There has never been a more perfect day to have your oven set to 400°. It is COLD in dear old Memphis and the weather is beyond gross… so gross in fact, that I took the office home with me this afternoon so that I didn’t get stuck in ice. There seems to be some understood rule around here that when you get on an icy overpass you slam on your breaks… safety first, right?
So the other day I spent an unfortunate amount of time searching through Pinterest for pie recipes and I stumbled across this little dear from a blog called Diethood (you can find her wonderful original post here). Skillet Apple Berry Pie sounded too intriguing to pass up.
Generally diet-y things make me horribly nervous, but this recipe caught my attention because:
1. I love apple pies of all kinds
2. One of my most prized possessions is my grandmother’s cast iron skillet and I haven’t been brave enough to use it yet. Grandma passed away in April and I feel inadequate to have brought home this skillet that made decades of bacon and sausage and other grandma goodies. The bottom of the skillet is like glass… that thing has done its share of cooking.
The blog recipe had a crust recipe included, but I had wanted to give Martha Stewart’s butter crust a try so I went with that instead. I came to the realization that if I’m going to do this thing right, I probably need a food processor- whoops! If you are gadget-challenged like me, here’s a tip: you can use frozen butter and grate it on the largest hole of your box grater and it will get the butter to the same mealy consistency… it just takes more work! This crust turned out perfectly. Flaky and oh-so buttery… as long as you don’t think about how much butter you’re consuming, all is well 🙂
The pie itself is a definite keeper! It was easy to assemble and the warmth and flavor made it perfect for a yucky icy day. Next time I’ll cut the amount of nutmeg in half; it was a little strong for me. Since it’s my very first pie of this adventure and since it’s -35° outside (or something like that) I decided to be selfish and keep this one. I’m sure it won’t last long around here but if you want to stop by, I’ll share a little!
Martha Stewart’s Butter Crust
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
- Pulse flour, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds (or use the box grater trick!). Start by drizzling 1/4 of cold water and carefully pulse (or combine) until the mixture stays together if you squish it between your fingers. If it seems too dry, continue adding cold water, but be careful it shouldn’t be wet or sticky! I ended up using the whole 1/2 cup of water. It still seemed dry but once I started forming the disks I knew it was wet enough.
- Shape dough into 2 disks, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. You only need on crust for the skillet pie, so you can freeze the other disk (for up to 3 months).
Once you have your dough chilled, you’re ready to go on the filling!
Diethood’s Skillet Apple Berry Pie
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 tablespoon nutmeg (I would suggest halving this)
- 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 medium-sized golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick wedges
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 package (12 oz) frozen mixed berries, thawed
- 1 rolled pie crust
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Preheat oven to 400.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and salt.
- Add the apples and toss to coat. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a large iron skillet over medium heat.
- Mix in the berries and let cook down for 4 minutes.
- Stir in the apples and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool for a minute or two.
- Roll out the pie crust and lay over the fruit filling, tucking the sides in.
- Brush the top of crust with egg wash.
- Combine the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl and sprinkle the top of crust with cinnamon sugar.
- Place the iron skillet in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and fruit is bubbling.
Mine ended up only needing about 22 minutes in the oven; I still haven’t gotten used to our new oven yet. All in all, a successful first pie… you can see it in it’s cast iron glory at the top of the post! Stay tuned for pie #2!