“How to make friends” apple pie
“How to win at life” apple pie
“How to world peace” apple pie
Call it whatever you want, but I’ll call it my favorite apple pie.
So I actually made one just now so that I could take pictures to illustrate the steps to go along with the recipe. I’m eating it as I write this. It’s not even fair how good it is. The only way I can really describe the texture is “delicate”. The process that creates this texture takes a little more work (although to me it’s all fun work!) and it yields this warm, lightweight gooey filling with a tender crumbly crust that just all melts together as you eat it. Think: Cinnabon smell meets apple orchard… I can’t even.
This pie is snobby because browned butter.
Browned butter is too good for regular butter. Browned butter sits at the lunch table with grass fed butter and browned butter looks up to ghee, but ghee secretly admires browned butter. Browned butter makes a dessert better in the same way high heels make a dress better.
But seriously, you just cook it. It’s cooked butter. Like, cook it until it smells like heaven and looks kind of caramel in color.
But don’t burn it! If you burn it you loose and you may as well put on your sweatpants and watch the Hallmark channel while you give yourself bangs. No, not really. That’s bad. No one should do that. Just start over if you burn it. How do you know if you burned it? It will smell like burning- that’s how- Sheila.
But seriously, the Hallmark channel is for prisoners.
Bangs are okay.I gave myself bangs.
BACK TO APPLE PIE
So the other thing that makes THIS pie my FAVORITE is that you add all of the lovely flavors to the browned butter and then pour the whole heavenly, goopy, slurp-love OVER THE WHOLE PIE, crust and all! It’s like, almost, sensual… *roll film of slow motion butter sugar cinnamon pouring itself over an eager, uncooked, doughy, laced top apple pie and finished with a sprinkling of nuts* …you get me?
My other FAVORITE part of this pie is that I make it with less sugar than anyone calls for, ever. And it’s still so sweet. I don’t know about you, but I like to taste ALL of the flavors, not just the sugar! I want the tart, the warmth, the spice, the vanilla, the salty, the all of it! AND I actually use old fashioned molasses for a large part of the sweetness component. Why? Because rustic. No, actually because I didn’t have brown sugar on hand as I was developing this recipe and I read on my internet machine that brown sugar is basically regular sugar in which the molasses had not yet been removed. Interesting. So I used half “regular” sugar (which for me is the Morena pure cane sugar) and half molasses… at it was sooo good! It adds depth and character. And it makes me feel old timey.
Hi my name is Courtney and I’m addicted to apple pie.
Another thing worth mentioning is Ceylon cinnamon. Ceylon is the type of cinnamon that has medicinal qualities which can help to negate the effects of sugar on the body (as apposed to the more common Cassia cinnamon). Youtube it. Obviously you don’t HAVE to use this, although I love to, but either way they taste pretty much the same.
I make my own crust for this apple pie. Not because I wanted to, but because the ingredients in store bought crusts are tragic. Simple as that. I have found though, that this homemade crust is far more delicate in taste and texture… and I’m loving it! Of course, you could totally use a store bought crust and it will still turn out amazing. But if you have the means to make your own, you can feel that much better about serving and partaking in the wholesomeness. And truthfully, it’s not that hard!
Let’s do this thing.
PIE FILLING INGREDIENT LIST:
1 STICK OF BUTTER
3 TBSP ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
1/3 CUP SUGAR
1/4 CUP MOLASSES
1 TSP CINNAMON
PINCH OF NUTMEG OR CLOVES
PINCH OF SALT
SALTED ROASTED PECANS-OPTIONAL
STEP BY STEP:
If you’re making your own crust, do that first so it has time to chill in the fridge while you work on the other components.
(I’ll soon be uploading my own pie crust recipe.)
Once the dough is in the fridge, you’ll need all of your apples peeled and thinly sliced. What kind of apples? That’s up to you my dear. I chose green for tartness but any variety will do well. *Hint, you can substitute an apple or two for pears if you’d like!* Try to cut all of the pieces the same size so they cook at the same rate. I used 5 or 6 large apples, you do what you feel is right!
Now for browned butter. Pull up your britches Wynonna, you got this! Cook 1/2 cup butter in a shallow pan – that’s 1 stick – on medium heat until it begins to gently bubble and sizzle. Within a few minutes it will have a rich toffee aroma and the color will begin to become slightly amber. Keep it moving and watch it close, this is not the time to go check the mail (trust me). When you feel it’s right just remove your pan from the heat and you’re ready for the next step!
Now add the 3 tbsp flour and whisk it in. It will kind of foam up as it cooks. Just let it do it’s thing for a minute, until you feel it’s well incorporated and follow with the next few ingredients. Add the 1/3 cup of sugar and the 1/4 cup of molasses and a pinch salt, stirring to incorporate well. Finally add 1/2 to 1 tsp of cinnamon, a heavy handed splash of vanilla and a tiny pinch of either nutmeg OR cloves, whichever you have on hand. By now your house smells like a dream and you feel like a freakin culinary genius. *Hint: If you feel like it’s too thick at this point, you’re welcome to add a few tbsp of water to thin it out. It should be ok if it was removed from the heat but in the event it’s not- don’t panic! It’s going to be amazing*
Now is a good time to take that dough out of the fridge and separate it into two halves. Use the accidentally smaller half for the bottom. Roll it out as thin as humanly possible and transfer it into your pie pan. *Hint: this is best accomplished by sandwiching the dough between two layers of parchment paper and rolling it flat from above. Then you can remove the top layer, flip your dough disc into your pan and go from there.*
I forgot to follow this hint for my bottom crust and had to peel it off of my counter top like it was wallpaper from 1997. But you know what, no one will ever know, because no one will ever see it. Except you- I’m showing you because I care about you, and if you’re struggling at this point I can use my own embarrassing failure to encourage and uplift you…
Stop laughing. I know. I should have just lied and said I let my two year old do it.
Oh you may want to preheat the oven at this point. Get it good and hot, like 420. We’ll turn it down to 350 at go time.
Now pour your beautiful pile of sliced apples into the prepared bottom pie crust and mound them up to form a little hill of apples. Clasp your hands and tilt your head with pure joy.
Now create a laced top pie crust. You’ll only be able to do this if you took calculus in 9th grade and passed with a B average or higher. Just kidding. Because we all that wasn’t me! My husband actually taught me how to do this (yeah the bearded one who hunts animals and works with hot metal and drives diesel trucks… who knew?). Just do your best- the pie needs this. A solid top won’t work because we need the filling to be able to seep down all of those openings in the lace. And it honestly doesn’t matter too much what it looks like… you’ll see why soon.
NOW FOR THE BEST PART! Go get that glorious gooey brown happiness and make it rain sister. Just pour it evenly over the top of your purdy pie and try to sustain your composure. If you’re like me, you’ll top it off with salted, roasted pecans, but that’s up to you.
Now put it in the oven, which like I said, I preheat to 420 and then turn it down to 350 when I put the pie in. I honestly didn’t time how long I cooked mine, because I never time anything. Your oven is presumably different anyway. Just let it go for around 30 minutes and watch that it doesn’t burn. Look for it to be visibly cooked and bubbling and smell like perfection.
Let it cool, a little. Serve with vanilla ice cream if you want to hurt yourself.
Seriously, I hope it was everything you dreamed of and I hope it brings joy and sweetness to a moment
or a gathering in your life! Thank you for cooking with me!