There are two kinds of people in the world. There are cake people, and there are pie people.
I am a fervent member of the cake people clan. I love moist and fluffy cake topped with creamy icing; and chocolate has been my downfall since I could utter the word. Cake is my go-to sweet spot. In truth, I haven’t given pie a chance. I even spent the first fifteen years of my time on this earth not eating pie at all. *The pie people gasp* But occasionally I have given it a go, and though it is often tasty -- pie just isn’t cake.
But on the other side of the kitchen small voices whisper: “Cake just isn’t pie.”
What separates a cake person from a pie person, you ask? Well that’s a whole different blog post. Today I bring up this point simply to admit that the two camps exist. And when you throw a birthday party, you might have to consider the fact that some people will stand in the corner, force down cake, and mutter to their crust craving brethren “Well, it’s just not pie.” And it’s my party, and I won’t cry if I can help it. So, for the pie people in my life I provided pie-a-plenty. (And by plenty I mean one. Come on, there’s only one cake.)
Apple pie - the American classic - seemed the best candidate to please the pie possessed masses. But I’m not one for classic. I’m one for giving life a little twist. Thus, using a recipe provided by my (better than Edward Cullen) Guru Ms. Martha Stewart, I made apple pie; but with a very special birthday-worthy ingredient. What ingredient, you ask?
Why fresh cherries, of course.
Cherries are special because cherry pie is my personal favorite. They’re special because cherries are the perfect cheesecake accessory. Perfect because cherries girly-on-up a mixed drink before you can say green apple martini! Cherries are ruby red and hot! And it’s my party and I’ll have cherries if I want to. And thus, my second pie was born.
So, should you have pie people of your own to please, keep their tongues tantalized with this cherry-lickin’- birthday-worthy pie recipe:
Spiced Apple Cherry Pie
(Slightly modified from Martha Stewart’s Holiday Sweets 2009 Winter Issue Recipe)
¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 recipe pate brisee
3 pounds granny smith apples
1 pound fresh pitted cherries (or canned if fresh isn’t available)
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice
¾ cup packed light-brown sugar (dark brown works too)
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
Some fine sanding sugar for sprinkling
1) On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Fit into a 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Trim edges flush with rim. Chill 1 hour, or up to overnight.
2) Roll out remaining disk of dough to 1/8 inch thick and cut 1-inch thick strips for lattice. Put on parchment paper and chill in fridge for an hour, or up to overnight.
3) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
4) Peel and core apples. Thinly slice half of apples, and cut the other half in 1-inch pieces.
5) Toss together apples, cherries, lemon zest, lemon juice, brown and granulated sugars, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl.
6) Pour filling into pie shell, mounding it at the center. Dot with butter.
7) Whisk together egg yolk and cream for the egg wash. Lightly brush over edge of crust.
8) Use 1-inch strips of dough to create a lattice work. I used this link to show me how to make mine: Creating a Pie Lattice
9) Spread egg wash over the lattice work and then sprinkle with sanding sugar.
10) Bake pie on middle rack. Put a sheet of tin foil on the rack below to catch any excess juices. Bake until golden brown (about 25 minutes).
11) Reduce oven heat to 375 degrees, and bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling (about 70 minutes). Tent with foil if crust is browning too quickly. Transfer to wire rack and let cool completely.