Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dutch Apple Pie

I've mentioned that birthdays have become a chance for me to create edible presents for my friends. It's what I'm doing currently. Who's to say that in the next couple of years I won't have changed my MO completely. For the moment, though, it's what works.

It's also what enables me to bake this yummy Dutch Apple Pie for my friend Amanda. It's her favorite dessert, and since I couldn't come up with a solid idea for True Blood cupcakes, despite many hours of thinking and scanning the world around me for inspiration, it became her birthday present from me. I should also mention that said birthday present was delivered hot from the oven last night. That's right, we go all out for birthdays around here.

Dutch Apple Pie
Serves 8

For pie
1 9-inch deep dish pie crust, unbaked
5 apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon cornstarch

For cinnamon crumb topping
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup cold butter, cut into pads

Preheat your oven to 400 F.

In a large bowl combine the apples with the sugar, cinnamon and corn starch. Toss to thoroughly cover all apple slices with the cinnamon sugar mixture and the corn starch. You want to make sure you get a thick, syrupy filling with plenty of sweet flavor. Pour apple mixture into uncooked pie shell.

I'm still not very adept at using my mother's pie crust recipe, so I opted for a frozen pie crust. I know, shame on me. One day, probably around the holidays, I'll perfect it. As it stands,  you could check out Joy the Baker's Easy No-Roll Pie Crust or Pioneer Woman's Perfect Pie Crust or any other pie crust recipe that you think would be appropriate. I will be using my mom's recipe in the future, I assure you, but for this pie, though, we went with safe.

Because it was a birthday gift. And because I'd already had one massive failure in the kitchen to deflate my spirit for the day. Royal icing isn't always your friend in a time of need.

I digress.

To make the crumbly, cinnamony, all around tasty topping, you're going to combine your dry ingredients in a handy-dandy bowl. Then add the pads of butter and using a pastry blender, or two butter knives, or, heck, even your fingers, blend the butter into flour mixture until it becomes crumbly. It was my first date with my pastry blender. I think it may be true love.

Top your apple-filled pie crust with the crumb mixture and pop your pie into the oven for 35 - 40 minutes, or until the pie crust is a nice golden brown and so is your crumbly Dutch topping.

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