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Wednesday, October 12, 2011


The cat in the kitchen has plenty of nerve,
Exploring for tidbits she doesn't deserve.
She asks with her tail in a
question-mark curve,
If the Apple Brown Betty is ready to serve.
~ D.A. W. (Yankee Magazine's resident poet)~

I couldn't allow autumn to pass without writing about apples.  Apples and fall are synonymous  after all, as is making apple pies.  From my previous blog, I have learned that everyone has a very personal idea about what constitutes a perfect pie.  Some like a lot of spices, some prefer little sugar, for others two crusts are better than one, I even have a relative that insists her husband makes the best apple pie; canned pie filling in a graham cracker crust with whipped cream on top.  Not my idea of a good pie, but I guess that's where they got the saying "There's a lid for every pot." .  So instead of giving you a recipe,  here are some helpful hints I've learned along the way for making perfect (for my family) apple pies:

The Best Pie Apples

 I prefer to use an antique variety called Rhode Island Greening, but  this is an old variety that is not readily available.  You have to grow them to get them unless you live near a orchard that caters to antique varieties.  A good pie apple should hold its shape and not turn mealy when baking. Since you need sugar to bake a good pie, a nice crisp apple on the sourish side is best.  Some of the common varieties that can be found in most grocery stores are: Granny Smith,  Braeburn, Jonagold, Jonathan, Fuji, Gravenstein, Rome, Winesap and recently I've found a variety called Pink Lady.  I like to use a several different apples when making up a pie.

Pie Baking Hint

I prepare my filling the night before baking a let it "marinate" in the fridge.  That way I can make adjustments before baking.  If the filling has too much liquid, I'll add more thickener.  (I use flour, but some prefer tapioca.) I think that letting the filling set overnight really makes the spices sink into the apples, and I love spices.

An Easy Streusel  Recipe

My favorite type of apple pie is Dutch apple.  Here's a recipe for the topping that has always turned out picture perfect for me:

Streusel Topping

1/2 C. flour
1/3 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 C. butter

Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until crumbly.  Place on top of pie before baking.

Do you like to read old recipes?  If I find an old recipe box at a garage or estate sale, I'm in seventh heaven! When I was going through a bunch of old clippings my mother had kept (she even keeps newspaper clippings of  our Avon lady receiving a reward!) I found this interesting recipe that was a runner-up in the Pillsbury bake-off in the 60s, on the backside.  It has become a favorite.

Creamy Coconut Apple Crunch

1/2 C. milk
1/4 C. (1/4 of a 4 serving size pkg.) dry coconut cream instant pudding
3 C. sliced apples
1/2 C. butter, melted
1C. flour
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
remaining pudding mix
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
Combine the milk and 1/4 C. pudding mix.  Toss in the apples and pour into an ungreased 8" square baking pan.  Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over top of the apples.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40  minutes until the apples are tender and the topping is light golden brown.

Serve with whipped cream.  Have you tasted the new cinnamon  flavored Cool Whip yet?  Yum!


  1. Thank you for sharing these recipes. Today I will be making apple butter and baking a bit :0) with apples...


  2. Thank you for this posting. I use this apple: Elstar. But I don't know if you know this apple.

  3. You're welcome Maria! Bet it smells wonderful at your home. I made maple pear butter last week. Not the cheapest thing in the world because of the maple syrup, but it's my husband's favorite. Perfect on a biscuit.

    Hello Jedidja! I never heard of that variety but I grow a variety called Zestar. The description says it has a cinnamon-y flavor. Doesn't that sound wonderful? So far it hasn't produced any apples though, so we've yet to find out.

  4. Thank you Jane! Thank you for your comment when you stopped by the cottage. It was exactly what I needed to read this morning :) I did make the decision. I am not afraid of living without the job, I know that this is what My Lord wants for my family.

    In His Love,


  5. Olá, amiga!

    Ótima receita.

    Brasil ˚。♥♥
    ♥ •˚。
    °° 。♥。
    ●/ ♥•˚。˚

  6. dear jane sounds very good.thanks for sharing the recipe. i make the same streusel.
    have a nice evening,
    love regina

  7. Wonderful apple cooking tips, I love the idea of prepping the apples the night before, so you can adjust the thickening, great idea! I love reading old recipes, I have never thought about looking for old recipes at garage and estate sales, next time I see an estate sale I will have to pop in just to look for some. I love the idea of finding and old recipe box! When I was a teen, I would look though my grandma's recipes all of the time and work on copying them down- and hearing her stories about them. Lots of apple cookery going on here as well right now :) ~April

  8. Dear Jane,

    Mmm, mmm, apples! What would fall be without them? We really have to find an apple farm close to us here, before they're all gone! Reading your blog is like reading about how I hope my life will be when we finally settle down and put down some roots. :)



  9. Hi Jane! Awesome post today! Thank you for all those helpful tips! I never thought of making the filling and letting it sit over night. I am definitely going to try that next time. How wonderful it must be to live near an apple orchard, I would love that! The recipe you listed for the dutch crumb topping was almost identical to the one we used for Tony's pie. It sure was good, so much better than any I had ever tried in a bakery. I haven't tasted the cinnamon cool whip yet, but the other day I had a pumpkin custard at Cracker Barrel restaurant and they had a "carmel whip cream", oh my goodness, it was delicious! Have a nice evening Jane, happy baking! Delisa :)

  10. I like the idea of letting the filling marinate in the fridge over night. It works for casseroles and soups so why not for pie filling. And I also like the idea of mixing different types of apples. Makes for better "texture".

    Now I'm anxious to try my new hints; may have to bake a pie this weekend. (:

  11. Hello Maria! I'm glad that my little comment helped you. If you ever need anything, feel free to contact me. My e-mail is at the top of the page.

    Você é bem-vindo Inez!

    Hi Regina! I love streusel. I'm going to pick the last of the berries today and make up some streusel for the top. Summer is definitely winding down!

    Morning April! The best thing is that if you prep your apples the night before and have your pie crust ready, you can have a good old Yankee hot apple pie for breakfast! You can always tell which are the best recipes by how many stains are on them.

  12. Ah Marqueta, what a sweet thing to say! I have to admit my life is pretty idyllic. I pray that some day soon you will have your place in the country with a sweet spring, fireplace, and room for a garden and chickens. If we can do it, anyone can. For many years we didn't have two nickels to rub together. But whatever the outcome, you already have all the important elements for a good life, a loving husband and dear, sweet children.

    Oh my Delisa! Pumpkin custard and caramel whip cream? Doesn't that sound like a bit of heaven? Guess I'll have to hunt down the recipes. Fall is very bad for my willpower!

    I'm talking myself into baking a pie too, Sandy! It's Jamie's birthday tomorrow and he wants no-bake cookies, but maybe I can convince him a pie would be better!

  13. I never thought of preparing the filling early to let the spices set but it makes sense... And I will definitely have to try the creamy coconut apple crunch recipe!

    Blessings, Debbie

  14. Hi Debbie! I'm making some today. Aren't apples just wonderful?

  15. Hi Jane! I hope you are having a nice weekend! It sure was beautiful out today. The weather was perfect and as crisp as one of your pie baking apples! :) I had a fun time at looking around our Antique Barn this afternoon. I could have roamed down the isles for hours! I found a cobalt blu,e fiesta ware cup and saucer that was calling me. Next thing I know it jumped in my shopping bag and followed me home. Have a fun saturday night, I'm going to kick back and watch a movie and get a little crocheting done. Delisa :)

  16. Before I even started reading your delightful post, I had a wee chuckle at your cute title.

    And then I chuckled at the idea of that graham wafer pie being 'perfect' and the recognition that... well.. every pot has its lid!

    It's been a too-long while since I popped in here... glad I saw your link over at Matty's and decided to swing by here before heading 'home'.

    Wishing you delights for the evening....

  17. PS... I forgot about commenting about the apples and your tips.... that coconut apple crunch sounds yum yum.

    Delisa... it just hopped into your bag, did it? Too funny. BTW, I LOVE cobalt blue!

  18. Hi Delisa! How very thoughtful of that cobalt blue cup and saucer to do that for you! Goodness, you wrote this on Saturday and I'm just now responding! Where did Sunday and Monday go?

    Hello Brenda! Glad you swung by! Today I'm finally getting a chance to catch up on some blog hopping. I thought we were supposed to have more leisure time when the kiddies were all grown and on their own!