Monday, June 20, 2011

Year of the Pie #9: Golden Delicious Apple Pie with Oatmeal Crumb Topping

Well, it was inspired by the above-named recipe, but ended up being a Cortland Apple and Craisin Pie with Oatmeal Crumb Topping.

The end-of-school potluck staff party was this afternoon/evening, and last week I signed up to make a pie. I knew I wouldn't have time to bake today, what with it being the last day of school and all, so I baked it on Sunday; the crust was done up in the morning, and the pie was completed (late) last night.

next time I'll try it with
the golden delicious apples

I've made tons of apple pies over the past few years. It really doesn't take much to make one - apples, some sugar, a few spices. And a pie crust, of course. But, as I mentioned when I started this little venture, I want to follow the recipes in this book, and follow them as closely as possible. Since I made the rules, though, I can also bend them as I see fit - and this time I saw fit.

The book includes at least 25 recipes, in an apple pie section, that feature apples, so I did have plenty of choices. I went with one of the most standard and simple recipes of the bunch, as I already had all of the ingredients. With the impending move, I'm in a use-it-or-toss it mode so I modified the recipe. I had seven Cortland apples in the crisper that weren't fantastic for snacking, but that I knew would taste fine baked in a pie. I also had a bag of craisins that I've been snacking on that I thought might add some kick. In addition, I was able to use up my quick oats for the topping. I had more oats than called for, but it didn't seem to harm things.

This was a pretty simple, low-maintenance apple pie. The crust was a single (in this book, single refers to just a bottom crust) flaky pastry that was rolled out and formed in a deep-dish plate, then set in the freezer to firm up. The filling was about seven cups of sliced apples, sugar, lemon juice, nutmeg, and some cornstarch (and the craisins!); the topping was flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and butter.

I peeled and thinly sliced the apples, combining them with the sugar and lemon juice. The recipe also called for the zest of the lemon, which I couldn't include as this was the one time the grocery store seemed to be out of lemons. They even checked out back for me. So instead of the zest, I used a couple of packets of True Lemon, which my friend K, from ID, introduced me to; it is compressed & crystallized lemon, and is great for adding to drinking water. Close enough.

After the fruit and sugar set for a few minutes, the nutmeg, a little bit more sugar, and cornstarch were mixed in. I mixed in the craisins then, too. The filling was turned into the chilled pie crust, and was set to bake, sans topping, for about 30 minutes. It's a good thing I had the deep dish pie plate, as the apple slices definitely filled the pie plate. It's very possible I had more than seven cups of apples. The volume of fruit used in a pie is arbitrary in my mind - as long as it seems like there are enough apples or berries to fill the pie, you're in good shape!
baking, round 1
While the fruit filling was baking, I mixed the topping in the food processor. This helped cut the butter into the mixture of flour, oats and sugar more easily. 
topping amidst mixing
topping atop the pie
After 30 minutes, the pie came out of the oven, and the topping was spread over the surface. It went back into the oven for another 30 minutes or so to bake until the top was a crispy dark brown, and the juices were just starting to bubble at the edges.

The house smelled incredibly good during the second half hour, a little bit like Thanksgiving.
The pie tasted incredibly good. And was well received. And I even lucked out in getting to bring some home, as there was also a delicious rhubarb crisp and cupcakes.

zoe patiently waited for pie.
instead she got the excessive
amount of apple peels.
she didn't seem too upset.

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