Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Oh My, It's Time for Pie!

All this talk about harvest fests, apples ripe for picking, and big orange pumpkins dotting the landscape, forced me to get up super early the other morning to enjoy all this New England beauty under a rising eastern sun. Nothing says, “Fall is here,” like a morning mist rising off a local farm’s fields.

Of course there are pumpkins and apples galore around York, Maine but another fall staple of Maine is the cranberry, much like it is in Massachusetts, and what I hear, Michigan too. Maine cranberries grown on low lying vines in marshy areas near the coast. Offering a high dose of vitamin C, vitamin A and potassium, these little tart berries have gone to become lunch pail staples and  insistently represented on most Thanksgiving tables. Once known as the “craneberry” because the pilgrims thought the budding, spring flowers resembled a crane, the cranberry as become an important commercial crop for Maine.

It’s no easy feat being a cranberry harvester. In fact, two prominent Maine occupations, cranberry harvester and lobsterman were recently listed as two of the toughest jobs in the food business: http://blogs.wsj.com/scene/2011/04/28/the-toughest-jobs-in-food/. Cranberry harvester, come on, really?  Yes, it’s true.  While you’re sitting back, feeling content after you’ve eaten a piece of freshly baked cranberry apple pie, think of the delicate cranberry crop that must endure constant monitoring during chilly fall nights. If frost comes in, someone has to notify the other farmers and activate the sprinklers to prevent the frost from destroying the crop.  I guess cranberry harvesters are not privy to automatic sprinkler systems? All the more reason to enjoy this traditional, hard working crop, and something I think about during this early frosty morning.

My hungry thoughts quickly change to visions of cranberry and apple pie, one of my favorites. And Stonewall Kitchen’s recipe developer, Kim, offers up her fabulous version below.  Oh my! Enjoy!

Apple Cranberry Tart
ingredients

Crust:

• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

• 3 tablespoons white sugar

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, frozen, cut into 8 pieces each

• 8-10 tablespoons ice water

Filling:

• 3 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped

• 1/2 cup dried cranberries

• 1/2 cup golden raisins

• 1/2 cup white sugar

• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

• 1 jar Stonewall Kitchen Apple Cranberry Chutney

• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

• pinch of cloves and nutmeg

Glaze:

• 1 egg yolk

• 1 teaspoon cream or milk

directions

Crust:

1. Blend flour, sugar, and salt in food processor. Add butter pieces and pulse until butter is in 1/4" pieces.

2. Add 7 tablespoons of ice water and blend until moist clumps are formed, adding more water by the tablespoon until dough just starts to form into a ball.

3. Remove from processor and carefully gather into a ball on a clean and lightly floured surface.

4. Divide ball of dough into 2 portions. Flatten into discs. Wrap one in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

5. Roll out remaining disc on a lightly floured surface and place into a 10" quiche pan. Refrigerate.

Filling:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degree F.

2. Combine chopped apples and all remaining filling ingredients until well mixed.

3. Spoon into prepared shell, spreading evenly.

4. Roll out second crust disc.

5. Cut into 1"-wide strips for lattice topping.

6. Using a long, narrow spatula, carefully lift strips onto pie, using 5-6 strips.

7. Rotate pie 45 degrees. Carefully place 5-6 more strips on top.

Glaze:
1. Combine egg yolk and cream/milk in a small dish. Stir with fork until well blended.

2. Brush entire crust, top and edges, with egg wash.

3. Bake pie in lower 1/3 of over for about 1 hour until apples are tender and crust is golden brown.

You can view many harvest themed recipes, including this recipe on our website:


http://www.stonewallkitchen.com/recipes/desserts/pies-tarts-pastries/R100303.html



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