Thursday, November 13, 2008

Cranberry Apple Almond Pie

My husband and I live in the Seattle area, which is city by all means, but it doesn’t take too long to get to farmland and orchards. We recently took a trip to Leavenworth, WA, a quaint Bavarian town in the heart of apple country. While we were there we stopped at the local produce stand and picked up some apples. They had so many varieties and I honestly can’t remember which types I got. I think I got some braeburn apples or maybe they were fuji apples, I can’t recall. We also bought another variety that was “perfumy.” They were all so fresh that we figured we couldn’t really go wrong.
I knew I wanted to make an apple pie, but wanted something different. We had an apple pie at a restaurant that had a strong almond flavor and the filling was more the texture of a cake. My husband found this recipe online, using almond paste. When I first started baking, I would never make a recipe that included almond paste since it was so expensive. I still use it in moderation, since it can add up so quickly. This recipe isn’t quite what we had at the restaurant, but there were some similarities.

Lining the pastry with almond paste was a great touch. The almond flavor permeated throughout the entire pie and gave a wonderful almond-apple-cranberry flavor. Rolling out the almond paste into a circle was a bit tricky, and involved several blows with a rolling pin to get the paste flexible enough to roll. It took some effort, but I was able to get it into a circle finally. I will definitely make this again (my husband keeps reminding me that we have apples left!).

1 unbaked 9" pie shell (from scratch or purchased)
7 oz box Odense Almond Paste
5 baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped almonds
6 Tbsp cold butter, in 1/2" pieces
Preheat oven to 375 F. Roll almond paste between 2 sheets of wax paper to form a 8"-9" circle. Lightly press the disk of almond paste into the bottom of the pie shell.
Mix together in a bowl the apples, cranberries, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Pour mixture into the pie shell.
In a bowl, combine the remaining cinnamon, flour, oats, brown sugar, and almonds. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut the butter into the flour mixture until crumbs are formed. Spoon crumb mixture evenly over filling.
Bake 50-60 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

No comments: