This was going to be an apple pie, until I realized I didn't have enough apples. It's a bit improvised, therefore, and could probably stand some more fine-tuning and improvisation. But if you don't feel comfortable playing around, this pie is pretty darn tasty--and fairly easy--as it is.
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup shortening, chilled
8 - 10 Tbsp ice cold water
Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Gently cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two knives until pea-sized. Sprinkle 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) of the cold water over flour mixture, tossing lightly with a fork. Add the remaining water 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork, and press to the side of the bowl until all is moistened.
Divide dough in half, and gently pat into 2 lightly flattened balls. (Don't overwork your dough at this point!) Place in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
6 cups baking apples (around 5 apples)
1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries
2 Tbsp margarine or butter, cut up
2-3 Tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 425°F. Peel, core, and thinly slice apples.
In a mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Add apples and toss to coat. Transfer apple mixture to a large pot over medium heat; simmer, stirring often, for 3 to 5 minutes, until apples are softening. Add granulated sugar and cranberries and mix thoroughly. Pre-cooking the filling will ensure that the filling and crust don't separate as the pie cooks.
On a lightly floured surface, roll one ball of pastry from the center ot the edges, to form a 12" circle. Fold in half or roll the pastry around the rolling pin. Unfold or unroll it over a 9" pie plate. Ease the pastry into the plate, and, using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, trim even with the rim.
Pour filling into the prepared pie crust. Cut margarine into small pieces and dot filling with margarine bits.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the second ball of pastry from center to edges, to form a 12" circle. Place the top crust on the filling, and cut slits or shapes to allow steam to escape. Using kitchen shears, trim the pastry 1/4" beyond the rim. Fold the top edge over the trimmed bottom edge, and flute the edge to seal.
Brush the top crust with milk, and sprinkle with sugar.
Fold a 12" square of aluminum foil into quarters. Cut out the center section, making a 7 1/2" circle. Unfold the foil and place the square section over the pie. Loosely mold the foil over the edges to protect them from burning.
Bake for 35 minutes in the center rack of the oven, with a cookie sheet underneath to catch spills. Remove foil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes more until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly.
Let cool for at least 1 1/2 hours and up to 4 hours before eating with a generous serving of vanilla ice cream on the side.