Cranberries often get stuck in November and the Cranberries’ Linger often gets stuck in my head. But I am here to say we should be baking with them through Spring and listening to all of the Cranberries’ discography. Try out my instructions for making a lattice or other decorative crust or just throw a plain crust on top. It all tastes the same and it all tastes divine. Happy baking!

Pie crust (makes a double crust)
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold, unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup ice water (more as needed)

Pie filling
6 apples, peeled and sliced (I use half granny smith and have gala)
1 heaping cup of fresh cranberries
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup corn starch
Juice of 1 orange
Zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground or fresh ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter (cut into small chunks)
Milk or cream for washing on top before baking
Turbinado or decorative sugar for sprinkling on top before baking

Let’s do it!

  • Prepare crust: Mix flour with the salt and sugar. With a pastry blender or fork (or pulse in a food processor) blend in butter until it looks crumbly. Gradually add in ice water in 1-2 tablespoon increments until the dough starts to stick together and form a ball. Don’t let it get sticky though, if it is slick/sticky you’ve added too much water. Once it forms a ball, you are done. Do not knead the dough or overwork it. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, up to 1 day.

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  • In a large bowl, combine all filling ingredients except the butter and let sit while you roll out crust.

  • Lightly grease a 9” pie plate. Divide dough in half and roll out on a lightly floured marble board or a regular board with saran wrap on it to create a super smooth surface. Roll half of dough into a roughly 12 inch round shape. Drape into pie plate, working from bottom up the side to lightly push out any air. There will be some excess hanging over the edges, you can leave that there until the end. Poke bottom of pie with a fork 10-15 times.

  • Fill pie with fruit filling and then top mound of filling with the little chunks of butter and a sprinkle of the brown sugar. If there is excessive liquid at the bottom of the filling bowl, don’t add that as it will cause the pie to get soggy.

  • Place the pie onto a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 425. Then, turn the temperature down to 375°F and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes (varies depending on your oven). After the first 20 minutes of bake time, I place a square of foil on top of the pie to prevent the edges from browning too quickly.

  • Check on your pie regularly throughout baking to gauge when you want to leave the foil on/off to get a nice golden brown. Pie is done when juices are bubbling out and/or over the edges. Let pie sit at least an hour before serving to allow filling to thicken up.

To create a lattice top: Roll out the other half of dough into a shape that’s roughly the size of your cutting board/work surface. Using a sharp knife, or pizza cutter, cut strips about 1 inch wide. Brush one edge of pie with water lightly and press half of the strips into this edge. One by one, add strips to the edge next to this one (adhering with water) and carefully thread the strips over and under one another, pulling back strips as necessary to weave. Press the edges of the strips into the bottom pie crust edges to seal.

Use a small paring knife to trim off excess dough. Press the edges with a fork, or fold excess dough over the lip of the pie plate and use that to crimp with your thumb and forefinger.

Brush the lattice top with about a tablespoon milk or cream or a beaten egg. Make sure it is a very thin coating - you don't want scrambled eggs on top of your dough. Sprinkle some more brown/regular/sanding sugar over crust.

To do another decorative style, roll out your top crust and use festive cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes, then arrange them on top of your pie. Use a little water to adhere them to each other if necessary.

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