Monday, November 21, 2011

Apple Pear and Dried Cherry Pie

Apple Pie does not scream Thanksgiving to me. It screams 4th of July. But after years of celebrating with the Smith family I have come to understand that Apple Pie is as much a part of Thanksgiving as is the turkey.

But unlike most people, Joey and I like to make pies that have a little twist on the traditional. Joey is an expert and enthusiastic pie maker and we scrounge the web and recipe books for something new every year--even when we have found a winner.

This year was no different--even though we're attending the Peterson Family Thanksgiving instead of the Smith Family Thanksgiving. We searched high and low for an apple pie that met our fancy and then we decided to turn an apple crumble into a pie recipe--with our fail proof almond tart crust from last year's pear tart.

We taste tested this pie ourselves and then shared it with Joey's office and it was completely gone by 10am. This pie is paired with a maple syrup whipped cream which really adds a nice flavor, so don't skip this step even if you aren't accustomed to having whipped cream on apple pie (apple pie goes with ice cream).

We also tasted the juices inside the pie since we cut into it a little early before it really firmed up. Best cider ever! Now we know how to make cider...



1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup blanched slivered almonds
1/4 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 t almond extract


1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 4 cups)
2 large pears, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 3 cups)
1 cup dried cherries (about 6 ounces)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 T maple syrup (b quality if you can find it)


1. Blend powdered sugar, almonds, and salt in processor until nuts are finely ground. Add butter and blend until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Mix in egg yolk. Add flour. Using on/off turns, blend until dough comes together in clumps. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 3 hours. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

2. Roll out chilled dough and place in a buttered pie plate. Poke holes all over with a fork. Freeze for 5 minutes. Cover crust in buttered foil and weigh down with dried beans. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes. Remove foil and beans and bake 10 minutes longer until golden brown. Set aside to cool.


1. Mix 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and nutmeg in large bowl. Add apples, pears, and dried cherries to bowl; sprinkle with lemon juice and toss to coat. Pour filling into slightly cooled pie crust

2. Using fingertips, mix butter, brown sugar, lemon peel, remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, and remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon in medium bowl until moist clumps form. (this is the best playdoh!)

3. Crumble the topping over the fruit and try to cover it completely but don't pack it down.

4. Heat the oven to 350. Bake about 1 hour until fruit bubbles and topping starts to brown. Cool at least 20 minutes before serving to help thicken the juices. If you don't want to wait taste the juices after you cut your first cider in the world

Whipped Cream

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer whip 1 C cream until peaks form. Add syrup gradually to sweeten.
2. Whipped cream can be made ahead but doesn't hold it's shape well into the second day and begins to separate.

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