Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Pie Duo

I ended up making an Apple Crumb Pie and a Pumpkin Pie for Thanksgiving this year. I made the apple one using the same substitutions as in this post. The Pumpkin Pie recipe can be found here. Sadly, I had a mental lapse and forgot to put the Pumpkin Pie in the refrigerator. It went bad before we could eat it all. It tasted great while it lasted though. I made both of the pies with a pie pumpkin and Granny Smith apples we got from Larriland Farm.

Current Pie Tally: 104

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Falling for Chocolate

More than one month since the last post, and all I have to show is this one pie. Good thing it's my current favorite. It packs a chocolate wallop that will keep you pied-up for a while. I originally made this for the neighborhood book club meet-up, but then had to cancel because my husband had the puke bug. What a shame. We couldn't share with anyone and had to eat this entire pie by ourselves. My two-year-old has since been converted to a pie-lover. Chocolate pie? Yes, please! There are two slices left. It will be gone by tomorrow. Recipe is the same as the last versions. Now the question is, "How many pies to make for Thanksgiving?"

Current Pie Tally: 102

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Chocolate Pecan Pie

It's been cold, I needed a break from apples, and I wanted to do something different to celebrate my first 100 pies - hence this Chocolate Pecan Pie. I found a Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie recipe from a Washington Post pie contest online, and it was just what I was looking for to give my pecan pie a nice chocolate zip. I didn't use the Post recipe, however. I merely added 1 cup of chocolate chips to my tried-and-true Pecan Pie recipe. I can see some bourbon-soaked pecans and dark chocolate popping up in future versions. I also think I'll omit the orange zest the next time around. It betrays the decadent nature of the pie. We don't need any fruity fresh, just as much chocolately nutty sweet as we can stomach.

Current Pie Tally: 101

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pie Contest Blurb in the Local Paper

There's a Pie Contest write-up in the Takoma Park Newsletter. The blurb and a couple photos are on Page 9. The proof is in the pie, so to speak.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Gimme Some Apple Crumb

This pie rectified a severe dessert shortage in my household. My sweet tooth was aching and this one hit the spot. I even had the gall to serve it to dinner guests two days after it was baked. And with this and the second savory pie, I was apple to use up the subpar pie contest crusts that I threw in the freezer for safekeeping. I thought the crusts were great in the savory and crumb pies, so maybe they just needed to chill out for a while. Ha ha. Happy Hundreth Pie to me! For the Apple Crumb Pie recipe, click here (don't forget to read my substitutions). To celebrate, I think I shall try something new and different - perhaps a pecan pie with chocolate chips that I recently read about.

Current Pie Tally: 100

Savory Austrian Apple Pie, Take 2

I made another Savory Austrian Apple Pie while basking in the glory of my win during the week following the pie contest. While developing the recipe, I relied heavily on a tart recipe in a German cookbook that I received as a gift. After Americanizing many of the metric measurements of the ingredients, I realized the purchasable American quantities would yield enough of the good stuff for two pies. Since most of the first one went to charity, it seemed like a good idea to have plans for another one intended for personal consumption. I took this one on a picnic to Frying Pan Park in Herndon, VA, where it was enjoyed with a good friend. The leftovers were eaten for breakfast at Matthews Arm Campground in the Blue Ridge Mountains. For the recipe, view my recent pie contest post. Oh boy, I'm on the cusp of my 100th pie!

Current Pie Tally: 99

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Victory is Savory

My Savory Austrian Apple Pie won second place! The New England Apple Pie, sadly, was white noise among the other exotic offerings. There were more than 20 contest entries. I am convinced, though, that the New England Apple came out great. I went through two tries with the crust, and the second attempt was spot on. It was a flaky masterpiece. I do regret my overzealous heaping of the apple filling though, and my attempts at creative aesthetics for that one. I tried to do a little ring of apple cutouts around the center of the top crust. After baking, they looked like sloppy holes. Add that to the fact that the apples really cooked down during baking, leaving a vacuous cavern of crust to stare into. Suffice to say, it was a bit lacking in the aesthetics department but still on par with most of the other entries on the table.

The savory pie, on the other hand, was the only savory pie in the contest, and it had it all. The apple slices cooperated with being arranged in an artful spiral and the beautifully caramelized shallots and browned Gruyere cheese really tied it all together. And yes, I was "that guy" (or gal) who bought a slice of her own winning pie to know definitively how it came out. It was exquisite. It was so rich that one of the judges was even convinced there was bacon in it. Another hinted that I was robbed of first place because of a slight gender divide among the judges. Apparently, men have more of a sweet tooth. So what did I win, you ask. Second prize was a nice reusable farmer's market bag and $15 in farmer's market tokens. And you can look for my photo in the local paper! More info about the contest can be found on the farmers market Facebook page. I feel very validated in my pie efforts. There is one downside though - my deep Chantal pie dish that the New England Apple was in was broken by one of the staff during the clean-up process. I am being reimbursed, but it is still a bummer. Well, enough about all that. Without further ado, here is the recipe:

Savory Austrian Apple Pie
pastry dough for one pie crust
about 6 tart apples, peeled, cored, & sliced (I used Ginger Gold)
4oz. creme fraiche
1/3c. whole milk
3 eggs
1t. salt
1/2t. pepper
a pinch of chili powder
1/4lb. shallots, sliced into thin rings
2T. butter
1/4c. apple cider
1/4lb. Gruyere cheese, shredded

Roll out bottom crust and place in pie dish. Piece with a fork. Freeze 10 min while oven preheats to 375F. Remove crust from freezer, fill with pie weights, and bake for 12 min. Remove pie weights and bake an additional 12-15 min at the same temperature, until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool at least 20 min. Mix the creme fraiche, milk, eggs, salt, pepper, and chili powder in a large bowl. Heat 2T of butter in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add shallots and cook until caramelized. Remove from heat and add cider to shallots in skillet. Pour a small amount of filling mixture into cooked pie crust. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the cheese. Layer apple slices over to fill crust. Top with remaining filling, shallots, and cheese. Bake at 400F for 25 min, then reduce heat to 350F and bake for another 20 min, until top is nicely browned. Guten Appetit!

Current Pie Tally: 98

Dinner Party Pumpkin

Time to play catch-up again. We had some lovely neighbors over for dinner last week, so I made this Pumpkin Pie using the recipe I honed last year. It came out great as usual and got all of our thoughts turning toward Fall. As I write this, my apple pie contest entries are cooling on the counter. Based on appearance and creativity (and maybe aroma), my husband says the Austrian Apple is going to win. We'll see in about an hour!

Current Pie Tally: 96

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Block Party Apple Crumb Pie

This was a huge hit at our neighborhood's block party over Labor Day weekend. Recipe is the same as the last version. To update you on the pie contest, I am planning to submit two: Savory Austrian Apple and New England Apple. Wish me luck! Until then, I have ambitions to bake the first Pumpkin Pie of the season this weekend.

Current Pie Tally: 95

Monday, August 27, 2012

Perfect Peach Pie

No summer is complete without a straight-up peach pie.

Perfect Peach Pie
pastry dough sufficient for two pie crusts
about 12 peaches, peeled, pitted, & sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
4 T. arrowroot starch
1/2 t. cinnamon

Mix all the filling in a large bowl. Roll out bottom crust and place in pie dish. Pour filling in. Roll out upper crust, place on top, cut vent, and crimp to seal edges. Bake at 425F for 25 min, then reduce heat to 350F and bake for another 40-50 min, until crust is golden and fruit goo starts splashing out of the crust vent.

Current Pie Tally: 94

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Apples are In

Our second trip to my mother's beach cottage this summer warranted this Apple Crumb Pie. I don't like to show up empty-handed. I used Gingergold apples from the farmer's market and it came out great. For the recipe, click here. I made my own standby pie crust rather than using the one in the recipe. I did pre-bake the crust. The other substitution is that I used 3T of fresh orange juice instead of the 1T fresh lemon juice and 2T apple cider. Also, I did not cook the apple filling separately as the recipe suggests. Instead, I threw everything into the pie raw and baked it for about 1.5 hours instead of 40 minutes.

In other farmer's market apple news, I've entered a pie contest on September 16. I might make two pies if they'll allow it - one sweet and one savory. Otherwise, I'll have to decide between a daring entry like Apple Shallot Pie and a traditonal two-crust Apple Pie or Apple Crumb Pie. "A panel of distinguished judges, including Takoma Park Mayor Bruce Williams, will judge the pies based on creativity, appearance, taste and texture. Prizes will be awarded..." If you live nearby, come on out to cheer me on. Judging is at 10:30am. Slices will be sold for charity afterwards.

Current Pie Tally: 93

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Thanks for Babysitting" Pie

This Cherry Blackberry Pie was a "thank you" for my mom. She watched my son for a week, so my husband and I could go gallivanting around Europe. It tasted like summer and fulfilled all of my expectations. I even got to try out mom's new food processor, which made me a touch jealous. I think it's nicer than my own - larger capacity and very strong motor. Without further ado, here is the recipe:

Cherry Blackberry Pie

pastry dough sufficient for two pie crusts
1 large bag of cherries, pitted and halved
2 pints of blackberries
1 cup sugar
1/4 c. quick-cooking tapioca

Mix all the filling in a large bowl. Squish it up with your hands to get the cherry-berry juices flowing. Roll out bottom crust and place in pie dish. Pour filling in. Roll out upper crust, place on top, cut vent, and crimp to seal edges. Bake at 425F for 25 min, then reduce heat to 350F and bake for another 50-60 min, until crust is golden and fruit goo starts splashing out of the crust vent.

Current Pie Tally: 92

Soupy Vacation Pie

I threw this Rhubarb Custard Pie together with all of the leftover rhubarb I had in the fridge. In retrospect, I should have been more meticulous about measuring the amount of rhubarb that went into the pie. I definitely added more than 4 c. As a result, the proportions of the pie were off and it didn't set properly. It's possible that leaving it in the oven a bit longer might have also solved the problem. At any rate, it tasted delicious, but the texture left something to be desired. The recipe can be found here. Bake at 400F for 50-60 min. (I took this one out of the oven after 48 min, which was a mistake).

Current Pie Tally: 91

Monday, July 9, 2012

3rd of July Pie: 2 of 2

I also made this Chocolate Pudding Pie when we had my husband's lab over for dinner the other night. To keep things in season, I really should have made a summer fruit pie of some kind. The chocolate urge hit, and I couldn't resist. The recipe is the same as the last time I made this pie. And now I'm 10 pies away from 10% of my overall goal. That's somethin'!

Current Pie Tally: 90

Friday, July 6, 2012

3rd of July Pie: 1 of 2

I made this Rhubarb Custard Pie when we had my husband's lab over for dinner the other night. It was the first time quite a few of our guests had ever tried rhubarb. I trust the experience was a positive one. The recipe is the same as the last time I made this pie.

Current Pie Tally: 89

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cherry Rhubarb Pie

My one complaint about this pie is that I should have added a bit more sugar. That, or I used inferior cherries that weren't terribly sweet (from a cheap grocery store down the street). I eyeballed the amount of fruit that went into the pie, and I think my ratio of fruit-to-sugar was off. When you're cooking with tart and tasty rhubarb, you really don't want to screw that up. If I made it again, I probably would add another half cup of sugar to the filling. That said, with a dollop of vanilla ice cream to mellow out the tartness, it was perfect. Here's the recipe:

Cherry Rhubarb Pie

pastry dough sufficient for two pie crusts
1 large bag of cherries, pitted and halved
about 6 stalks of rhubarb, cut into 1/2" slices
1 cup sugar
5 T. arrowroot starch

Mix all the filling in a large bowl. Roll out bottom crust and place in pie dish. Pour filling in. Roll out upper crust, place on top, cut vent, and crimp to seal edges. Bake at 425F for 25 min, then reduce heat to 350F and bake for another 40-50 min, until crust is golden and fruit goo starts splashing out of the crust vent.

Current Pie Tally: 88

Monday, June 25, 2012

Rhubarb Custard Pie

Reinforcements showed up to help us unpack boxes and arrange furniture. Thanks Meemaw! In exchange, I made Meemaw's favorite pie: Rhubarb Custard. This is my mother's (a.k.a. Meemaw) grandmother's recipe. Since my new house has a gas oven from the '40s, I felt like I was able to recreate the baking conditions that might have been used at that time. The verdict: gas ovens and pies were meant to be together. I followed the original family recipe to the letter and cooked it in my retro Pyrex pie dish. The resulting pie was perfect. The crust was golden and flaky and the custard was creamy and evenly cooked throughout. My mother and I consumed half of the entire pie ourselves on the first day of its existence. This definitely came out better than the first time I made it, and I will definitely be making more. The ingredients are the same as the first version. Here are the cooking instructions I used this time: Bake at 400F for 50-60 min. (52-54 min. for the one I made).

Current Pie Tally: 87

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

In true Wonder Wife fashion, I pulled this pie out for our "hey, we just moved down the street" neighborhood BBQ. With the generous help of our friends and neighbors, we were able to get all of our belongings moved into our new place by noon. I pulled this pie out of the freezer and popped it in the oven while we were shuffling things around in the afternoon. I was excited to see how the frozen pie would bake up in the new gas oven as opposed to electric. I like it! I would definitely say it does a more even cooking job. I liked it so much I made a Rhubarb Custard Pie the following week. More on that in the next post. Here's the recipe for the Strawberry Rhubarb pie from the freezer:

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

pastry dough sufficient for two pie crusts
2 quarts strawberries, hulled and halved
about 4 cups of rhubarb, cut into 1/2" slices
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup arrowroot starch

Mix all the filling in a large bowl. Roll out bottom crust and place in pie dish. Pour filling in. Roll out upper crust, place on top, cut vent, and crimp to seal edges. Freeze for up to 2-4 months. Bake at 425F for 25 min, then reduce heat to 350F and bake for another 50-70 min, until crust is golden and fruit goo starts splashing out of the crust vent.

*It occurred to me that I normally add cinnamon to Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. I left it out of this one as an oversight and thought it came out quite nice. I wouldn't say I prefer either, but it's definitely good either way.

Current Pie Tally: 86

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Lime Meringue Pie

This pie is the result of my dessert contribution to a neighborhood Iron Chef contest. All the contestants unanimously agreed to let a child win the dessert round, but that aside, I don't know that my pie would have won. There was some tough competition! I will also admit that Lime Meringue Pie is not an earthshattering pie. It's good, on par with any Lemon Meringue Pie, but I would prefer many of the other pies I make. I am, however, very pleased with the visual effect of this one. I deduced that the pie would be yellow unless I did something about it, so I added 1-2 drops of liquid green food coloring. The secret ingredient of the contest was lime, after all, and I didn't want to serve a yellow lime pie.

For me, the combination of that spectral green with the white fluffy merinque evokes visions of mermaids and sea blobs (for more on sea blobs, click here). I toyed with the idea of calling it Sea Blob Pie - both to honor the recent literary accomplishment of our neighbor (also in the Iron Chef competition) and because the pie didn't set very well. I was under time pressure as the hour of our Kitchen Stadium debut neared. As a result, the pie didn't get as much cooling time as it needed. The filling was all oozy. It really needed half a day in the refrigerator prior to slicing. Despite the shortcomings, I would definitely make this pie again if the meringue mood hits and I want something with a touch more zip than lemon. For the recipe, click here. My substitutions are that I used lime juice and lime zest in place of lemon, and I used arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch.

Current Pie Tally: 85

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Quartet of Birthday Pies: Part 2 of 2

There were two minor setbacks to this version of the Coconut Cream Pie (same preparation as in the last Coconut Cream post, but made more of the pastry cream filling). The first was that one of my crusts got droopy in the oven again. Since it got covered up with a mountain of whipped cream, it didn't end up affecting the aesthetics at all. The second downer was that I overindulged in libations before making the whipped cream and toasting the coconut. I honestly don't even remember if I added any sugar or flavoring to the cream before whipping it up. And I had a teeny bit of help toasting the coconut and manning the mixer while I ran upstairs to use the bathroom.

So I was incapacitated, I'm making an exception and taking credit. Sometimes we all need a little help from our friends. Considering the quantity of pies made and the overall excellence of the finished products, I'm letting the help on the finishing touches slide. Churning out all those pies didn't even earn me a nice hiatus for awhile. We went strawberry picking the following day and they finally had rhubarb at the co-op, so I put together a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie for the freezer bank. It's chilling, and so am I. More on that one when it sees the heat of the oven. It's not in the tally yet.

Current Pie Tally: 84

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Quartet of Birthday Pies: Part 1 of 2

I'm still having a hell of a time finding a reliable source of local rhubarb, so I went ahead and made two Mixed Berry Pies instead of Strawberry Rhubarb for the birthday festivities. They were spectacular in every way. Here is the recipe:

Mixed Berry Pie
pastry dough sufficient for two pie crusts
1 bag cherries (sorry I don't remember the weight - maybe 1.5 lbs.)
1 pint blueberries
1 pint blackberries
1 pint small strawberries, hulled but left whole
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup arrowroot starch
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all the filling in a large bowl. Roll out bottom crust and place in pie dish. Pour filling in. Roll out upper crust, place on top, cut vent, and crimp to seal edges. Bake at 425F for 25 min, then reduce heat to 350F and bake for another 40-50 min, until crust is golden and fruit goo starts splashing out of the crust vent.

Current Pie Tally: 82

Coconut Cream Pie

This pie was made as part of the menu selection process for my husband's birthday party. It was easily the most popular item on the dessert table at my husband's work party the weekend prior to his birthday party. I was pleased with how easy it was to make. I'm really becoming fond of these "throw the cooked filling in the pre-baked crust and you're done" kind of pies.

However, there were a couple spots in the recipe where my pie vision diverged from the written instructions. For one thing, the recipe has a lot of fussy instructions for cooling and pouring and then re-chilling the pastry cream filling. Here's my advice: once the filling is prepared, stick some plastic wrap to the surface in the bowl you mixed it in and then put it in the fridge until you're ready to finish the pie. I don't know why anyone would tell you to chill it in the bowl for so many hours and then transfer it to the crust and chill it again. Maybe it's to create a firmer textured filling, but I don't think that's worth having the crust get all damp in the fridge. Pour it into the crust and top with the whipped cream and coconut JUST BEFORE SERVING.

My second qualm is that the pastry cream to whipped cream ratio was not up to my standards. When I make these for my husband's birthday, I'm upping the ante on the filling. I plan to make three times the amount of filling and put it into two pies on the next go-round. I also used my own crust recipe and used powdered confectioner's sugar in the whipped cream instead of granulated.

Current Pie Tally: 80

Friday, May 4, 2012

My New Favorite Pie

I liked this Chocolate Pudding Pie so much that I immediately had to make another one. Adhered to the same substitutions as the first version (link above). This is my new favorite pie. Whew, and with that, I'm caught up just in time for the next flurry of pie mania. Current Pie Tally: 79

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Eastover Vinegar Chess Pie

Almost forgot about this one. I made this for an Easter weekend neighborhood party. I remembered the cream (actually used half and half instead) this time and it came out great as usual. No earth-shattering news on this one, but I will say that it is a great pie for slicing into lots of small slices to go around. Everything holds together well. Recipe can be found here. Current Pie Tally: 78

Monday, April 30, 2012

Chocolate Pudding Pie

I made this pie as a belated birthday present to myself, in hopes of raising the bar from last year's birthday pie attempt. I definitely succeeded. Where last year's pie was dense and dry, this one is sumptuously gooey and fabulous. This is my first go-round with a graham cracker crust. I have to say, I like how easy it is. Throw graham crackers in a the food processor, add some melted butter, and press into a pie dish. Bake for a few minutes and done. Add your puddingy custardy goodness and let it chill. It's nice to not have the oven blasting away for an hour for a change. When you throw some fresh whipped cream on top, it really is pure chocolate awesome. It's almost like S'mores. Hmmm, maybe I could jazz up the whipped topping with some marshmallow. Recipe can be found here. I used regular graham crackers instead of chocolate, arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch, and didn't add any of the espresso to the whipped cream.

Current Pie Tally: 77

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

When Your Crust Hangs Low

I made dinner for the neighbors a couple weeks ago and threw in a Vinegar Chess Pie for good measure. Since it's a one-crust pie, I decided to make two so I could keep one too. In addition to the crust of one of the pies falling down during cooking (the one I decided to keep), I had another mental lapse on this pie expedition and forgot to add the cream the recipe calls for. I even bought the cream special just to make this pie. Initially, this made me mad. After a taste test though, the pie was still delicious and I decided to use the cream as an excuse to make another pie. A new exciting and very delectable pie. See the next post for more on that.

Current Pie Tally: 76

In-Laws in Town Apple Pie

My husband's parents came to visit for Spring Break this year. Among seeing the famous DC cherry blossoms and visiting a wide array of museums, we managed to find time to celebrate Stepmom Viv's birthday with the above apple pie. It was tasty, but I'll let you in on a little secret: I forgot to add the flour to the filling. The flour serves as the thickener, so the pie didn't end up with any of that "goopy gloppy" goodness that you'd expect. The filling was more like applesauce than syrup. It was good in its own way, and no one else said anything about it, but it almost tasted healthy. When you're ingesting that many calories, the last thing you want is for it to taste healthy. Suffice to say, I was a bit disappointed. It's amazing the toll a toddler can take on one's cognitive ability to process recipes. For more on that, see the next post. The recipe for the apple pie in this post (complete with thickening agents) can be found here. The only change is that I used brown rice syrup instead of molasses in this one.

Current Pie Tally: 74

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Cupcakes

Although these carrot cake cupcakes are not a pie, I made them from scratch for Valentine's Day and they are delicious. You can find the recipe here. My modifications are that I only made half of the recipe and I turned them into cupcakes instead of a layer cake. As such, the cupcakes only need to bake for 30-35 min.

Current Pie Tally: 73

Monday, February 6, 2012

Quickie Pie

Pecan is definitely my go-to winter pie, mostly because the crust doesn't require pre-baking. It takes about 1.5 hours, start to finish, and about one hour of that involves the pie sitting in the oven while you have a cocktail and get ready for the party you're going to. Normally, I don't adorn my pie with any toppings that might undermine the full-force flavor of the pie, but pecan pie tends to be an exception. I always enjoy my pecan pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream if the option presents itself. When I had a slice of the pie from this post, there was a twist. Our party hosts had also put out a small ice cream sundae bar on the dessert table. Our neighbor started talking through the possibilities of the caramel and hot fudge toppings on the pecan pie. Normally, this would piss me off, but I tend to loosen up my pie purism with the pecan pie. I said, "Caramel - no. Hot fudge - definitely go for it." My thoughts turned to black-bottom pecan pie, with a warm chocolate layer dancing with the sweet, nutty pecans in my mouth. It had to be done. When backs were turned, I brought my ice-cream topped slice over to the hot fudge and added a couple dollops myself. Suffice to say, the experience shall be relived. It was heavenly. Now I'm on a mission to find/tweak a Black-Bottom Pecan Pie recipe that is up to snuff. For my go-to Pecan Pie recipe, click here.

Current Pie Tally: 73

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Football Apple Crumb

The neighbors invited us over to watch one of the NFL Playoff games this past weekend, so I offered to bring this little delight over. In actuality, my husband secured our invitation with promises of pie and his homemade guacamole. It did not disappoint! My only complaint is that the crumb topping didn't look quite right. It tasted great, but it didn't clump and golden up the way it was supposed to. I suspect it's because I tried mixing up the topping without the nuts first, and then adding in the nuts once it was already pretty well blended. Next time, I'll stick to the instructions. Blend ALL the topping ingredients together with your fingertips.

Football Apple Crumb Pie
5 large (larger than fist) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, thickly sliced
1 large Stayman apple, peeled, cored, thickly sliced
1/4c. fresh orange juice
1/4 c. white sugar, heaped
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 T. arrowroot starch
1/4 c. applesauce

3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. (packed) golden brown sugar
3/4 c. chopped walnuts
6 T. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a pie dish with homemade pie crust. Prick all over with a fork. Stick in the freezer for about 10 minutes while you preheat the oven to 375F. Place pie weights in crust and bake for 12-15 min. Remove pie weights and continue baking for another 12-15 min, until the crust is golden brown.
Mix all filling ingredients together in a large bowl. Pour into pie crust. Using your fingers, blend ALL the topping ingredients together until well-mixed, moist, and crumbly. Heap on top of pie filling. Bake at 350F for about one and a half hours. Crumb topping will be nice and brown, but not burned and apples will be soft when pierced with a fork.

Current Pie Tally: 72

Monday, January 23, 2012

Christmas Crapple Pie

This one is long overdue - a Cranberry Apple Pie I made for Christmas. It is festive and delicious. The cranberries add color and really heighten the flavor, while the apple offsets the tartness of the berries and adds a comfort food feel. I'm still not sure how I feel about the cinnamon-sugar sprinkled crust. It's cute and smells wonderful, but I think I prefer the flavor and texture of a plain crust. It was a little too "fussery bussery" for me. The recipe can be found here. I modified it by using my own pie crust recipe. I also used 3/4c. white sugar to make the cranberry sauce part of the filling. Then I added 3/4c. brown sugar to the apple part of the filling. Also, I think it's easier to say you'll need 2 lbs. tart apples and 1.75 lbs. sweet apples, rather than specify certain types of each.

Current Pie Tally: 71