Have you ever made three different pie crusts just for tasting and perfecting? Have you ever made four apple pies, each slightly varying to see what happens when you add more butter and slice the apples differently? Have you ever tried seven completely different apple pie recipes just to taste the difference, even though nobody in your house, besides you, really even likes apple pie?
Have you ever eaten pie in the morning and called it breakfast? Have you ever decided that pie is an art form that might just take an entire lifetime to master? Who would do such a thing? Some sort of pie weirdo, I guess. That’s a little pie crazy, don’t you think?
Because of my love for and plausible obsession with all things pie, I understand that crust is a deeply personal matter. I understand that some of you might prefer a lard crust or a pecan laden crust or maybe even a shortening crust, or of course the king, the master, the ultimate, pure and perfect butter crust. Whatever you choose, this pie filling is the perfect combination of rich, sweet tartness. It mixes and switches up your plain old traditional apple pie. You won’t be disappointed.
One last thing; The first slice never comes out as good as the rest, as shown in the photo above. I tried to serve a small dainty little slice. I advise against such crazy thoughts. What was I thinking? I suppose that’s just the price you pay for having the first slice of fall deliciousness. Not a bad deal, I’d say. After the other half is scooped onto the plate, it’s just perfect, regardless.
- 2 – 9 inch pie crusts (your favorite recipe or store bought)
- 4 large granny smith apples
- 1/2 cup, packed, dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1 tablespoon spiced rum (or orange juice, if preferred)
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- dash of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
- Roll out pie crusts to desired thickness and place bottom pie crust into pie plate. Move oven rack to center slot and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Peel, quarter, core and then thinly slice the apples and place into a large bowl. Drop the brown sugar over the apples and stir to thoroughly coat. Dust sugared apples with sifted flour and stir to thoroughly coat.
- Place butter in microwave safe dish and loosely cover (a ceramic bowl with a plate over it works well and keeps the microwave clean) melt butter completely .
- Add dried cranberries, orange zest, rum (or orange juice), vanilla extract and nutmeg to the hot melted butter and whisk together.
- Pour cranberry-butter mixture over apples and stir to fully incorporate all ingredients.
- Pour cranapple pie filling evenly into bottom crust.
- Lastly, cover the cranapple filling with top pie crust. Trim excess and pinch edges with thumb and forefinger to seal top and bottom crust together. Cut top crust with desired design to vent. Place pie plate on baking sheet and cover edges of pie with a strip of foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake in preheated oven until apples are tender and crust is golden, which takes about fifty minutes to one hour.
- Cool on wire rack until warm and serve.
Note: This tart pie goes wonderfully with sweetened whipped cream and/or candied pecans, if desired.