The Canadian classic takes a tart-but-sweet Thanksgiving turn by adding dried cranberries to each of the three layers. The resulting seasonal variation is bound to delight family and friends at Thanksgiving festivities and start the holiday cookie season off sweetly.
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My Thanksgiving table isn't complete without an assortment of cranberry sauces. I like to have a basic back-of-the-bag recipe flanked by versions spiked with wine, studded with different fruits, punched up with spices and zest. The sauces are usually only perfunctorily spooned on plates, given the limited real estate, but that translates into ample leftovers. This year, I wanted to showcase the ruby red, tart cranberry sauce and give it its due by putting it on a pedestal (or cake stand).
This cake may not redefine every thought you've ever had about cranberries, but it will turn them upside down--literally.
We've already figured out how to make great crusts and which apples to use, but I want apple slices that retain their structure as they bake, fully softening so that there is no crispness remaining, but still remaining firm enough that an individual slice retains most of its initial shape. That's exactly what we're going to address this week.
Like burgers and pizza, I believe pie to be one of the truly perfect foods. A culinary endpoint that can be improved incrementally, but not fundamentally. The true beauty of a pie comes from that magical interaction between crust and filling. One sweet, tart, and fruity, the other buttery and rich, they complement each other in flavor and texture and create a dish that is so much greater than the sum of its parts. As such, each part deserves respect. What are the best apples for the job?
Applesauce pie is exactly what it sounds like: a sweet, flaky pie crust, filled with amazing, homemade "applesauce" that is cooked inside the pie as it bakes. To make it, you do as you would with other apple pies, by piling peeled, cored apple wedges high in the center of the bottom crust, and sealing them in with the top crust. The only difference is the outcome: the apples initially support the top crust as it bakes, but then cook down, leaving a big pocket of air, and juicy, chunky applesauce inside.