Thursday, January 15, 2009

Apple Crumb π

My apologies for not posting for awhile. I haven't been feeling too hot (still going) and I made this amazing apple pie that I then lost what I jot down for the recipe. So I felt a little less inclined to do anything with it.

However, I got off my laziness and went ahead and made it. And you should too, because it's kind of amazing.

Jeff is in love with apple pie. He also is a big fan of streusel/crumb, so he'd been asking me (more or less) to make him an apple pie for awhile now and together we came up with the idea of this Apple Crumb pie. We totally made this last week and ate it all up-- breakfast, lunch, etc. Be ready for a picture fest.

I have a small workspace. This is where I combined apples with amazing. You can see the recipe I jotted down as I worked on a yellow post it. I then promptly threw it away-- so I'm not really sure how I made this pie but I tried to make sure I remembered as carefully as possible. I'll be sure to make a second post when I remake this pie with more carefully followed instructions (if I follow these instructions and it turns out bad I will alter it). But I'm pretty sure this is how I made the pie.

Anyway, I have a small workspace. That's my side of the counter. The apples I used were a combination of a few different types. Pink Ladies are my favourite apple: for eating or cooking, and so I make sure to use them whenever we're in the market. In season, I use a lot of honeycrisp too-- but I find that honeycrips out of season has no flavour, unlike Pink Ladies, which are always amazing. So I used a granny smith (flavour + texture) and some random ones: pinata and pacific rose (or beauty?). I may have used another apple, but I don't think I did. Whatever the case, I'm a bigger fan of red/yellow mix apples, which tend to be decently solid and both tart and sweet. Not as tart as granny smith's, not as combo as golden delicious (or as soft), nor as sugary and soft as red delicious. They're a good mix.

Nobody has to use these apples in particular, I think it's good to experimenting. But staying away from softer apples is kind of good, because they'll mush up in your pie and you won't get as many of those nice crisp bites of flavour.

I made the dough the night before. I really wanted to work some wheat/health into this pie (more than the oats that I slipped in. Oh, and the apples), so I decided to go with a wheat crust... which I keep experimenting with, and am slowly getting better results. The wheat flour I had was a mix between whole wheat flour and whole wheat pastry flour, and I should've just gone with the pastry flour, but alas, I had already combined them some time in the past. Whatever the case, it might be a bit -too- wheaty, it wasn't quite as flaky as I'd like and that may be my method or the flour. More experiments underway.
However, it was still pretty flaky and tasty. Jeff had no complaints, he ate the crust in general and isn't usually a big fan.

Jeff took this picture of me rolling out the dough on the kitchen table.

Jeff also sculpted an apple and a pi symbol for the top of our pie. :) They kind of faded in (I should have egg washed them), but it was fun and a cute idea.

Jeff places the symbols, and it on top of the pie. Again, kiiind fo faded in, especially with the mixed texture of the crumble.

The inside was loaded with apples, the generally thin slices made it explode with apple flavour. I decided I wanted to add a bit of pizazz to the filling, and thus I added... cardamom. Cardamom is one of those spices that goes good sweet or savory. I use it on chicken with salt and pepper, and bam! Tasty. I use it in sweet potatos and bam! Tasty. In apple pie? Oh man, it's divine, it's aroma melds well with the cinnamon and the all spice (I chose instead of nutmeg, this time, I thought it might compete less with cardamom). It made this pie taste unique, and I felt it upped the sweetness a bit.

We eat ours with dollops of whipped cream. I also like ice cream, but all I had was pumpkin flavoured and Jeff has peppermint: Neither are the best for melding with apple pie.

I found the recipe! The sticky notes were not thrown away. So the spices/measurements for the following recipes has been adjusted accordingly. :)

Apple Crumb π

1 granny smith apple
1 pacific rose apple
1 pinata apple
3 pink lady apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
a big bowl with cold water in it
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon and a dash more cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon all spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 prepared 10" pie crust
Streusel crumb topping

Mix the lemon juice into the bowl of water. Carefully peel, core, and very thinly slice each apple and place the slices into the bowl of water. Once finished, in a separate but also large bowl, combine all the dried ingredients. Drain apples thoroughly, reserving a little water in case the crust needs it upon rolling out. Carefully mix the apples into the dried ingredients, tossing lightly with your hands. Mix in the vanilla extract and fold a few more times. Carefully layer apples into a prepared pie crust. Pour remaining apple sugar liquid into the pie once all apple slices are set.
Top with crumb and bake on 375 for 20 minutes and 350 for about another 25 more, until inside is bubbling and it seems thoroughly browned and set.

Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Streusel Crumb Topping

1/2 cup oats
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
1 rounded tablespoon of white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix the butter into dries until crumbly. Sprinkle liberally over the pie.

Pie Crust

6 oz butter
1 cup white flour
1 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4-5 tablespoons ice water

Cut butter into cubes and chill. In a separate bowl combine all the dries and also chill. Once cold, using two knives, a pastry mixer, or what have you, mix the butter into the dries until the smallest pieces are pea sized and the rest are a little larger. Marble to pea size.
Add water until not even really forming together. Chill for 5 minutes, then set out onto a non-stick surface that would be, ideally, cold. Use the palm of the hand going from one side of the dough to the other to cream the butter into the flour, ribboning it throughout, until just combined. Pull into plastic wrap and wrap into a ball then refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Once ready to bake, ie when the filling is ready, roll out and put into the pie dish, removing edges.

Makes a little over 1 pie crust for a 10" deep pie.


Reeni♥ said...

Your pie looks amazing! I love the addition of cardamom. I was reading the top ten trends in flavors and cardamom and vanilla were no. 1.

Stephanesia said...

Really? I had no idea. I guess I'm with the trend! >D I've been using it for awhile, and I definitely add vanilla to everything. It's such a great spice, it's got a dimensional flavor.