Pies pies pies...

I like fruit pie. But I’ve been reading all these thread by people who hate gooey fruit pie. So I thought I would post my recipes for apple pie and apple-cranberry pie.

Both pies are put into a pie crust and baked at 450 for the first 15-20 minutes, and then at 350 until they bubble just a little. I usually use a lattice crust for the apple-cranberry, because it’s so pretty, but a regular crust will work fine. This recipe doesn’t include the crust – my husband makes that, so you are on your own. :slight_smile:

I also use a larger-than-typical pie plate. A little research tells me it’s the Pyrex 229 pie plate, about 9.5 inches across and maybe 1.5" deep. That’s perhaps twice the volume of the typical 8"x1" pie plate. (volumes depend on how high you go above the top, not just what fits in the plate, so they are approximate.)

Select large apples that hold their shape when cooked. In season, I like Jonathan. By Thanksgiving, Idared is a good choice. Peel, quarter, core, and slide the apples. Leave the sliced quarters together as you go (they don’t brown as quickly if there’s less exposed surface, and they pack better. Fill the pie plate and then keep piling on apples until they are nearly as tall over the plate as the plate is deep.

Dump apples into a large bowl. Drizzle lemon juice over all, and then sprinkle on about half a cup of brown sugar (more if the apples aren’t sweet, or if you like a sweeter pie) about a tablespoon of corn starch, a heaping teaspoon of cinnamon, and maybe 3/4 teaspoon of nutmeg. Sometimes I mix the powers before adding them to the apple, but it’s not critical. Now stir everything around wit your hands, trying to separate every apple slice and get some sugar on each one. Move gently to avoid breaking the slices.

Allow the apple slices to sit for 15 minutes, so the sugar dissolves and pulls out some juice. mix again, coating every slice with the now-homogenous brown liquid. If there’s a lot of liquid puddling in the bottom, you will discard it, so you might want to add a little more spice (and sugar) if desired, and mix and wait and mix again.

Lay a crust into the pie plate. Layer about a third of the apples into the crust, trying to leave as little open space as possible. Then dot with butter. If you don’t eat butter, just leave this step out – there’s plenty of fat in the crust, the butter is only there for flavor. When I make pie for vegans, I routinely leave it out and it’s fine. Then layer another third of the apples, and dot with more butter. Then add the rest of the apple, leaving any excess liquid behind – that’s what will solidify into goo if you add too much of it to a pie. You can drink it if you like sweetened spiced apple juice. If you plan to make a lattice or other open crust, make sure the top layer of apples is symmetric and attractive.

Cover with a top crust, crimp the sides, cut some slits for steam, and bake.

This uses the same large pie plate. I measure the apples by almost filling the second largest of our set of nesting glass bowls, but I suppose that won’t help. I guess there should be about 1.5 times the volume of apple as cranberry, and I use a 12oz bag of cranberries.

Select apples as for apple pie. The goal is pieces that taste great and hold their shape when cooked.

Peel, quarter, core apples, and cut into cubes that are approximately cranberry sized. This is important, otherwise, it’s very hard to mix the apples with the cranberries evenly.

Mix evenly:
3/4 cups white sugar
2 tbsp corn starch
3/4 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp mace
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/8 tsp clove

combine apples, 12 oz cranberries, and sugar mixture in a large bowl. Stir well. Let sit for a few minutes then mix again.

Spoon mixture into pie crust, dotting with about 1/5 Tbsp of butter as in apple pie recipe.
Cover with a lattice crust, to show off the beautiful pink color of the cooked pie. (Or just cover with a crust)
brush the crust with milk
sprinkle sugar, colored sugar, or cinnamon


Notice that both pies are mostly COOKED FRUIT. They aren’t mostly corn starch with sweetened fruit juice, which is all-too-common in commercial pies.

I guess if you like pecan pie, which is pretty much pure sugar goo with some pecans on top, you might prefer the goo version. But I like my fruit pies to focus on fruit. (And I don’t eat pecan pie by choice.)

Happy winter holidays to all.

I used to bake a lot around the holidays. Real pound cake, some of which ended up in English fruit trifles; Scottish shortbread, with butter, not margarine; custard, and custard pie with shortbread crust; cookies from scratch with real chocolate and butterscotch chips (I didn’t have a mixer, so melting all that butter and stirring in the flour and sugar was a real challenge). Now that my daughter’s grown and moved out, I can’t remember the last time I baked anything from scratch.

Fruit pies, I liked to bake in the summer: apple, peach, and berry. I spent a long weekend with a girlfriend once, and we bought fresh blackberries at an outdoor market. That evening, I made cobbler for her using the blackberries. Don’t know if I’ll ever do anything like that again; kind of sad, really.

Right now, I’d do just about anything for a slice of mince pie, with a big scoop of real vanilla ice cream. Mince pie also brings back good memories for me.

If mince isn’t on the menu, I’ll take a hot piece of pecan pie with melted butter. Yum-O! :o

What, exactly, is mince pie?

On this side of the Atlantic, a small pie with a filling of chopped fruit, fresh or dried or a mixture, in a rich spiced syrup, traditionally eaten around Christmastime. The filling is often called mincemeat, since until modern times, it would also have contained minced meat, since spiced fruity mixtures were a way of making fairly old meat palatable through the winter.


But nowadays, most people either buy completely readymade or they buy a jar of readymade mincemeat and do the pastry themselves:


Also known as mincemeat pie. It’s basically a medley of fruits and sometimes nuts with “Christmas” spices like nutmeg and cloves in pie form. Historically (and in some current recipes, too) it may contain actual minced meat (ground meat.) Here’s a sample recipe. I kind of think of it as the pie version of fruitcake.

Yes, mince can come in either tarts or regular sized pies. Like pecan pie, I prefer mine warm.

Yes, I had this once at a mediaeval banquet, and the meat involved was venison.

Quite tasty, but I swear, I was belching sulphur fumes for the next two days. Maybe the meat was authentically old; I don’t know. :frowning:

Hmm, the fruit-based recipe looks tasty.maybe I’ll try that some day.

The last time I made mince pie, the mince I got from the grocery store helpfully listed “Ingredients: Mince”, without any further specification.

Hah! That made me chuckle. :slight_smile:

Mincemeat is traditionally served with a hard sauce. Forget vanilla; we eat ours with eggnog ice cream.

I had a fantastic pie in Cardiff. It was apple-blackberry. So my mother decided to try making that in the US, and it turned out pretty well. I don’t know what kind of apples they used in Wales, or if blackberries are the same here and there-- my mother’s didn’t taste exactly the same, but it was also very good.

My experience of British apples is that they are very different from most North American varieties in size, crispness, and flavor. But apple-blackberry sounds like such a brilliant combination that I’m not surprised your mom’s was very good.

We finished our holiday dinner with a sweet potato pie, which I describe to any poor bastard who’s never tried one as “an African-American variant on traditional pumpkin pie, the main difference being that sweet potato pie is fucking delicious.”

Walker’s (the shortbread folks) make mini mince pies. There are two kinds, regular and orange-cranberry mince, which I prefer. They really are small, which is good as they are quite rich. (I think the piecrust recipe is 1/2 cup flour and 2 cups butter.) Twenty seconds in the microwave and they are quite good. You can read about them here. I got mine at Cost Plus World Market; they have a big selection of Walker products and I plan to work my way through them until my jeans no longer button or the season ends, whichever comes first.

UGH ! I can’t help but wonder what was in the jar with “Ingredients: Mince” on it ! LOL! I like warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream on it.

I still like the squib from Mad about halvah and π and 3.1416. :smiley:

My wife bakes great pies. For Thanksgiving we had an apple and a pumpkin. Her blueberry, pecan and chocolate pies are also excellent.