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Deep Dish Apple and Cranberry Pie
Our deep dish pie is a winner for the Christmas festive season. Pre-cooking apples before folding into a buttery crust make for a little extra work but the end results are spectacular! Studded with cranberries, flavoured with anise, and tucked into an all-butter crust, it’s a delicious treat for any celebration.
- 4 lbs. (2 kg) firm tart BC Brand apples, about 10 apples
- ½ cup (125 mL) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (125 mL) brown sugar
- ¼ tsp. (1 mL) cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. (1 mL) salt
- 3 star anise pods
- Finely grated peel and 2 tsp. (10 mL) freshly squeezed juice from 1 lemon
- 1½ cups (375 mL) fresh or frozen, thawed cranberries
- 1 egg white, whisked
- Vanilla flavoured sugar or regular granulated sugar
- Mascarpone cheese, optional
Butter Crust Pastry
- 2½ cups (625 mL) all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp. (15 mL) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. (5 mL) salt
- 1 cup (250 mL) ice cold unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch (1 cm) cubes
- 3 tbsp. (45 mL) sour cream
- ½ cup (125 mL) ice water
Peel apples and core. Slice into ¼ inch (½ cm) thin wedges. You should have about 3 L of sliced apples. Place in a large saucepan and sprinkle with both sugars, cinnamon, salt, and star anise. Cook covered, over medium heat, stirring often to partially tenderize slices, about 15 to 20 minutes. Do not over cook or they’ll lose their shape. Spread out on a baking sheet to thoroughly cool.
To make pastry, combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Whirl to blend. Before adding butter, be sure butter is ice cold. If necessary, freeze butter for about 10 minutes before adding. Then add to flour in food processor and pulse just until butter is the size of large peas. Combine sour cream and 1/3 cup (75 mL) ice cold water together in a small bowl. Stir to blend. Drizzle half over flour mixture in food processor. Pulse 3 or 4 times until mixed. Add remaining sour cream and water and repeat. If dough doesn’t appear to hold together add a couple more tablespoons ice cold water. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Divide into 2 balls and flatten into 1 inch (5 cm) thick disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm but not hard.
Place oven in the lowest position in oven. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Drain apple filling in a colander to drain off as much juice as possible. Remove anise and discard. Place apples in a large bowl and gently fold in cranberries. Set aside while rolling out pastry. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of dough into a 13 inch (33 cm) circle. Fit into deep 9 inch (23 cm) pie plate leaving a ¾ inch (2 cm) overhang. Scrape cooled and drained apple filling into pie shell. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Roll out remaining pastry to same size circle. Brush pastry rim with water and place over filling. Trim and pinch edges of top and bottom crust firmly together. Brush surface of pastry with whisked egg white and sprinkle with vanilla flavoured sugar. Cut steam vents in the centre. Bake in bottom third of oven for 45 to 55 minutes or until crust is dark golden. Cool on a rack. Cut into wedges and serve with dollops of mascarpone cheese.