Project Wonderful

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Awesome Apple Pie (the fast way)

I had a couple packages of pre-made pie crust left over from Thanksgiving and we had a nice assortment of apples on hand, and since it was too cold to do anything but wear sweats, listen to music and sip hot tea all day, we decided it was time for pie.

If you aren't making the crust yourself, making an apple pie is pretty easy. It's a little time consuming, but the end result is pretty awesome.

This recipe comes from the ring-bound version of the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. It's a great resource and I always find some terrific ideas in it.  And the fact that it's ring-bound means it sits flat on the counter when you're working with it.

  • 6 cups apples, sliced (about 2 1/4 cups) 
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup dried sweetened cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 package of frozen pie crusts (two crusts) 
For the crumb topping:
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tbsp of chilled butter
Cut and core your apples.
Some recipes tell you to peel them as well. Bah!
If you cut them thin the skin is not a problem. Plus it adds some color to the finished product. 

We realized that the amount of apples the recipe called for was A LOT more than were necessary so we ended up making two pies (oh the humanity!)

This is also because we were using 8" pie pans instead of a 9" one. 

It probably would have fit into one pan if we were using the right size. 

Sprinkle the apples with the lemon juice to prevent them from oxidizing,
then toss them in a bowl with the other ingredients and mix so each slice is covered in the mixture. 

We used a combination of Rome and Granny Smith apples,
which I think gives a nice balance of sweet and tart.

The dried cranberries add a nice little pop of flavor too.

Not to mention it looks all festive for Christmas. 

This nasty mess is one of the frozen crusts we were working with.
When you get pre-made crusts from the store, sometimes they are screwed up like this.

I've found that as long as you fit all the pieces together,
the pie bakes fine and no one will notice the difference.

This particular crust called for it to be thawed for about 20 minutes,
 then the bottom pricked with a fork several times to help it cook.

For the crumb topping, take 1/2 cup flour,
1/2 cup packed brown sugar,
and 3 Tbsp chilled butter in a bowl...

...and with one of those pasty cutter/ dough blender thingies mash all that stuff together.

What? Not everyone has a pastry cutter/ dough blender thingie?
They're actually pretty useful if you make a lot of pies.
If you don't, a fork or a couple of butter knives used in a criss-cross fashion will work pretty well. 

Cut the butter into the flour/ sugar until you get coarse crumbs.

If you have kids, this is a great activity to have them do for you.
I have cats; they are useless. 

Start filling the pie. 

You COULD arrange the apple slices,
alternating the red and green slices 
into nice neat patterns,
But good god, why? No one is going to notice or care. 

Just dump the apples into the pan,
arrange them so they aren't falling out and move on.

This is the other crust we had. It came rolled up into a tube.
It stuck together in several places, requiring us 

to carefully work the layers apart with a fork. 

Not fun.

To place the dough into the pan, roll the dough loosely around a rolling pin, place the loose end over one side of the pan and unroll the dough from the pin so that it covers the pan. 

I would have taken pictures of this process, but both of our hands were full futzing with the dough. 

And as you can see, the crust was a little larger than the pan we were using.

Angela had the brilliant idea of trimming the excess dough from the pan,
and using the dough strips to make a lattice. 

I would have just wrapped the dough over the top of the pie and left it. 
Angela's idea was much better.

She's kinda awesome that way.

For the one with the crumb topping,
once the apples are in place, just spread the crumb mixture over the whole thing.

At this point you could also brush milk over the one with the lattice dough and sprinkle sugar on top for an added touch of class. Angela says we will definitely do this next time.  

Place the pies on a cookie sheet to prevent a mess in your oven,
wrap the edges of the crusts with tinfoil and bake in the oven at 375ยบ for 40 minutes,
until the tops are golden and the apples are bubbling up.

Then remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes.

Be sure to set them on a rack to cool. We're talking lava hot, here.

 And there you go. Delicious, home made and its as easy know, something that's easy.


No comments:

Post a Comment