Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dutch Apple Pie

 Adulthood has brought me many good things: a cool job, eating cookies for breakfast if I want, staying up late, being able to drive. All those silly things I wished for as a child.. 

One thing I did not expect to encounter in adulthood was a renewed enjoyment of cooked apples. 

 After swimming lessons one day my mom and I went to McDonald's for breakfast. After enjoying  my delightful little apple pie I threw up promptly when we returned home. It was very traumatic.

It has taken me years to get over this experience, but I have finally made it to a point where I enjoy cooked apples again. What better way then to enjoy them in a warm pie with a gooey insides and crispy sweet topping. Dutch Apple Pie is a bit different than the traditional variety. It has a streusel topping that adds a crunchy, sweet and rich layer to the pie.

This pie is truly terrific and not all that hard to make. If you are not up for making your own pie crust, then a frozen crust will do fine. You can also follow my perfect pie crust recipe I adapted from Just Get Off Your Butt and Bake. This recipe will make 4 crusts. Lucky for you, this delightful apple pie only needs one. The extras freeze really well and can be used for other pies, quiches or even turnovers. 

Ingredients

1 pie crust, chilled
6 Granny Smith Apples, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large orange, zested and juiced
2 teaspoons apple pie spice
2 tablespoons butter

Topping

1/4 cup or 1 stick of butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 cup flour
2/3 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon



First, roll out the pie crust evenly aiming to make a circular shape. Roll this out in plenty of extra flour to make sure it does not stick to the counter.


After you have rolled out the crust, measure it against the size of the pie plate. Once it is a bit bigger than the pie plate all around, you are good to go. 


Place your crust in your pie plate.


With the edges of the crust, fold the extra underneath. Then crimp the sides of the crust all around. This will be covered mostly by apples and the topping so no need to get too fancy. 


Next, we are going to bake our crust without the filling. This will ensure a very crispy crust. Place a small sheet of parchment over the pie and fill it with beans, rice or pie weights if you have them. Key tip: the beans are not edible once you bake them. I always save mine for the next time I need to use them. Bake this in a 350 degree oven for about ten minutes.


Take all the ingreidents for the filling and mix them together. This may seem a bit dry, but the apples will cook down and create a delicious sauce. Put this off to the side while the crust is still baking on its own.


Next, place all of the topping ingredients into a medium sized bowl. Make sure your ingredients are well chilled. Otherwise they get a bit mushy instead of crispy.


I like to combine everything with a large fork or even a pastry cutter. This really helps squish the cold butter into the other ingredients.


Keep mashing until all the ingredients are combined. By this point the crust should be done baking on its own.


Place the apple filling into the pie crust. Then sprinkle over the topping.


The pie will then bake for another 30 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees or until the top is golden brown and the apples are soft. Just poke at one or two of the chunks to see if they have some give to them.


Let the pie cool for about 30 minutes. The sauce on the inside is lava hot and will burn the dickens out of you. 


Besides, a wonderful smell like this is likely to attract some friends and admirers.


Dutch Apple Pie is great all on its own, but it would be delightful served with some caramel sauce and ice cream.

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