Apple Pie — A twist on the classic (Part 1)

About a week and a half ago, I chaperoned the 3-yo’s class trip to Belkin Family Lookout Farm… which bought both me and the boy a small bag full of Macoun apples. I love the way the look in a bowl, so they’ve been sitting out on my counter for the last week and a half — getting riper and riper. I like a crisp apple, not an overly ripe one… so what to do? Cook ’em of course!

Anyone can make an apple pie. It’s really not that hard. All you need is some beautiful apples:

And a slew of other ingredients (this isn’t everything I used though):

I wanted to do something a little different than a traditional, old fashioned apple pie. I wanted something that would be more reminiscent of apple cider… to kick start this feeling of fall that has descended onto New England these last few weeks. I was also in an “old school” sort of mood… and decided to hand peel my apples with a paring knife, rather than using one of those modern peeler thing-a-ma-bobs. I wanted to do it the way my Great Grandmother would have. And let me tell you… she must have had some grip on her. Peeling apples by hand wears you out! So I compromised… peeling the apples by hand, coring and slicing them with a corer and then I slicing the slices into smaller slivers.

Next came mixing the apple slivers with my special concoction of sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice (yes, you read right), flour, brandy and vanilla. I used store bought crust because… well, in case you haven’t figured it out already… I’m quite lazy. I assembled the entire thing in my make-shift pie pan (quiche dish) and covered the edges of the crust with foil. To add a little detail, I cut out leaf shapes — which sort of look like pot leaves (not that I would know). Kinda funny:

Into the oven to bake… and this was the outcome:

The refrigerator crust was a bit dry and cracked, but overall I’m pretty pleased with how it looks. Check back for Part 2, when we find out how it tastes. In the meantime, here is the recipe I used:

BFW’s Apple Cider Pie
1/3 cup sugar (or Splenda)
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 pounds of peeled and thinly sliced apples
1 1/2 tbsp brandy
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine dry ingredients and whisk to mix. Put sliced apples in large bowl and cover with dry ingredients. Carefully mix to cover apples. Add brandy and vanilla, mix again to distribute evenly. Place pie crust in pie pan and top with apple mixture. Top with other pie crust, crimp corners (if you want to do a design like I did… obviously you have to do it before you put the top on the pie). Cover the edges of the crust with foil

Position rack in bottom third of oven and put pie in. Bake for about 20 minutes and then lower the temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake for about another 30 to 45 minutes, or until crust is brown and filling is bubbling. Transfer to rack and let stand for 1 hour. This pie is best served either warm or at room temperature.

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