my Nigella measuring cups, my french rolling pin, and Cranberry Ribbon Apple pie
Also, rubber lizards (left) really make the pie taste better. But I won't tell you how I use them, because I don't want to give away all my piemaking secrets.
I'm sure my family is missing out on some pretty sweet summer berry pies, because making pie crust in a hot kitchen just does not appeal to me. But when there's a little coolness in the air (southeastern US translation: it's not stifling hot anymore), my thoughts turn towards cutting in, rolling out, and all the other motions that come with sealing up a homemade pie.
This weekend I made two of the pie listed below. Fresh cranberries are still a little hard to find, so you might want to hold off for a couple weeks before trying it yourself. And please don't skip the step at the end with the milk-coated, cinnamon-sugared crust. To paraphrase Garrison Keillor, "Heavens, [it's] tasty."
Cranberry Ribbon Apple Pie
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup 100% cranberry juice
2 cups cranberries (about 8 ounces)
2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced
1 3/4 pounds Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced (I used Fujis; Galas are also good)
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 Butter Pie Crust Dough disks (or your own recipe)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 teaspoon milk
Pinch of ground cinnamon
Vanilla ice cream
Stir 3/4 cup sugar and juice in saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cranberries; bring to simmer. Reduce heat; simmer until almost all liquid is absorbed, stirring often, about 25 minutes. Cool. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)
Toss all apples, flour, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl to blend.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Roll out 1 dough disk on floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch deep-dish glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Spread cranberry mixture over crust bottom. Top with apple mixture; dot with butter. Roll out second dough disk on floured surface to 13-inch round; drape over apples. Trim overhang to 1 inch. Press crust edges together to seal; crimp. Cut 1-inch hole in center. Brush crust with milk. Mix remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and pinch of cinnamon in small bowl; sprinkle over crust.
Bake pie 15 minutes; reduce oven temperature to 375°F and bake until crust is golden, about 50 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool at least 2 hours. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.) Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.