Colder weather makes me want to bake. This year, that urge resulted in an apple pie. But I can’t just leave it there. I need embellishments. Like cranberries. And ginger. And a classic Pennsylvania crumb topping (cribbed from the cookbook I grew up with, The Mennonite Community Cookbook)
The pie was a big hit when I took it to a dinner on Sunday night, and a couple of people have asked for the recipe. So if crisp weather also makes you break out the measuring cups, give it a try.
Apple Cranberry Ginger Crumb Pie
One 9-inch pie crust
You’re on your own with this. Use store bought, your favorite recipe, etc. Mine was half-butter, half-Crisco.
approx. 4lbs of SweeTango apples, peeled and cored
2-4 Tbl fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup dried cranberries
2-4 Tbl minced candied ginger
2 Tbl flour
2 Tbl corn starch
1/2 cup + 2 Tbl sugar
cinnamon, nutmeg, 5-spice powder
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Oven: Preheat to 425F
The Apples: I used “SweeTango” because they had 4-lb bags at Sam’s Club and they looked like a good idea. They’re a cross between Honeycrisp and Zestar (which I’ve also never heard of.) They worked well in the pie, and were delicious for crunching up while peeling. You can probably also use Honeycrisp, Fuji, Pink Lady, Jonagold, or any other crisp, flavorful apple. You may not need the whole bag. I had one apple left over, and probably ate another while peeling.
The Filling: Slice apples thinly and cut slices in half. Toss in a large, non-reactive bowl with the lemon juice, cranberries, and minced ginger.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, cornstarch, sugar, spices, and salt. Sprinkle flour mixture over fruit and toss to combine.
Crumb Topping: Mix flour, sugar, & cinnamon in a medium bowl. Cut cold butter into flour mixture and rub together until crumbs form.
Assembly: Lightly grease pie plate and fit with crust, trimming edges and pressing down with the tines of a fork. Prick the bottom of the crust all over.
Pack apples into pie shell, mounding high. If you’re strategic and place the apples in a handful at a time, they will (almost) all fit. You may choose not to add all of the juice that has collected at the bottom of the apple bowl if it seems like too much.
Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the apples. Press lightly to firm.
Bake: Put the pie plate on a foil-covered baking sheet in the middle or lower-middle oven rack. Bake at 425F for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350F and continue baking for 40-50 minutes. Watch the crumb topping for over-browning during the last 20-30 minutes, and cover with foil if necessary.