I’m worried about you. I’m worried you’re loosing your culinary traditions. I went out to buy a pie pan Monday, I’ve got a couple nice ones but I wanted a deep dish pie pan to make that chock-full-of pecans-pie for Thanksgiving. First, I went to Crate and Barrel, and when I asked about pie pans I was directed to one terribly shallow, glass Pyrex pan for $6. Not only was there no deep dish pan, there were no other pie pans. One lousy pan, for the whole store. Don’t you think there would be at least one decorative ceramic pan, what with the holidays around the corner?
I moved on to Sur La Table with high hopes, and there again I was confronted with the same one lame glass pan. America, I’m getting worried. You are not making pies. You are not making enough pies. Oh, you are making pies, but I know your secret. You’re buying those pre-made crusts, aren’t you? The premade crusts with the disposable tin pans, don’t tell me it’s so. If you were making pies regularly, you’d know that homemade pie crust is so much better, and cheaper too. If you were making pies regularly, you’d want that nice solid pretty pie pan, the one you can use over and over again.
I did finally find a pie pan, and a deep dish one at that, at Williams-Sonoma. But even then, there were only two types of pie pans on offer, and I had to pay a boatload for it and it was made in France. She’s a beauty, and I love her dearly, the way her fluted edges craddle that gooey filling. But I’m worried about you America, you must embrace your pie heritage. When I lived outside the U.S. I wanted to make a pie, but the only options were a cake pan or a tart pan, and neither does a pie make. Ever since then I’ve been rather passionate about the pie pan. Appreciate the uniquely sloped sides that make pie such an American tradition. Please go buy a pie pan, a good solid one that has the promise of years of use to come, and then make yourself a pie.
Until I get around to telling you about that pecan pie, here's a delicious Apple-Cranberry Crumble Pie we love around the holidays. It's even better served with caramel ice cream.
Apple-Cranberry Crumble Pie
I always thought the idea of combining a pie and a crumble sounded excessive until I made this one Thanksgiving and discovered how delicious it is. The bursts of tart cranberries are perfect foil for the sweet-crunchy crumble.
1 pie crust, prepared, fitted into a 9" pie pan, and refrigerated
3 large (or 4 medium) Granny Smith apples
2 cups cranberries, fresh or thawed if frozen
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 tbl lemon zest
1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oats (not quick-cooking)
1/3 cup flour
4 tbl butter, chilled and cut in small dice
1. Preheat oven to 375 F, arrange a rack in the lower part of the oven. Have your crust chilled in the refrigerator.
2. Place sugar, flour, lemon zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt in a bowl and toss to combine. Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples and add to the sugar mixture. Add the cranberries and toss to combine. Let mixture sit 10 minutes while you prepare the topping.
3. For the crumble topping, combine the brown sugar, oats, flour and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and rub the mixture with your fingers until it forms a coarse meal.
4. Pile the filling into the chilled crust. Scatter the crumble over top. Place the pan on a baking sheet to catch the drips and bake in the lower part of the oven for 55 minutes, or until golden and juices are bubbling. Let cool a few hours before serving.