February 21, 2005

Apple cranberry pie

Holy crapamoly. This pie came out of the oven beautiful, and I was very anxious about it, thinking it surely couldn't live up to its beautiful pieness. It's beautiful in the way a covered pie can be—the lovely bumpy top, the little slough around the nicely wavy trim, and in this case, a little circle cut out of the middle.

All night and all day it sat there, waiting to be cut into. And when it was finaly cut into, the apples, cranberries, and raisins (for there are also raisins in it, to take a bit of the edge off the tartness) looked great, glistening and tumbling atop one another. This looked like clarified mincemeat. "Hello," it said, "we're in a pie."

And then the taste. Even after all that beauty, I still worried about the taste. But it was ideal: Perfectly flaky crust that wasn't soggy at all, a noted tang to the cranberries and Granny Smiths, sweetness that modulated the tang perfectly without actually being noticeably sweet. It was the same trick as the full-on cranberry pie from a while back, where the tartness of the fruit was reduced so that it tasted as tart as you imagine it tastes in the first place.

This is not a very showy pie. It's just apples and cranberries, and although beautiful, those aren't entirely shocking ingredients. The all-cranberry pie, that was a bit shocking. The green tomato pie, entirely shocking. But this pie, this was a simple pie—not as overly familiar as a plain apple pie, but nothing that screamed "hey! hey! fancy pie here!"

I'm very pleased with this pie. It feels like I've earned my B.A. in Piemaking. I can now make a great pie. Sure, I still use a recipe, but I have great recipes, but the last few pies have shown me that I can make it work.

Posted by chris at February 21, 2005 11:45 PM