This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for pie. Because of this pie project, I have learned many things about the culinary world I did not know before now. I am especially thankful for the disasters that have happened along the way and for my family’s patience with me as I have inundated them with my various pie experiments. “Can we please have something other than quiche tonight?” my son has asked.
It seems silly to be thankful for pie, but I have learned in 36 years that small things matter. In fact, I have learned that oftentimes the small blessings turn out to be the biggest of all.
”So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” (Morrie Schwartz)
Cranberry Apple Pie with Pecan Shortbread Crust
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
- 3/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 pounds Gala apples
- 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- Toasted pecan halves, powdered sugar
- 1. Prepare Crust: Preheat oven to 350°. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 4 to 5 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Cool completely (about 20 minutes).
- 2. Meanwhile, beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer 1 minute or until creamy; add powdered sugar, beating well. Gradually add flour, beating at low speed until mixture is no longer crumbly and starts to come together into a ball. Stir in pecans. Shape one-third of dough into an 8-inch log; wrap in plastic wrap, and chill until ready to use. Press remaining dough on bottom and up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Cover and chill crust.
- 3. Prepare Filling: Peel apples. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges. Toss together apples and next 4 ingredients. Spoon mixture into prepared crust. Drizzle with melted butter.
- 4. Cut reserved dough log into 8 (1-inch) pieces. Gently shape each piece into a 6- to 8-inch rope. Lightly press each rope to flatten into strips. Arrange strips in a lattice design over filling.
- 5. Bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until juices are thick and bubbly, crust is golden brown, and apples are tender when pierced with a long wooden pick, shielding with foil during last 30 minutes to prevent excessive browning. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Remove sides of pan.