This is a tasty holiday favorite at my house. Apples, cranberries, cinnamon and sugar are the ingredients to make a holiday special for anyone.
Step 1: Ingredients
Please gather the following ingredients for the body of the pie.
1 cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 to 8 granny smith apples
6 ounces of fresh cranberries
1 lemon (or lime)
2-3 frozen deep dish pie crusts
Step 2: Getting the Apples Ready
I like to use Granny Smith apples because they seem to hold there texture and flavor for baking. You may try other apples or combination of apple types if you have a favorite.
You need to peel, core and cut your apples into wedges of approximate equal size for even cooking.
Use a regular vegetable peeler to remove the peeling. I like to cut off the top and bottom of the apple first, it makes it easier to peel. I also find that it is easier to peel from the bottom to the stem end of the apple.
To core the apple (where the seeds are in the apple) I use a measure spoon to scoop the seed area out. I think a melon baller would work as well if you have one.
Cut the apples into wedges and sprinkle the juice of one lemon over to keep the fruit from turning brown and also add a little zest and brightness to the final flavor of the pie.
NOTE -- if using a lemon be sure to use a strainer to keep the seeds from getting into your pie.
Step 3: Making the Pie
Once the apples are read you will add the cranberries. I would recommend using the largest bowl you have to make mixing a little easier.
To this bowl add all of your dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cinnamon (my family really likes the flavor of cinnamon so I use 2 teaspoons full -- you can drop this down to suit specific tastes), nutmeg and salt (when cooking a little salt always seems to enhance flavors so don't leave this ingredient out).
We have one of those large warehouse stores in the area so we have the 500 plastic glove boxes in our pantry so I try to use the gloves whenever possible. You can do this step with a large spoon or spatula but using your hands makes it more fun.
Mix everything until well coated and then divide into the frozen pie shells.
Put a couple of butter squares on each pie and put them in the refrigerator until you are ready to top and pop into the oven.
Step 4: Crumble Topping Indgredients
Gather the following ingredients together to make the crumble topping.
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a dash of nutmeg
a dash of salt
1/2 cup of butter (cut in small pieces and kept very cold)
Place all of the ingredient into a food processor (except the butter) and pulse until uniformly combined.
Slowly add the butter pieces, pulsing as you go until the mixture has a crumble texture to it. DO NOT over process or the butter will start to melt and you will end up with more of a past than a crumble.
If you don't have a food processor you can use a large fork to work the ingredients together and get the crumble texture.
Remove the pies out of the refrigerator and split the crumble topping equally between them. Try to keep the majority of the crumble towards the center of the pie so that when it cooks it stays on the pie and doesn't melt and drip off the edges.
Use either a cake pan or a cookie sheet to hold the pies while cooking. This makes it easier to remove the pies from the over when they are done and if any juices do drip clean up is a very simple proces when you are done.
Step 6: The Final Step
The pies will bake for 50 minutes in a 350 degree F preheated oven. The crusts should be a golden brown and the crumble topping should have a nice toasted color without being burnt.
Remove the pies from the oven and left the cool.
At our house we eat this with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream and a big glass of cold milk or eggnog.
This pie is always a hit and a highly requested dessert at our house.
Merry Christmas and have a safe and happy New Year.