Wednesday, October 12, 2011
THE OBLIGATORY APPLE POST
The cat in the kitchen has plenty of nerve,
Exploring for tidbits she doesn't deserve.
She asks with her tail in a
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:
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
1 C. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
remaining pudding mix
1/2 tsp. vanilla
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!