Dutch Apple Pie

October 24, 2012

20121019-153038.jpg
Margaux says . . .
This week I bought a bag of Rome apples, mainly because they looked the best, but also because I’ve never tried them and as a huge apple lover, I feel I need to try all of them. I used to carry around a huge list of all the varieties of apples, what their season is, what their taste and texture is, and what their uses are. (I know, a little obsessive, but i LOVE apples!) That list was stolen along with my purse, and it was one of my biggest losses. So I was winging it with these Rome apples. Needless to say, they are not eating apples…But they have great flavor. I looked it up online, and apparently they’re good for cooking, so, oh darn, I have to make a pie.
20121019-133417.jpg
20121019-134326.jpg

I went onto our blog to find our Dutch apple pie recipe, because I was certain that Aunt Suzy had posted it, and discovered that we had not one single apple pie recipe posted!!! WHAT?? I’m still in shock about this. I make apple pie, like, once a month in the fall and winter. Remember how I said I love apples? Well, I really love apple pie. And I know Aunt Suzy probably makes apple pie pretty often, too. So what have we been doing? Yeesh, I’m sorry to our readers out there…we’ve really done you a disservice. My Granny’s apple pie, while totally basic, is the best out there. And this Dutch apple pie is pretty stellar, too! And I have other apple recipes that I realized, while looking for this recipe, I also haven’t posted. I will do my best to get these posted ASAP, before apple season (sadly) ends!

20121019-135431.jpg

20121019-135726.jpg

Aunt Suzy says . . .

I saw this recipe in Food & Wine a couple of years ago. It caught my eye because I’ve only made my Mom’s (aka Granny) basic apple pie over the years.  As Margaux said, that pie is delicious, but I’ve always wanted to make one like this with the streusel topping.  I agree that this one is really good!  And, thanks, Margaux for the reminder that we need to post more apple recipes.  We will indeed be doing a public service :-).

20121020-183451.jpg

Preheat the oven to 375°. Set a baking sheet on the bottom rack.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cubed, for the crust

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, for the topping

1/4 cup ice water

6 large cooking apples—peeled, cored and thinly sliced (I used 8, but my apples were small)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup sugar (Aunt Suzy uses a little more than 1/2 cup, I used almost a cup)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 to 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

The Crust

In a food processor, pulse 1 1/4 cups of the flour and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Add 1 stick of the butter and pulse until it is the size of peas. Drizzle on the ice water and pulse until evenly moistened crumbs form; turn out onto a surface and form into a ball. Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm. (Or just make your favorite pie crust recipe for one crust. )

On a floured surface, roll a disk of the dough to a 13-inch round; fit it into a deep 10-inch glass pie plate and brush the overhang with water. Crimp the overhang.

The Topping

In a bowl, whisk the remaining 1 cup of flour, the light brown sugar, the baking soda and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Add the 6 tablespoons of butter and cut it with pastry cutter until sandy (I cut it in until the butter was pea-sized, then used my hands to rub it together make it sandy). Add the walnuts and mix.

The Apples and Assembling the Pie

In a bowl, toss the apples, lemon juice, sugar, 1/4 cup of the flour and the cinnamon. Spoon the apples into the prepared pie crust. Press the topping mixture into clumps and sprinkle over the pie.

Bake the pie in the center of the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cover the edge of the pie if it begins to darken. Let the pie cool for at least 4 hours before serving.

COOKS NOTES: Depending on your oven, this baking time might be too long. Check after 55 minutes.

Applesauce

October 15, 2010

Aunt Suzy says . . . .

Fall is my very favorite season and one of the things that contributes is the abundance of  local apples!  I have fond memories of my Mom, Barb,  making homemade applesauce and homemade bread.  This was especially delightful if it was around as an after school treat.  I remember that she would usually get a bushel of apples – Jonathan only!! – and make pies and applesauce.  She would make sure that there was enough applesauce to freeze so we could enjoy it through the early winter.  I have carried on this tradition, making varying amounts in the fall and freezing it.  No matter how much I make, it seems it never lasts into the new year.

Margaux says . . .

Granny (“Mom” to Aunt Suzy) was still making applesauce when I was growing up, and she always had applesauce on toast for her 10:00 a.m. snack…every single day, while doing the crossword puzzle.  When I was younger, she had a parakeet named Carla, who would sit on a napkin holder at the table with her waiting for her little bites of toast.  There were always dogs underfoot (Teesa and Sissy when I was really little, then Pepper later, now Rex) who got the last bite (or bites).

I’ve carried on the tradition as well, making applesauce pretty much every fall (and more…in the off-season I use Golden Delicious, and add cinnamon for more flavor).  Applesauce has been a staple for Desi since he first started eating solid food…I highly recommend it for babies!  We eat it on toast for breakfast and snacks all the time.  You can also do pear sauce the same way, which is another of Desi’s favorites!  I make it the same way as Aunt Suzy, and usually use Jonathan or Golden Delicious. 

Aunt Suzy says . . .

I am a purist when it comes to applesauce.  I like the fresh taste of apples, so I don’t add cinnamon or other spices.  I also am a believer in Jonathan apples for sauce and pies, although they aren’t readily available where I live now.  I got some on a recent trip to Central Illinois, where I’m from.  A local Minnesota grower talked me into a variety called Dutchess last year and it made really good sauce.  Here’s a handy resource for choosing apple varieties for different uses.  I also like chunky applesauce rather than smooth, so I take the time to peel, core and quarter the apples before cooking.  This takes a lot more time than the alternative of quartering, cooking with skins and cores and then pressing through an apple mill.  You can find complete instructions for making applesauce using a mill on this post on My Sister’s Kitchen, where I got this photo of an apple mill.  I’m curious – how do you like to make sauce?

Barb’s Applesauce

Peel, core and quarter the apples.  I now use an OXO peeler, even though for years I used a paring knife having learned this method from my Mom.  The peeler is so much easier on the hands and does as good a job as a knife!  (who would have thought? :-))

Add the apples to a large pot – I use either a 5 or 6 quart pot.  As you are peeling and adding the apples, squeeze a little lemon juice over them every once-in-a-while to keep them from getting too brown.  Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot about 1/2 inch.  There is nothing worse than watery applesauce, and if this is not enough water, you can always add later.  Today, I used 16 cups of quartered apples and 2/3 cup of water, which made 2 quarts of finished applesauce.  Cook at a bubble for 20 minutes as follows:  Start on high heat.  When it starts to bubble, stir and turn heat down to medium high.  Stir every 3-4 minutes, turning down the heat to medium when the bubbling gets too furious.  You want everything to be at a good bubble the entire time you are cooking the sauce.  When you are not stirring and mashing down, you want the pot to be covered.  You might think “these apples are never going to break down” because they don’t actually start mushing down until after about 10 minutes.  You will want to stir constantly for the last 5 minutes, working to mash down and break up the apples to your desired consistency.  Here’s a picture of the consistency of sauce we like in my family.   

Remove the pot from the heat so the sauce can settle down.  At this time add a little sugar to your taste.  I added 1/8 cup of sugar for this amount of sauce.  NOTE:  Don’t add the sugar until after the sauce is cooked because the sauce will taste mainly of cooked sugar, overpowering the delicate apple flavor.  If you like spices, these should be added after cooking also.

You might have noticed that there are a lot of  traditions related to applesauce in our family!  Margaux mentioned that we love applesauce on toast for breakfast or a snack.  I  have embelished this a little by adding almond or peanut butter to the equation.  If you’ve never had applesauce on toast, please do try it – it’s delish!!