttery caramel from the apples.
This pie bakes up bubbling and golden. It comes out of the oven boiling, sweet and juicy.
The cranberries soften and burst in the oven and the apples cook through. The cranberries offer a tart bite to this pie while the apples and brown sugar crumble lend the sweetness. It’s bright, and sweet and wonderfully satisfying.
Consider an extra sprinkling of salt for the crumble AND consider serving this pie topped with vanilla ice cream. It’s the right thing to do. Happy Holiday!