I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner – the tradition, spending the day with family and friends, feeding the people I love. Plus, it appeals to the OCD side of my personality – meal planning, grocery shopping lists, timetables. Yes, I said timetables. This year I didn’t host Thanksgiving. I missed it, but we spent the day with friends and had a great time and a fabulous meal. I did, however, get to bring dessert. I made two pies – pumpkin and spiced apple/pear/cranberry crumb pie. I had originally planned on bringing a chess pie, but I took it for a test drive the weekend before Thanksgiving and it turned out to be a stinker. I ended up making the crumb pie instead. I thought everyone would go for the pumpkin pie, but it was the crumb pie that turned out to be the big hit.
Spiced Apple/Pear/Cranberry Crumb Pie
Adapted from Melissa Clark’s In the Kitchen with a Good Appetite
The only changes I made were to use 1 cup of golden raisins instead of a half-cup each of golden and dark raisins, and to use pecans instead of walnuts in the crumb topping, since that’s what I had on hand. I used a mixture of Granny Smith and McIntosh apples and Bosc pears.
- 1 pie crust
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup dark raisins
- 1/3 cup dark rum
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 apples (about 1 pound), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 large pears (about 1 pound), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2/3 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Pinch kosher salt
For the crumb topping
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
On a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of plastic wrap, roll the pie dough into a 3/8-inch-thick round. Line a 9-inch pie pan with the dough, use your thumb and forefinger to flute the edges, and chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling (or for up to 1 day; lightly cover the dough with plastic if leaving for more than 2 hours).
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the raisins and rum with 1/3 cup water. Stir in the brown sugar and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved, then remove from the heat, cover, and let cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, combine the apples, pears, cranberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. When the raisin mixture has cooled, scrape it into the fruit mixture, tossing well to combine. Allow the fruit mixture to rest at room temperature while you bake the crust.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the crust with foil, fill with pie weights, and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake the crust until light golden brown, about 20 minutes. Take the pan out of the oven and remove the foil and weights.
Scrape the filling into the crust, piling the fruit into a mound in the center so it does not spill out. Return the pie to the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the crumb topping. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, oats, brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour mixture until large crumbs form. Carefully remove the pie from the oven and sprinkle the crumb topping all over the filling. Return the pie to the oven and bake until the fruit is very tender and the juices are bubbling, another 30 to 35 minutes. Check after 20 minutes; if the crumb topping looks too brown, tent the pie with a sheet of foil. Allow the pie to cool for 25 to 30 minutes on a wire rack before serving.