Friday, November 25, 2011

Apple-Cranberry-Ginger Pie

I absolutely love the flavor of ginger.  I could suppose it comes from that being my name and all, but for many years I really did not like ginger in anything - didn't like gingerbread or Chinese foods with ginger.  It tasted like soap to me.  But over the years, something happened.  My taste buds changed and I decided ginger wasn't so bad after all.  And now I adore it, as does my daughter Brooke.  My Mother regularly sends care packages (since she's on the Left Coast and we are in the Deep South) and they almost always include crystallized ginger for Brooke and ginger peach tea for me.  And you can usually find fresh ginger in my fridge and even in my freezer (frozen into little ice cube sized portions of minced ginger).  So when my Mother included this pie recipe in with a care package, I knew it would be making an appearance for Thanksgiving.  It was SO good.  And so ENORMOUS!!!  And I have not one picture of it!  I'm a terrible blogger.  :::sniff:::

You can use premade crust for this pie if you wish, but a homemade crust is just so easy and tastes so much better.  Here's my recipe for a two-crust pie:

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
6 tbsp cold Earth Balance Buttery Sticks, cut into small pieces
5-7 tbsp very cold water

I cheat and make mine in a food processor with a dough blade.  So easy.

Combine flour and salt in the food process with the dough blade in place and pulse once or twice to combine  (or in a large bowl and mix well).  Cut shortening and margarine into the flour by either pulsing the food processor blade or using a pastry blender or two forks.  Add water 1 tbsp at a time, pulsing just a time or two (or mixing with a fork) after each addition until the cough is just moist enough to form a ball.

Divide the dough into two equal portions; gather into two balls and flatten each to 1/2" thickness.  Cover; refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°.  Roll out dough on a lightly floured board or pastry cloth to about a 14" circle, about 1/8" thick, and carefully transfer to your pie dish.  Flute edges.  Place a round of waxed paper over dough and weight with beans or pie weights.  Par-bake the pie crust for about 5-7 minutes.  You don't want it to brown.  Remove from oven.


10 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (Granny Smiths are perfect)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger
3/4 cup sugar (or less if you use a sweeter apple)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Stir all the ingredients together and pour into your prepared pie crust.  Actually "pour" is not the proper word. Mound might be.  This pie will be HUGE!  It will be the biggest apple pie you have ever made!  And it will be delicious!  Anyway....Roll the remaining pie dough for your top crust.  Arrange over the mountain of apples.  Trim the edges, leaving a 1" overhang.  Flute edges.  Cut a few slits in the top crust.  Bake until crust is golden  and filling is bubbling, about 30-40 minutes.  You will definitely want to put a large cookie sheet on the rack below this because it more than likely will bubble over.  Trust me on this.

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