Heather’s Cranberry Apple Pie Inspires OccuPie Brookline

Posted on 31 October 2011

Occupie Brookline Cranberry Apple Pie

A week ago, after chowing down chow foon in Chinatown, we went with our friends Heather and Will to Occupy Boston. Will led us, as he had been there before to donate goods. With tents snugged together like soap bubbles, the encampment is not so much a protest site as a tiny village. It has a library, a bike-powered generator (courtesy of MIT), a canteen, art exhibits, entertainment, derelicts, tourists (us), and dedicated activists chanting responsively in the village square.

An apple from the canteen that had rolled to the foot of a tent got me thinking about Heather’s Cranberry Apple Pie. Sweet, tangy, scrumptious, and so New England.

Heather gave me this recipephany several months ago, but now as we approach Thanksgiving, it’s time to share it as part of our new movement, OccuPie Brookline. Our cause: Everyone is entitled to a bigger piece of the pie.

Heather’s pies

“Here’s the recipe for two deep or four shallow pies,” writes Heather. “I should note that no matter who in the family is hosting Thanksgiving, it’s been a standing requirement for many years that I show up with at least two Cranberry Apple Pies and some vanilla ice cream. I tend to make four pies at once—two to bring and two to freeze. They freeze, unbaked, really well and can be baked months later.”

She and I use the hand-crank peeler/corer/slicer, which peels the apple skins into thin, spiraling ribbons. “Eating the ‘peels’ from the apples used to be a big treat for my kids,” she says. “They had lots of fun eating the long strands.  At this point, I’m the only one enjoying the strands,” she adds, now that her kids are both in college.

I made only one pie, so I used about one-third of the recipe (see below). She says just to make sure to be generous with the cinnamon, and she’s so right.

Cranberry Apple Pie

For 2-4 pies

  • 12-15 apples (Heather likes Empires but notes that any baking apple works) yielding 12 cups, peeled, sliced apple pieces
  • 4-5 cups cranberries (depending on how sweet the apples are and how tart you like it)
  • 2 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6+ teaspoons cinnamon  (never too much!)

Stir together sugars, flour and cinnamon. Add apples and cranberries and coat well. Turn into pastry lined pans. (Heather likes to make a lattice top.)

Bake at 425° for 45 minutes.  Keep foil around the edges for the first half hour or so, then remove edge foil for the last 10ish minutes.

For one 9-inch pie (approximately)

  • 5 apples, yielding about 4 cups
  • 1¾ cups cranberries
  • 1 cup sugar with 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 2+ teaspoons cinnamon (never too much!)
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