So I’m incredibly behind on this puppy… I know my adoring fans have been anxiously awaiting this next post! Unfortunately, a quick trip to Abilene has made our past few weeks a little frazzled. My sweet Gram passed away on March 5th after a long illness. I am so thankful that she is free and restored. Gram was my “instructional” grandmother; she taught me how to bake a potato, cook, and sit like a lady in church. All three of my grandmothers have played their own role in making me into who I am today; I have been incredibly blessed. Stay tuned for some great Gram recipes! And here’s a little glimpse of my very first birthday, starring Gram and Gramps:
However, before our little detour to Abilene, I made a pie! I knew it was time for another fruit pie and I KNEW I had to tackle my archenemy, the apple pie. Since we’ve been married, I’ve probably made five apple pies. While none of them have been bad, none of them have been good either. The apples are always dry and I always ended up with that nasty apple pie pool at the bottom. So after consulting my favorite baking genius (AKA my mom) I decided that I needed an apple pie recipe with a pre-cooked filling. That way, you have some cornstarch to absorb the pool and you know your apples will have that perfect consistency.
I found a recipe on the Food Network website that looked doable and OH MY was it good. If you, like me, have struggled to find the perfect apple pie recipe… search no further! I did have a little issue with the cloves again (i.e. Pie #1 all over again). Maybe I’m just not a big clove person? Oh well, you live and you learn- I’ll omit the cloves next go around.
The only problem with apple pie is that it’s so very expected… Good Old Fashioned Apple Pie, right? So I decided my crust needed a little personality. I found a recipe for a cinnamon roll crust a few months ago and I knew I couldn’t go wrong with apple pie and cinnamon rolls combined into pie-perfection. The original recipe is here, but I edited it and created a top crust all on my own. Next time, I think these cinnamon rolls might get some icing… stay tuned for that one. Warning: this cinnamon roll crust is not for the faint of heart. It took forever and I made a giant mess getting it put together, but presentation-wise it was totally worth it.
Old Fashioned Apple Pie (filling credit goes to Food Network!)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
2 1/2 pounds firm, tart apples (I went with Granny Smith) peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/4-inch wedges
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoons ground cloves (Next time I’ll omit this! If you’re pro-cloves, then go for it)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water to make an egg wash
Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saute pan over medium heat. Add the apple wedges and saute until slightly softened but holding their shape, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the 1/2 cup of sugar and stir to combine. Add the cinnamon, and cloves and stir.
In a bowl, combine the lemon juice and cornstarch. Stir the mixture into the apple mixture and remove the pan from the heat. Let cool completely. This is a great time to tackle your cinnamon roll crust since it takes a while!
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Fill an unbaked bottom crust with apple filling and dot the top crust with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter. Top with your second crust. No need to cut vents, the cinnamon rolls sort of pull apart on their own. Brush the top lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
Put the pie on a cookie sheet or other low-sided baking tray to catch any spillage. Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the pie 180 degrees to move the front edge to the back of the oven, and bake until the top is uniformly golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more.
Remove the pie from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes before slicing and serving… for real though, don’t be impatient. Let it cool.
Cinnamon Roll Crust
1 box of refrigerated Pillsbury pie crusts (sort of cheating… but necessary!)
3 Tbsp melted butter
Roll out a crust onto a lightly-floured surface and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon (just like you’re making cinnamon rolls) then roll the crust up as tightly as possible. This part’s tricky but the tighter you can roll it the better. Slice your roll into 1/2 inch mini-cinnamon rolls. Lay the mini-rolls on the bottom of your pie pan and start squishing them together using your fingers. You have to play with it to get it going but once you’ve got the hang of it you’ll be fine. Make sure you space the rolls out so that you have a full crust for the bottom of your pie.
Repeat this process for the top crust, except squish your cinnamon rolls onto a sheet of parchment paper into a large circle. VERY gently transfer the crust on top of your pie filling and pinch the two crusts together to seal. The cinnamon rolls will pull apart slightly on the top crust so no vents are necessary.
If you decide to brave this crust let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear any tricks or tips that develop.