Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Apples, cranberries, crumble.

Much to my brother's dismay, I'm constantly looking for the perfect apple pie. While his tastes run to a sweet, traditional pie, my own are sated by a tarter version. This year, a Gourmet recipe for a cranberry-apple crumble pie caught my fancy.

I tested the recipe out at my office potluck two weeks ago, and had a good bit of success. The pie uses Gala apples, as opposed to the more typical (and tarter) Granny Smiths. The Galas cook up beautifully, their slightly grainy texture turning to silky (but durable) velvet in the heat of the oven.

To counter the sweetness of the Galas, the recipe calls for brown sugar in place of white and adds a handful of cranberries to the mix. The cranberries (plus a bit of lemon juice) turn the pie filling a gorgeous pink color and add a different texture to the mix.

The real star, though, is the crumble topping. A basic mixture of flour, butter, brown sugar and cinnamon is made special by the addition of chopped pecans, which turn rich and dark during baking. I wasn't sure the topping would be contrast enough for the filling, but it was - very much so.

Next year I might do my experimenting with the pumpkin pie and let Jeremy have his traditional version of the apple...or not.

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