Friday, November 27, 2009

Apple Cranberry Pie with Tahini Crust

Apple Cranberry Pie with Tahini Crust and Almond Butter Cream

Thanksgiving was a blast. We broke out one of the extra leaves of my dining table and had seven people total! Guests brought wine and beer, a delectable sweet potato and onion galette, a pear-cranberry chutney, and a yummy sweet potato pie. I made a few other things. I'm going to start with the most important: pie. This recipe is adapted from a berry pie recipe from Arhia's family. The filling is fruit, plus a little bit of other stuff (she used arrowroot and flour) to firm it up, and sugar as needed. I turned this into a very tart apple pie which incorporated lemon, ginger, and cranberries (and the accordingly necessary sugar), as well as some apple pie type spices. The crust is all Arhia's: using tahini instead of butter, lard, or oil gives the crust an amazing nutty taste.

I decided at the last minute to make Robin Robertson's Almond Butter Cream. This would have paired nicely with the pie, but I put it in a container that had recently housed onions, and the results were slightly tragic. If anyone has any ideas about what to do with a cup of oniony almond date goop, let me know. I'm also wondering how I could have made the top of the pie look more attractive. I know I should have used a bit more fruit (I've already adjusted the recipe); I'm wondering if this is the main reason that the top looked a little anemic and wilted, or if I should have glazed the apples on top or something.

Apple Cranberry Pie with Tahini Crust
(adapted from a recipe by Arhia)

Tahini Crust
Ingredients (9-in pie)
3/4 c white flour
3/4 c wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 c tahini

Mix together dry ingredients. Cut in tahini (I used a knife and then switched to a fork as it got more evenly mixed in--see image to the right). Mix in warm water, a small amount at a time, until a dry dough forms.

Place 1 large sheet of waxed paper on a flat surface, using a few drops of water underneath to hold it in place. Transfer dough to top of this waxed paper and cover with another sheet. Roll out the dough to desired thickness. Remove top sheet of waxed paper and transfer crust to oiled pie pan.

Remaining crust can be baked off in a frying pan and topped with jam for a delicious snack (see image to the left)!

Apple Cranberry Pie
about 6 apples, cored and sliced (I used Fuji)
1 1/2 c fresh or frozen (unsweetened) cranberries
1-2 TB fresh ginger, grated
2 TB fresh lemon juice
1/2 c turbinado sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cloves
3 TB cornstarch
3 TB flour

Fruit should more than fill the pie pan (see image to the right). If desired, retain some of the fruit for a decorative topping. In a saucepan, cook fruit and ginger with some water until it begins to soften. Add remaining ingredients and cook for a few minutes, until well mixed. Transfer to pie crust. Top with reserved fruit and brown sugar, if desired (see image to the left).

Bake pie at 425* for ten minutes, then at 350* for an additional 40-50 minutes, until filling is bubbling and crust begins to brown. Allow to stand and cool before serving.

Update, January 2010: I made this pie back home over the holidays and it turned out prettier. We used more fruit, and my mom made a prettier crust than I had:

Almond Butter Cream
(from Vegan Planet)

1 c boiling water
1 c raw almonds
1/2 c boiling water
4 dates, pitted

Place almonds in a larger bowl and dates in a smaller bowl. Pour boiling water over each. After 1 minute, drain almonds and pat dry. Remove skins. When dates are soft and have cooled, blend blanched (skinless) almonds, dates, and date water in a blender, adding water as necessary. Cover and chill before serving.


Anonymous said...

What's this crust like? Is it flaky at all, or is it hard and shell-like?

Julia said...

Hi! You know, I can't remember-- I haven't made this crust since this post. I think it was a bit tougher/crunchier than my usual go-to crust.