Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Apple Pie

People always refer to apple pie as such an all-American dish. What does that even mean? All-American can mean that something is made from American products but pie crust was invented by Greeks and apples originated in Asia so that can't be it. All-American also describes something that has American ideals like industriousness and tenacity and dream-achieving. Does that really describe apple pie? Whatever; I apologize because I am just rambling.

Anyway, if you pop over to my travel blog, you can read all about my family's apple picking outing. What did we do with all of those apples? Lately, I've been taking one or two with me to work everyday and eating them for breakfast and as a snack but the v. first thing I did with the apples when I got home was to make a pie.
Ingredients:
pie crust (9")
5 to 6 apples (I used empire apples freshly picked that day)
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup flour
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter cut into cubes
1 tablespoon cream
1 tablespoon raw sugar

You don't necessarily have to use the spices that I used. You can use a pre-mixed apple pie seasoning (which usually contains these three spices and maybe some cloves and allspice) or add in what you like.
Start by peeling the apples, coring them, and cutting them into slices. Add in some lemon zest, lemon juice, brown sugar, flour, vanilla extract, and the spices. Toss together, making sure everything is evenly coated, and set aside.
Roll out your dough to about 1/8" thick and fill your pie pan. Then, fill the crust with your apples and place the cubes of butter all over the top. Then, cover the pie with more dough. I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut vents out of my topper before I placed it on my pie but you can just use a knife to cut slits instead. The hearts didn't actually keep their shape too well so it was kind of a pointless task anyway.
Use a fork to crimp the edges and seal the pie shut.
Then, brush the top with a bit of cream and sprinkle on some raw sugar.
Place the pie on a foil-lined baking sheet, just in case it bubbles over. It's much easier to clean up a cookie sheet than it is to clean out the oven.
Bake the pie at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes or until it looks golden brown and pretty.
This ended up not being the prettiest looking pie - I'd describe this as "rustic" - but it has golden edges and pretty and I love the reflective sugar sprinkled on top.
Let the pie cool for a bit to let the filling set up a little. You can serve it warm or cooled completely. I prefer warm.
I gave myself a tiny baby slice to try. It was good! The apples still had a little bit of bite to them, which I prefer, and it wasn't overly sweet. The crust was flaky and buttery, exactly what you want in a crust, and the crunchy bits of sugar on top were awesome.

For a bit of flair, serve it a la mode. Might I suggest some chai spice ice cream?
Here's the recipe page:

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