Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Apple Pie, 3 Ways

How much more American can you get that apple pie? Okay, that's such a '50s stereotype, it should be thrown out with white bread and vacuuming in heels. I had a 2-week craving for pie (no, I'm not pregnant) and finally made "one." The spin? Why traditional lattice top pie when you can jazz it up a little?

apple pie, 3 ways

lime apple pie

apple blackberry crumble pie

apple pecan pie

How do you make these? Let's get to work.  

As you can see, these were made in mini "pie pans," 3 different sizes of Corningware ramekins. The apple pecan pie was made in a regular 4" ramekin, but still made for a rather large serving of pie. The larger one with blackberries served 2 (how romantic!) and the left one with lime had 3 servings. I like big pie servings, so there would probably be 8 total "regular" pie slice servings among all 3 dishes. The ingredient list below is for these 3 dishes total, but the apples are enough to double the recipe.

3 red apples (like gala)
3 green apples (like granny smith)
1/2 cup blackberries
1 lime, juice + zest
1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
1 cup raw oats + more for sprinkling
4 TB butter/margarine, room temp.
1/2 cup white sugar (or 2/3 cup sucanat) + more for sprinkling on top
1/3 + 2/3 cup brown sugar
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/4 t. ground nutmeg
1/8 t. ground cloves
Your favorite pie crust recipe or 2 store-bought pie crusts, thawed

1. Prep the apples. 2 categories: soft and sweet, thin and crunchy. Start with the soft. Slice 2 green and 1 red into bite-sized pieces and throw into a large pot. Pour water over the apples so they're barely covered. Add the white sugar to the apples and stir. Add in 1/4 t. of the cinnamon. Cover and heat on medium for 25-30 minutes, or until apples are fully cooked and soft to the touch.

In the meantime, prep the other apples (1 green, 2 red) and slice into various sizes, from thin "chip" style, to strips. Be creative! In a medium bowl, toss these apple slices in and coat with 1/3 cup of brown sugar.

2. Make the topping. Combine softened butter with oats in a large mixing bowl. Use the back of a wooden spoon to knead. Add 1/4 cup of pecans, 2/3 cup of brown sugar, remainder of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and continue to stir until it becomes a rough, crumble consistency (2 minutes, tops).

3. Assemble the pies. Preheat the oven to 350. Check on the apples on the stove. If they're soft, drain the sugary water and set apples aside to cool a bit. Get out your baking dish(es), whether that be a traditional pie pan, ramekins, a square dish, whatever.

For the lime apple pie:
Far from traditional, this pie takes the traditional apple pie and turns it on its head. With the zest of an entire lime baking through the pie, this has an unexpected, fresh taste to a boring old apple. My favorite, by a landslide.
*Spray dish with cooking spray
*Spread 1 cup of cooked apple bites into dish. Sprinkle with dried oats
*Add one layer of apple chips
*Sprinkle with layer of crumble.
*Top with zest of one lime.
*Cut lime in half and sprinkle juice of one half lime over pie. 
*Top with pie crust, then sprinkle the extra pecans (1/4 cup) and white sugar on top.

For the apple blackberry crumble pie:
This twist accentuates the apple by adding gooey blackberries as its sidekick. The color of the apples become deeper as the pie bakes, making a pretty finale to a homecooked dinner.
*Spray dish with cooking spray
*Layer bottom and sides of dish with crust dough
*Layer apple chips to fill the dish, adding small spoonfuls of oat topping inbetween.
* Insert blackberries into "holes" that the apple layers did not fill.
*Top with more oat topping. Leave "open-faced." 

For the apple pecan pie:
A healthier version of pecan pie, this apple concoction is traditional and yet has more topping than one would expect on a fruit pie. For lovers of crunchy, gooey cinnamon toppings.
*Spray dish with cooking spray
*Line bottom and sides with crust dough and form a pretty crust around the top lid.
*Spoon in cooked apples.
*Top with plenty of topping (Make more, if needed) 

There you have it, friends. Bake: 15 minutes for the ramekins, 30 for larger dishes, 40 for 8/9" pie plates.
Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, and bask in your creations. :)


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