The Red Hen has just baked an apple cranberry pie, a weekly occurrence, and she started thinking about baking and cooking collectibles. There are paths to follow here, to be sure. Several years ago in Todd’s Farm Flea Market (Rowley, Massachusetts–a MUST see when in the Boston area), she picked up a pie stacker–with all pie plates intact! Quite a score!
These have been reproduced both for commercial use and home decor, and there exists a vintage larger European variety made of heavy wrought iron. The one she found is bent wire and was made to stack 4 grey speckled enamelware (also called “graniteware”–for obvious reasons) pie plates, both for cooling the pie and then displaying at a bakery or diner. She also has metal pie plate from the New England Table Talk Flaky Crust Pie company, the brand name impressed in the bottom and poked through with air holes for crisping the pie crust!
She will admit she has not yet used this pie pan as she is in love with its patina–but, someday it will get scrubbed and tried to see if indeed, without the use of lard, the crust will be flaky! Red Hen still owns her maternal great-grandmother’s sieve, used by her, her grandmother, mother and the RH for pressing cooked apples into apple sauce. YUM! Yes, there are easier ways to mill applesauce–but none that gives one the satisfaction of hand grinding.
And, it might be added, this one is safe–no chance of hot liquid blowing through the top as in a blender or food processor. And look at the little red enameled handle–still bright after over 75 years! This one gives all of its use information and patent on the blade. Another flea market score was the enamelware strainer in which to wash the apples!
Red Hen also owns her Aunt Jeannette’s enamelware double boiler–sadly, when first married it was dropped on a hard surface and chipped. But, it is still used for melting chocolate and butter, and at times stewing the apples for sauce. Red Hen likes the way heavy cast iron enamelware cooks.
And, lastly, there is the small collection of mixing bowls, some yellowware, which she loves for their butter color, and some in milk glass–because, well–milk glass is just clean looking and it feels so nice in the hand!
Time to clean up the dishes! And then, eat the pie “all by myself”! (not really! well maybe just a bite or two…)
Red Hen’s Without Guilt Apple and Cranberry Pie
About 8 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin **
Good squirt of lemon juice over the slices
1/2 cup dried cranberries (like Craisins)
Mix the following ingredients together and then mix through the apple and cranberry mixture:
3/4 cup Splenda OR sugar
2 tablespoons dried Instant Tapioca pudding
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
**Red Hen really likes Mackintosh apples when she can get them. You need about 9 or 10 apples since they are softer and ‘melt’ more. A time saver when using this type of softer apple is to chunk the apples instead of slicing them, so, peel, core, then chunk the apple quarters.
Your own pie crust recipe or 2 ready made refrigerated pie crusts. RH cheats when she is in a hurry and uses the refrigerated ones. Roll out the bottom crust so that it is thinner and does not get gummy during baking (that New England pan really should be tried!). Place crust in a pie plate, pierce the bottom repeatedly with a fork. Fill the bottom crust with the apple cranberry mixture and then place on the top crust; crimp the edges of the 2 crusts together. Pierce the top crust to allow for steam to escape OR use a pie bird in the center. Apples will ‘melt’ and the crust will stay high, the piercing will allow for some settling. RH then wets her hands and runs them lightly over the top crust, this will help the crust to brown nicely. Crystallized baking sugar can be sprinkled on top if you wish. Bake at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes.