Holiday Spiced Apple Cranberry Pie

"We are a family owned and operated food truck that sells slices of homemade sweet pie. My mother was a pie maker when I was growing up and it's been a joy to carry on the tradition in a fun and whimsical way. This holiday pie is our own recipe and is all the best things for this time of year: seasonal, pretty, and deliciously flavored with all of the holiday spices. I like to decorate the top with festive cut-outs and place it on the table at meal time as the centerpiece." 

Pastry for double crust pie

2 cups washed, whole cranberries

1 cup sugar

3 Tb cornstarch

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp salt

1 Tb lemon juice

4 apples (preferably Gala or similar type)

1 pear

½ tsp vanilla

2 Tb butter

1 Tb half and half

Cinnamon and sugar mixture for dusting

Preheat oven to 425.

Prepare bottom pie crust in a glass dish. Roll out dough, place in pie plate, and trim the overhanging crust to 1 inch all around. Place in the refrigerator until ready to fill. Use any trimmed dough for decorative cut outs, and refrigerate those as well.

Place 1 Tb of lemon juice in a large bowl. Peel and slice the apples, adding them to the lemon juice and tossing them as you go.  Peel and slice the pear, add it to the apples, and set aside. In a medium sized bowl combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, ground cloves, and salt. Set aside. In a food processor, process the 2 cups of whole cranberries until roughly chopped. Add the chopped cranberries to the sugar mixture and stir to combine. Add the cranberry mixture and vanilla to the apples, and stir. Pour the fruit filling into the refrigerated bottom crust, and dot with the 2 Tb of butter.

Roll out the top crust and place over the top of the apples. Trim to ¼ inch inside the overhanging bottom crust. Fold the bottom crust over the top, and then crimp to seal all the way around. Brush with half and half, and arrange cut outs on the top. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 45 minutes, or until filling is thick and bubbling. Place a foil lined baking sheet on the lower rack of the oven during the second half of baking to catch dripping filling. Cool completely before serving.

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