Red Currant Apple Pie

Last weekend I went to Andrew’s Scenic Acres and among all the apples and gourds, I was thrilled to find freezers full of farm frozen summer fruit, including currants.

I had seen apples mixed with berries in pie before and thought that red currants would cut through a typical warm apple pie with their acidity. Boy was I right and it is DELICIOUS! The pie is complemented by the warming spices of fall and yet has some of the juiciness of a summer pie and it all comes together for the best of both worlds.

I know it might be tough for some to find good red currants, in which case fresh cranberries would do the trick!

Crust Ingredients

• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 tsp sea salt

• 1 tbsp sugar

• 1 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1 inch pieces)

• 1 cup cold water

• 1/4 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)

Filling Ingredients

  • 5 gala apples, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 cup red currants
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • Pinch of ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp flour

• Raw sugar, for sprinkling

• Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tsp water)

Steps

To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.

Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand.  Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms.  If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along.  Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together.  Cut the dough ball into two halves and flatten into disks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Remove from fridge and let sit for 5-10 minutes so the dough doesn’t crack. Roll out each disk on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick (it will be about 12-13 inches in diameter).

Fold the rolled out crust in half and set into a buttered 9 inch pie pan.  Unfold gently and settle the bottom of the crust into the corners.  Refrigerate while making filling and other dough disk.

Roll out the other dough disk into a 12-13 inch circle and refrigerate.

To make the filling, toss apple slices with sugar and lemon juice and let the mixture sit for 20 minutes. Drain excess liquid and add currant, mixing gently to combine. Add brown sugar, spices, salt and flour and toss gently to combine.

Remove pie shell from fridge and sprinkle 1 tsp each of flour and sugar on the bottom to keep the crust from getting soggy. Scoop in filling with a slotted spoon.

For this lattice design, take remaining dough disc and cut into 16 strips. Arrange two strips vertically just off centre of the pie, and lay two more horizontally just off centre. Place two more sets of two strips on either side of the existing vertical strips, then place a set on the remaining end, underneath the horizontal strip. Weave the remaining horizontal strips through the vertical ones for a lattice design.

Roll the bottom pie shell edge over itself and the lattice strips (trimming strips if necessary) pinching all around to seal. Crimp the edge, pinching the dough with your forefinger and thumb around your other thumb, like below:

Place the pie in the fridge for 10 minutes and preheat the oven to 425F.

Remove pie from fridge and brush with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar to your liking.  The egg wash ensures the pie is nicely browned.

Place the pie on a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and bake for 20 minutes until the pie crust is starting to set and brown.  Reduce the oven heat to 375F and bake for 30-35 minutes until the crust has browned and juices are bubbling throughout the pie.  Let cool for 2-3 hours and enjoy!

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