Los Angeles recently hosted its first Chowfiesta, an event showcasing many fine foods. Chowgods have requested that recipes be posted to the General Topics board.
Apple-Cranberry Pie with Cornmeal-Buttermilk Crust.
(adapted from Bon Appétit Magazine- November 1993)
2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
5 tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground mace or allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/16 teaspoon of ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter (preferably a butter like Plugra with an extra high fat content)
6 tablespoons (about) buttermilk
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground clove
¼ freshly ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground mace
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
3 ½ pounds Pippin apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices (Granny Smith if you must but Pippin are better)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped, or currants
5 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
9 inch deep dish glass pie dish, such as Pyrex
Preheat oven to 375.
Using Kitchenaid mixer with whip attachment, mix dry ingredients. Add butter and break up butter at Speed 4. When 1/3 of the butter is finely mixed, 1/3 of butter is the size of peas, and 1/3 of butter is in chunks, stop mixer. Break up large chunks into flakes with fingers. Lightly fluff in 4 T of buttermilk with dinner fork. Add additional 2 T buttermilk. Crust mixture should be slightly moister than regular pie crust. Lightly compress dough in bowl until mixture is compact. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Divide in half, wrap well with plastic wrap, chill at least one hour.
Coarsely chop cranberries with sugar and spice in food processor or by hand. Dont overprocess. Cranberries should be in halves or thirds. Add mixture to apples, dried cranberries, and flour. Toss until flour disappears..
The pie crust is difficult to work with but easy to patch. The decorative top crust helps.
Roll out pie crust with a cold marble rolling pin. Fold pastry in quarters and place in pie pan. Make slightly oversized ridge at edge of dish. Chill. Using a small juice glass, cut out pastry circles out of remaining pastry. (Or use pretty leaf cutter.) Place on plate. Chill. Using second portion of dough, cut out remaining circles.
Fill pie with filling. Mound filling on top and compact lightly with palm of hand. Place a large knob of butter on top of apple mixture. Starting at the center of the pie, lightly overlap crust circles in a pretty, circular manner. When you reach the edge of the pie, cut circles in half and press into ridge. Crimp edge decoratively. Look over pastry carefully to make sure there are no holes, tears, or natural vents and patch if necessary. Brush well with buttermilk. Cut four vents into pie. [If you make two pies at the same time, you will have enough leftover pastry to make a mini-freezer pie. Emile Henry makes terrific small ceramic pie pans.]
Place pie on baking sheet and bake 45 minutes. Cover with foil and bake for an additional 35 minutes, until juices are bubbling and the pie is good-looking and your spouse is whistling holiday tunes. Cool for two hours and serve with thick pouring cream.
Makes excellent breakfast pie.