24 November, 2012

Crapple Pie

Well, I'm sorry to say the crapple pie lived up to its name.  Strangely enough, it wasn't the cranberries-simmered-in-mystery-liquid that did it in.  In fact, I'd say the cranberries were the highlight of the pie!  Having just skimmed my last few posts, I realize that I haven't spoken about the pie before, so I guess a little rewind is needed.

Somewhere between Thanksgiving shopping at Publix last weekend and pie baking on Thursday, I decided to change my plain apple pie into a "crapple" pie with the addition of cranberries.  Those of you who have been reading for six years, (DEAR LORD, when did six years go by??!?) or who were at that fateful Thanksgiving dinner, might remember when I proclaimed that cranberries have no place in civilized desserts, and wonder when I changed my mind.  I didn't - I just forgot!

So I started by simmering cranberries (just 1/2 cup) in some apple juice, brown sugar, and sherry.  I wanted brandy, but apparently we were out, and the sherry caught my eye before the rum.  After 45 minutes, they had popped open, sweetened, and were absolutely delicious.  I took them off the heat and left the pot on the stove to cool, and every time I walked into the kitchen, I'd pop one in my mouth.

Self control?  What's that?

And then I made cornbread for Scott's stuffing dressing, pizza crust for Thursday's dinner, and then considered the 2 1/4 cups of AP flour I'd need for the pie crust.  And that's when the pie started going south - when I realized the crust was going to include 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour.

Scott was helping me core and peel apples when I realized I should probably find an apple pie recipe to modify, rather than just winging the whole thing.  "Two teaspoons of cinnamon?  That couldn't be enough!  I'll use a tablespoon."

...and then the time came to roll out the crust.

I'm blaming the whole wheat flour, mostly because the crust just looked healthy with those dark speckles.  Really though, the fault lies somewhere between the temperature of my little baking corner (which, have I mentioned, is the spot right next to the damn oven?  nice choice, Jamie!), my own temperament - woah, crazy lady! - and my hesitance to use enough self-rising flour on the rolling surface because I thought it might somehow make the crust puffy.

The first horrible attempt to transfer the crust to the pie plate, during which I let out a string of f-words, I'm pretty sure caused Scott and both cats to hide behind various pieces of furniture.  I did, in fact, scare myself.  On the second attempt, the crust still refused to release from the pastry mat.  So I took the whole mat and flipped it over onto the pie plate.  The crust (mostly) transferred, but I made a powdery explosion of flour all over every surface on that half of the kitchen - stove, counter, wall, floor...  It was a mess.  And Scott agreed to clean it up, probably out of fear.  Seriously, picture "There is no Dana, only Zuuuuuuuuuulllll" only without the cool gold dress and wildly-blowing hair.

With the apples transferred into the pie, I arranged the cranberries over the top.  And then I started on the top crust.

I had already decided on a lattice, because it's so much easier to transfer the small strips of crust than an entire disc.  Unfortunately, the entire disc of dough cemented to the counter.  I declared defeat, then declared "rustic tart!"  I didn't have enough dough to fold up the edges all the way around, so I decided to just drop torn chunks of dough willy-nilly on the top.

It became #UglyPie. 

Surely, something that ugly would at least taste good, right?


The apples were too firm, the filling was too liquid, there was WAY too much cinnamon (and lemon! I just used the lemon to keep the apples from browning, but I'll be damned if my first bite wasn't predominantly lemon and cinnamon), some of the crust chunks on the top were burned...but the cranberries were still delicious.

So that's the tale of the crapple pie.  My apple pie last year sucked, but in different ways, so I'm thinking that maybe it's just time to move on.  I make a mean peach, I enjoy cherry and blueberry.  Maybe it's time to learn pumpkin or some sort of custard.


Nicole said...

Pumpkin is a pretty easy pie. I use canned pumpkin and a recipe that calls for condensed milk, so it is definitely not even a little healthy. But it is always super tasty if you like pumpkin pie.

mamajoy said...

Piecrust is an art, gluten is a mystery, so you're well on your way to mastery!