Apple Cranberry Cake-Pie

I had so much fun doing my Week of Cupcakes back in August and my Week of Pumpkin in October, that I’m back for another Week of… This time I’m featuring cranberries! Until last year, I had never eaten a cranberry. Fresh or dried. Now I eat them all the time.

I remember seeing this recipe show up when TWD did it. I looked amazing so I had it bookmarked. Then we decided to have friends over to check out the new kitchen (yes, I realize I promised updated pictures a long time ago, I’ll get on that…)

Since we were hosting friends for dinner, I wanted to make a special dessert. I love the flavor combo of the apple and cranberries in this and the dough is great. It’s just like it sounds, somewhere between a cake and a pie.

I made a 1/2 batch and used an 8×8 pan. I also served this with ice cream. Then Hubby and I ate leftovers for breakfast for a couple days. If you like apple pie and cranberries, I highly recommend making this!

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Russian Grandmothers' Apple Pie-Cake

Ingredients:

For The Dough
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon
3 1/4 - 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

For The Apples
10 medium apples, all one kind or a mix
Squirt of fresh lemon juice
1 cup moist, plump raisins - I used dried cranberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Sugar, preferably decorating (coarse) sugar, for dusting

Directions:

To Make The Dough
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 3 minutes more. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add the baking powder and salt and mix just to combine. Add the lemon juice - the dough will probably curdle, but don't worry about it. Still working on low speed, slowly but steadily add 3 1/4 cups of the flour, mixing to incorporate it and scraping down the bowl as needed. The dough is meant to be soft, but if you think it looks more like a batter than a dough at this point, add the extra 1/4 cup flour. (The dough usually needs the extra flour.) When properly combined, the dough should almost clean the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each half into a rectangle. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or for up to 3 days. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months; defrost overnight in the refrigerator.)

To Make The Apples
Peel and core the apples and cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick; cut the slices in half crosswise if you want. Toss the slices in a bowl with a little lemon juice - even with the juice, the apples may turn brown, but that's fine - and add the raisins. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together, sprinkle over the apples and stir to coat evenly. Taste an apple and add more sugar, cinnamon, and/or lemon juice if you like.

Getting Ready to Bake
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter a 9x12-inch baking pan (Pyrex is good) and place it on a baking shee tlined with parchment or a silicone mat.

Remove the dough from the fridge. If it is too hard to roll and it cracks, either let it sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pin to get it moving. Once it's a little more malleable, you've got a few choices. You can roll it on a well-floured work surface or roll it between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. You can even press or roll out pieces of the dough and patch them together in the pan - because of the baking powder in the dough, it will puff and self-heal under the oven's heat. Roll the dough out until it is just a little larger all around than your pan and about 1/4 inch thick - you don't want the dough to be too thin, because you really want to taste it. Transfer the dough to the pan. If the dough comes up the sides of the pan, that's fine; if it doesn't that's fine too.

Give the apples another toss in the bowl, then turn them into the pan and, using your hands, spread them evenely across the bottom.

Roll out the second piece of dough and position it over the apples. Cut the dough so you've got a 1/4 to 1/2 inch overhang and tuck the excess into the sides of the pan, as though you were making a bed. (If you don't have that much overhang, just press what you've got against the sides of the pan.)

Brush the top of the dough lightly with water and sprinkle sugar over the dough. Using a small sharp knife, cut 6 to 8 evenly spaced slits in the dough.

Bake for 65 to 80 minutes, or until the dough is a nice golden brown and the juices from the apples are bubbling up through the slits. Transfer the baking pan to a cooling rack and cool to just warm or to room temperature. You'll be tempted to taste it sooner, but I think the dough needs a little time to rest.

Recipe from Dorie Greenspan, as seen on A Whisk and A Spoon

Check out my week of Cranberries here.

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27 Responses to “Homemade Fig Newtons”

  1. #
    1
    nutmegnanny — September 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I always loved fig newtons too 🙂 I have never thought of making my own. Now I know where to find a great recipe 😉

  2. #
    2
    Michael — September 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I am going to have to make these. As well as making them with some blackberries.

  3. #
    3
    Eliana — September 8, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    These look amazing and waaaay better than the store bought brand.

  4. #
    4
    mybizzykitchen.com — September 8, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    My husband loves fig newtons – just added this to my ever growing list of things to make!

  5. #
    5
    Maegan — September 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    I liked Newtons until they messed with the recipe…Maybe this version will be yummier.

  6. #
    6
    newlywed — September 8, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I love the idea of making these at home! I still buy Newtons from time to time…they’re so nice and wholesome.

  7. #
    7
    Melissa — September 8, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    You are so creative! My family loves Fig Newtons….can’t wait to make these!

  8. #
    8
    Evan B — September 9, 2010 at 2:42 am

    My boyfriend and I were just talking about fig newtons this evening! I was saying how much I loved them but hadnt had them recently.. and heres a way to make them myself!

  9. #
    9
    Elina — September 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I moved to the US when I was 15 so I didn’t grow up eating fig newtons but I liked them at my very first bite. I’m sure the homemade version is so much more gourmet 😉 Your pics make it look like raspberry filling which I bet would be amazing!!

  10. #
    10
    Katy — September 9, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    These bring me back to my childhood! Only, these look infinitely more delicious and decadent. The Blue-Eyed Bakers must make these soon!

  11. #
    11
    Carolyn — September 10, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    They look fantastic, and I’ve never actually been that much of a Fig Newton fan. Love the polka dot background for the pics too.

  12. #
    12
    Linda — September 11, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I love fig newtons. Hopefully, I can find my figs around here so I can try these.

    http://www.lindaslunacy.blogspot.com

  13. #
    13
    jonathan — September 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Congratulations on making one of the top food blogs!

    Jonathan
    Gluten Free

  14. #
    14
    Peggy — September 17, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I was always a fig newton-lover as a kid too! Glad I wasn’t the only one and these homemade ones look fantastic!

  15. #
    15
    I Like To Cook 222 — October 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    I did make these and loved them! I did just what you suggested and used a little less of dough for that amount of filling and just made some grape jam filled ones with the rest of the dough. They came out perfect! Thanks for sharing!
    http://ouritaliankitchen.blogspot.com/2010/10/fig-newtons.html

  16. #
    16
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  17. #
    17
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  18. #
    18
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  19. #
    19
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  20. #
    20
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  21. #
    21
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  22. #
    22
    Jen — November 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn – Yes, scoop out the flesh and seeds and discard the skins. Let me know how they turn out!

  23. #
    23
    Erin — January 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Thank you for posting this! Great recipe and I want to try with different fillings. I used strawberry for mine – yummy!

    In response to the dough ratio, I made it the way you posted but ended up with very thin dough once it was rolled out to 12×16 inches. I think you should leave it doubled.

  24. #
    24
    Hadar — May 16, 2013 at 3:08 am

    Hi, I want to make raspberry newtons and am finding it very hard to get an easy recipe online… think I could use this dough with raspberry jam?

    • beantownbaker — May 16th, 2013 @ 8:41 am

      You could definitely use raspberry jam for the filling!

  25. #
    25
    Hadar — May 26, 2013 at 1:03 am

    I made them with 3 different fillings: strawberry jam, blueberry pie filling and vanilla cream. All came out very tasty, and also last freezing nicely.
    A few comments:
    1. The dough was not easy to deal with, even after cooling. It was sticky and fell apart easily.
    2. With the first roll I made, I sliced it to cookies and separated them on the baking pan before baking. All of the Jam oozed out. The other ones I sliced but didn’t move the pieces, and it came out well.
    3. I think in order to taste like real newtons they lack some oats/cereal. Any Idea of how to add some to the dough?

    • beantownbaker — June 10th, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

      I would think you could grind up some oats and replace some of the flour with the ground up oats. If you try it, I’d love to hear how they turn out!

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