Monday, November 30, 2009

Tahoe-Style Autumn Apple-Cranberry Crumble Pie

By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet

“Well, art is art, isn't it? Still, on the other hand, water is water! And east is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does. Now, uh... Now you tell me what you know.”
Groucho Marx

Monday is my fave day of the week. It’s fresh. It promises new beginnings. It's off season (again) or what I like to think of as "hump month"--a time when it's quiet at Lake Tahoe. Read: The town is a pre-winter wonder for locals. (Yes, the resort pool was heaven.) And fall is in the air with snow melting on the ground. (The dog walk was grr-eat. No black ice and a nice crisp feel amid the towering pine trees.) I’m having a lingering, love affair with autumn's cranberries, pumpkin, and honeycrisp apples. The last two may be history come winter. So tonight I put to use fresh cranberries and those special sweet and tart apples--an awesome apple that so many people in so many places love to eat. But they come as fast as they go. I can smell the scrumptious aroma of both the berries and apples and it’s better than scented earthy candles…

I used
Honeycrisp Apples (again). The word is, that both pumpkin and these apples may be AWOL sooner than later at Lake Tahoe. This time around, I tossed in whole cranberries and I’m glad I did. And I took the Dutch Apple Pie route since I had one store bought crust left waiting for me to do something with it before winter arrives. I’m sure this pie is healthier created with fresh, seasonal good for you apples and cranberries than store bought ones because you and I can control the rest of the ingredients.

Autumn Apple-Cranberry Crumble Pie
1 store deep dish bought pie crust (still hooked on these)
4 large Honeycrisp apples, washed, cored, sliced
1 cup fresh cranberries, whole (mixed with granulated sugar)
2 tablespoons butter
1/8 cup (each) brown and granulated sugar
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice

Crumbly Crust
1/4 stick butter, unsalted
1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 stick European Style butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take pie crust out of freezer. Set aside to thaw for 15 minutes. Prepare apples. Melt butter and mix with flour, spices, and mix with apples. Set aside. Melt butter and add sugar. Place apple mixture in pie shell. Spread crumbly crust on top. Place a large piece of foil underneath the pie tin to prevent edges of crust burning. Bake 50 to 60 minutes. (If you live in high altitude it may take a bit longer.). It's done when crust is golden brown and apples are tender and bubbly. Warning: Do not cut for at least one hour. Factoid: If you wait, slicing the pie will be nice and picture perfect.

One hour later... I cut a small slice and put a small dollop of whipped cream (no artery clogging trans fats) on top. A dusting of powdered sugar--like a snow flurry--could suffice, too. Into the living room by the fire I sat. Bite by bite I savored this sweet and tart fall fruit pie. The crust is just as good as homemade and the crumble topping is crunchy. I wish I could freeze autumn and my favorite fall foods. I'll miss you Honeycrisp apples. But I know Old Man Winter is coming around the mountain.

1 comment:

  1. I was thinking this a.m. that veggie and fruit nut pies, breads, muffins are so autumn-ish. Gotta love 'em. Using whole wheat, olive oil, earthy spices, and plenty of seasonal produce is the secret.