Saturday, December 5, 2015

Sparkling Apple Pie

Happy December, everybody! And Happy Thanksgiving! That's the holiday I missed with you guys (and the occasion for which I made this pie!) Man. Once November hits, the rest of the year always seems to fly by at breakneck speed. Goodness! Christmas parties and decorations and White Elephant gift exchanges and suddenly, it's the new year.
I had so much to be thankful for this year, as with every year--but tonight, I am particularly grateful for opportunities to learn more about myself and others. Self-knowledge is a great thing! It's not always easy to come by, but I am ever the richer and wiser for each new lesson learned.

In general, I am not a suspicious person. I don't suspect dishonest or unkind motives from those around me because I do not have dishonest or unkind motives toward others, so my actions typically reflect my goodwill. Unfortunately, that does lead to a bit of naivete in my dealings with others, producing said opportunities to learn. I can be too trusting at times, leading to personally frustrating moments of self-scolding, "Esther! Why did you do that? What were you thinking??"
But with each new moment of "Seriously? What was that about?!" follows a moment of, "I didn't think of that. I had never considered things this way." A new wrinkle forms in my brain; a synapse fires, and suddenly, I have new insight that I lacked before. Thank God I DON'T know everything--and thank God that most of my mistakes haven't had terribly serious or permanent consequences!

I firmly believe that learning from my mistakes and missteps makes them all worthwhile; however, if I continue to make the same mistakes, then I am the problem. Fortunately, I'm a quick learner, and I can move on to making NEW mistakes and discovering more new things about myself and life in no time! I'm thankful for forgiveness and all the grace I receive when I do something foolish or unintentionally careless. Another day, another lesson learned.
Let me just clear this up first, though: This apple pie was NO mistake. It was actually one of the best culinary decisions I made in all of 2015! Normally, my recipe titles are flashier and more inviting, but the pie speaks for itself--it's apple pie. It's stinking delicious, too! (If I think of another delicious qualifier for the title, though, the recipe is totally getting a facelift!) (**Edit: I updated the name. It is now SPARKLING Apple Pie, due to the sparkling sugar I used to decorate the top. See? I always come through for you).

I made this for Thanksgiving and needed a recipe that wouldn't take much time, so I went with pre-made pie crusts for this pie. Everything else was from scratch. A glorious combination of Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, and Granny Smith apples created the perfect balance of sweet, tart, and crisp crunchy goodness in this pie. And is there ANYTHING better than the smell of brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter all baking together? Nay, I say!! Nay!! (This is getting long. Sorry. Let's just get to the recipe--adapted from Gal Meets Food).
  • 2 Pie crusts, store-bought or homemade
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 6 medium apples (I used two each of the following: Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Honeycrisp; you want at least two varieties of good baking apples that won't turn to mush in a hot oven!)
  • 1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
  • Sparkling sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 400. Fit one of the pie crusts into a greased 9-inch pie pan. Shape the edges to your liking and trim off any excess, then refrigerate until ready to fill. Core, peel, and slice apples (and try not to eat them all!); set aside.

Add the sugars, butter, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and salt to a large bowl and mix well. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the apples to the bowl and stir gently until all the apples are coated. (REALLY--try not to eat them all!) Transfer the mixture to the pie pan inside the crust.

*Note: I grabbed the rolling pin and rolled out my second pie crust a little bit just to make sure that I had plenty of dough to cover the top of the pie. It's a pretty good idea just in case! Be careful not to make it too thin, though.
Seal on the edges of the pie, pressing the bottom and top crusts together around the edges in a crimped pattern. You can also lay the top crust over the bottom and crimp the two together. Check out this video for crimping tips! Before baking, use a sharp knife to cut several slits in a star pattern around the top of the center of the pie. (This allows the steam to escape from the pie while it's baking so that bakes thoroughly and doesn't bubble over in the oven).

Next: beat the last egg in a small ramekin or bowl. Brush all over the top of the pie crust. This will ensure a gorgeous, golden crust when you pull the pie out of the oven! Sprinkle sparkling sugar over the top for a beautiful decorative element (as well as some added crunch!)

Cover the pie loosely with foil and bake covered for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Pat yourself on the back for a beautiful pie well done, and then immediately decide to bake more pies (as soon as you recover from the holidays!)

No comments:

Post a Comment