Apples, cranberries, and pears are abundant and inexpensive in the late fall. This not-to-sweet pie showcases all three of these beautiful fruits - it is inspired by several recipes. Enjoy it with a small scoop of good vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, or by itself. I had a slice for breakfast this morning with a cup of coffee.
Whole wheat flaky butter crust (double recipe)
1 cup whole wheat or whole grain flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
17 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons milk
2 egg yolks
You can either use a standing mixer with a paddle attachment or cut the pastry by hand.
To make the dough in a standing mixer: Combine the flours and salt. Add the butter and process on low medium speed until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add the egg yolks and milk, then increase the speed, processing just until the dough becomes craggy and ragged. Remove from the processor and dump on a lightly floured surface. Smash down the dough with the palm of your hand, gather the dough back up in a mound and smash down again. Do this a couple more times. Spilt the dough into two mounds, form into balls, and wrap each ball tightly with plastic wrap. Smash down each ball into a disk and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
To make the dough by hand: In a medium bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter and cut it into the flour with a pastry cutter two knives until it resembles a very coarse meal. You can also create the same texture by squeezing and rolling in your hands. Add the egg yolks and milk, and combine everything with a stiff wooden spoon. Dump the dough on a lightly floured surface. Smash down the dough with the palm of your hand, gather the dough back up in a mound and smash down again. Do this a couple more times. Spilt the dough into two mounds, form into balls, and wrap each ball tightly with plastic wrap. Smash down each ball into a disk and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Fall Fruits Pie
Whole wheat flaky double-crust
1/2 cup plus one tablespoon organic cane sugar
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
11 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
5-6 large, ripe pears, cored, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup fresh cranberries, rinsed and dried
1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Remove the two disks of dough from the refrigerator and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl toss together the pears, ginger, and lemon juice.
4. In a large bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Add the pears and cranberries. Toss gently to coat evenly.
5. On a lightly floured surface, plop down one disk of the dough. Roll it from center to the edges in even strokes with a well floured rolling pin until you have a nice, round, crust 13-inches in diameter. Fold in half, then in a quarter, and place it in the center of a 9-inch pie dish. Unfold so the crust evenly covers the pie pan and and gently ease it into the pie pan.
6. Spoon the fruit into the pie pan and distribute evenly across the crust. Trim the pastry so that it is even with the outer rim of the pan.
7. Roll out the second disk of the pie crust into a 12-inch circle. Cut a few slits in the middle of the crust with a sharp knife to vent. Place the pie crust on top of the filling and trim so that the edges are slightly beyond the edge of the pan. Fold the top pie crust under the bottom and crimp the edges. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg yolk and sprinkle evenly with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
8. Bake the pie on a foil-lined baking sheet for 65 to 70 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and serve.