Monday, November 29, 2010

Apples Red and Apples Yellow

Why do we need so many kinds of apples? Because there are so many folks. A person has a right to gratify his legitimate taste. If he wants twenty or forty kinds of apples for his personal use…he should be accorded the privilege. There is merit in variety itself. It provides more contact with life, and leads away from uniformity and monotony. –Liberty Hyde Baily

My contribution to the Thanksgiving feast this year was pie; cherry, Paula Deen's pumpkin and apple. The cherry wasn't anything special, just cherries from a can thrown into a {homemade} crust, but it went the fastest. I'd never made pumpkin before, so I thought I'd shoot for the moon with Paula Deen's recipe. It was fancy, with cream cheese in it and everything. If you try this recipe, you'll need a deep dish pie plate and some patience. I baked mine for over an hour-and-a-half and the center never set completely, but the problem could be my oven. It has never behaved the way I think it should. Once the pie cooled it was pretty tasty though, so I wasn't too far off. Grasshopper wasn't interested, but LadyBug tried her first ever pie this Thanksgiving {yeah, I know :rolleyes:. The Little Bugs are equal opportunity picky eaters :lol:} and after sampling a bite of each kind, she picked pumpkin as her favorite and had a sliver-of-a-slice of her own.

Apple pie {and apple crisp} is sort of a specialty of mine, so I thought I'd share my recipe with you. The crust is nothing spectacular. I probably ought to find a new recipe for that. But the apple filling is awesome. The secret is to use a variety of apples. The flavors all blend together and you come out with one delicious pie. Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala and Granny Smith are apple varieties that are always available around here, so I always include one of each of those. Then, depending on what the store has, I get a couple other varieties. Pink Lady is another favorite variety and I get those when they are in season. But really the kinds of apples don't matter so much as having a variety. That is what makes the best kind of apple pie.

Deep Dish Apple Pie
1¼ cups flour
¼ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup shortening
5 tablespoons cold water
6 large apples {about 8 cups} cored, peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice {optional}
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon salt
Crumb Topping
½ cup flour
½ cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons butter or butter substitute for dairy-free, softened

• In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut shortening into flour until pea-sized lumps form. Mix cold water into flour mixture one tablespoon at a time {be careful not to add too much water as you may not need 5 tablespoons} until a soft dough forms. When all of the flour has been formed into a dough, form it into a ball.
• Flatten the dough onto a floured surface; roll into a 12" circle. Either wrap the pastry around the rolling pin or fold into fourths and ease it into a 9" pie plate. Trim the pastry about ½" beyond the edge of the pie plate; fold edges under and crimp.
• Heat oven to 375˚. Place peeled, cored and sliced apples in a large mixing bowl; sprinkle with lemon juice. In a small mixing bowl combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; add to apples and gently mix until all the apples are covered. Place in pastry-lined pie plate.
• In a small mixing bowl, stir together flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over pie filling.
• Cover edges of the pie with foil to prevent over-browning. Bake for 30 minutes; remove foil and bake for 25 minutes more.

Serves 8

• I'm a big fan of Pampered Chef Cinnamon Plus® Spice Blend and almost always use it in place of cinnamon and nutmeg.
• Unless you want to be all day at making this recipe, you really need an apple peeler/corer/slicer. I'm not such a fan of the one from Pampered Chef. It seems to only do a good job with really firm apples {which is why all their recipes using it call for Granny Smith :rolleyes:}. I have one from Cook's Club that I love. I've searched the internet on several occasions to find a new one because my first one broke. I don't think they are being made any more, but eBay did have a used one that I've had for a really long time now. This brand does a great job even on really soft apples. And the Little Bugs think it is so much fun to play with. They'll even eat the apples after they're done peeling, coring and slicing them.


Unknown said...

Your pies look yummy! My favorite is Pumpkin. Paula's version sounds really good! I love most spicy things. Glad you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Michelle said...

Pumpkin is my favorite too--but I must have the low carb version. :-)

Marg said...

I never make pies anymore but the pumpkin and apple pies sound and look so yummy, I might just have to try one next time I have friends or family over. I can't believe it but I can actually buy all of those types of apples here, hooray so it will be easy to make the apple pie!
Here pumpkin is mainly used as a savoury dish ingredient except for pumpkin scones, so I still find it strange to make a pie with it.

Paulette said...

Mmm...pie. Your pies looks so good. I ate every last piece of what was left of the gluten-free pecan pie I made for Thanksgiving. Yum.

You have noted my beef with the Pampered Chef peeler/corer/slicer! It only works with really firm apples like Granny Smiths. Reminds me I should probably donate mine to Goodwill. Glad you found one that does work better. I'm using my cheap little Pampered Chef paring knife for apple peeling these days. Every time I peel an apple, I think of Laura Ingalls watching Ma peel apples in one continuous peel.

Shay said...

I made apple pie once. Im not great at pastry and figure if Im not going to make the pie crust I may as well buy the pie ready made. Sorry E . I'll have to let Marg carry the pride of Australia for making your apple pie.

And dont you people have potato peelers there? Thats what we use to peel apples...

Wanda said...

Oh thank you for that tip about using a variety of apples. I am going to try that next time. I had never heard that before. I usually just buy one kind and make the pie. I'm totally going to try it with a mix of apples. And well I want to try the Paula D recipe too. I have one of her cookbooks (the Christmas one) and I often buy the magazine with great thoughts of making, but then never get around to it. But pumpkin and apple are traditions so I will always make those. Thanks again for sharing.

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