God Bless America

It’s time for Apple pie! Personally, I think only pumpkin oriented desserts are Thanksgiving appropriate, but my husband loves apple pie so I decided to make one for him. It is, after all, the American dessert and Thanksgiving is our quintessential America holiday (except doesn’t Canada have one too?).

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I used the recipe from Smitten Kitchen – it’s a doozy and a lot of work. As usual, because I’m a lawyer and wary of copyright infringement accusations, I’ll mostly just summarize the process and let you link back to the source for real instructions.

Dough Ingredients:

3 cups unbleached flour
salt
sugar
shortening (not a fan – but every crust recipe I found used it so I just did it
unsalted butter, chilled,
ice water

In a food processor combine dry ingredients (I only have a tiny food processor so I used a pastry blender instead) – then add shortening and continue processing (or blending, in my case). Add butter, cut in to crumb consistency. In medium bowl, sprinkle w/ cold water, fold in until sticks together as a dough. Divide into two pieces, flatten, cool before rolling out.

Roll dough to 12-inch disk. Transfer to pie plate and press in. Refrigerate.

At this point, the source didn’t include the specific lattice top instructions, and I got irritated with most of the web tutorials so I pretty much played it by ear. It’s not rocket science. I cut it into many strips, laid one across the top, another perpendicular, then alternated adding strips in each direction and weaving under/over the previously placed strips as necessary.

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Only thing I’d do differently is more strips and closer together.

Filling –

3 Granny Smith apples (about 3 medium)
4 McIntosh apples (I couldn’t find these so I used honeycrisp)
1 lemon (for juice/zest)
sugar
flour
salt
cinnamon (don’t even think of puttin’ that stuff in…actually, do – I’m quoting song lyrics…just to be clear)
nutmeg (sweet, sweet NUTMEG)
allspice (you know it leaves me cold as ice)
1 egg white

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat rimmed baking sheet and oven to 500°F.

Peel, core and cut apples into quarters then slices,  toss with lemon juice and zest. Mix part of sugar, flour, salt and spices. Toss with apples. Put into pie shell. Put on the lattice top per my prior note. Lower oven to 425, put pie on heated baking sheet and bake about 25 mins, rotate and reduce to 375, bake another 30-35 minutes (until bubbling and crust is golden brown).

Cool on wire rack at least 4 hours. Place next to your passable pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving!

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Inaugural Post – Betty Crocker Apple Crumble

[ETA – I understand there were issues with the pics, hopefully they’re fixed now. Sorry!]

Apple Crisp (from Betty Crocker – recipe at link, and reproduced below with my editorial comments):

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium tart cooking apples (Greening, Rome, Granny Smith), sliced (about 6 cups). I used honeycrisp, and 6 sliced seemed like a bit more than I needed actually.
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking or old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup cold butter or margarine (FYI, 1/3 cup isn’t specifically delineated on the stick so I had to use some fancy math to figure this out. I think I determined it was 2/3 of a stick but don’t quote me).
  • Cream or ice cream, if desired.
  1. Heat oven to 375.
  2. In medium bowl, mix brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and oats.
  3. Cut in butter, using pastry blender (is this different than a hand mixer? Whatever) (or pulling 2 table knives through butter in opposite directions), until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over apples.
  4. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Server warm with cream or ice cream.

In keeping with my promise of easy as pie (or easy as apple crumble) recipes, this one came from this lovely little circular I picked up at the grocery store:

Well, actually, my 16 month old (hereinafter known as “Boops”) picked it up, put it in his mouth, and orchestrated a death grip on the thing that gave me no choice but to purchase it by having the cashier scan an alternate copy. After he paged through it daily for several days in the car he eventually dropped it to the floor and I picked it up and started perusing and decided to try some dishes.

A trip to ye olde Pumpkin Patch/orchard yielded these lovely honeycrisp apples:

 

…and we were off!

The recipe above sounds easy enough, right? Well, mere minutes into the process we had a cinnamon incident…


But I persevered. The next hurdle was the “cutting the butter in”…I don’t know what that means. I took it literally, and cut the butter into slices and dropped it into the dry ingredients. Then, at their instruction I pulled knives through in opposite directions. Rather than a nice crumbly topping, it resulted in this:

Yeah, that’s some dry ingredients smattered with big ol’ chunks of butter. Not so great. So I decided to quite literally take things into my own hands and kneaded, rolled and squeezed it all around until we actually had a crumbly like topping, which I sprinkled over the apples.

(Pre-baked).

The only problem with using my hands to achieve the desired consistency was that I wasn’t wearing an apron and absentmindedly wiped them off on my pants, a fact I didn’t realized until DH asked why I had hand prints on my ass. And yes, I let him photograph it because we are, of course, keeping it real. And yes, my ass is that large.

But once in the oven we had suitably fall like apple crisp deliciousness wafting in the air and the end result didn’t look too bad.

And the most rousing endorsement?

The Boops loved it! I call that a success!

Thanks for reading, if anyone is. And feel free to post questions, recommendations, requests for certain types of recipes, or anything else!