I baked this pie over the weekend because…pie. There’s no other reason that matters, really.
Anyway, it’s a riff off my apple almond tart. I used a double batch of the same frangipane recipe. I used Alton Brown’s butter/lard pie recipe for the crust. And then for the apples, I used my old-school apple peeler/finger mangler thing (see below) to core, peel and spiral slice the apples.
The corer doesn’t fully slice the apples–all the pieces remain connected, so they’re “sliced” but actually still just one unit. Then I sprinkled them with a mixture of brown sugar, white sugar, and cinnamon and let them sit for a few minutes. Depending on the water content of your apple choice, you may want to let them sit for up to a half hour to get out the extra moisture. I use honeycrisp apples, and they’ve been pretty solid.
Anyway, I sat the apples in the pie crust and spooned the frangipane around them and added a little bit inside the apple as well. Then I baked the pie for 30 minutes, covered the edges with tinfoil to prevent burning, and continued baking for another hour. Then let the pie cool.
I sometimes wonder who first looked at a pumpkin and thought, “let’s bake that down and pie it.” It seems to me that the vast expanse of human culinary history really comes down to someone looking at some random item and thinking, “I should put that in a pie.”
Case in point:
One of the ways in which we traditionally separate ourselves from animals is that we are tool using species who cook our food. No, I say. The real separation between us and the animals is that they will look at their prey and think, “I want to eat that” whereas we look at our prey and think, “I could bake that into a pie and it would be delicious.”
Really, why? Why do we fill pie shells full of ground lamb and smother it in mashed potatoes? Why do most cultures have their own versions of hand-held goodies wrapped in pie crust so that you can eat your pie while simultaneously fighting off intruders or driving a backhoe? Why did someone actually think to crush Cool Ranch Doritos and bake them in an onion-y filling? Because…pie.
Yeah, that’s pretty much all there is to it, so far as I can tell.
So to celebrate this apparently deeply ingrained appreciation for combining crust and filling, with or without another crust on top depending on said filling, I am going to share a recipe for Josh’s favorite pie: classic pumpkin.
- 1 prepared and rolled out pie crust
- 15oz of canned pumpkin (pure pumpkin, not the pumpkin pie filling)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice (2 parts cinnamon, 1 part ginger, 1 part nutmeg)
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1-2 tbsp amaretto
- 5oz evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- Preheat your oven to 375F.
- Lay your pie crust in your pie plate so that it nestles into the sides. Trim off any excess and use it to create decorations if you like. Carefully wrap tin foil around the edges of the pie, so that they don't get too dark while it's baking.
- Put the pumpkin, sugar and pie spice into the bowl of a mixer and blend together. Add the eggs, amaretto, evaporated and whole milk. Blend until everything is well incorporated.
- Pour the batter into the pie crust. Place the pie on a cookie sheet, put it in the oven and bake it for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and continue baking the pie for another 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven. When a toothpick inserted into the pie comes out clean, pull it out of the oven and let it fully cool.
- Slice and eat, and store it in the fridge.
I like to use this all-butter crust recipe for my pie crusts. Not that I have anything against lard or shortening crusts, but I always have butter on hand, so it's easy for me to make.
© Have Fork, Will Eat
And because they’re my favorite pies: cookie pie and cinnamon pie. Also, for good measure, no-pie apple pie.
I don’t know if you know this about me, but I suffer from a very intense case of laziness. It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time. Well, I wouldn’t say struggled, exactly. That indicates some sort of action on my part and I’m far too lazy for that. What’s truly amusing about the whole thing is that I really am a very productive person, all told. Or at least, I seem to manage to be. I have a full time job, a couple of part time gigs, a fairly active social life,
a clean house and lots of hobbies. So maybe it’s less that I’m lazy and more that my time is at a premium.
Yeah, that sounds way better doesn’t it? I should have started out with that.
What was my point? I had a point. Oh right–so my
laziness, I mean, time premium has some negative aspects to it. The biggest one being that sometimes I want food in my mouth but I don’t want to have to make the effort to produce said food. Oh, how I long for the halcyon future-days of the Jetsons era where I can have a robot produce food for me, put it into my mouth and help me chew. Sure, I could crack open a box of Kraft mac or some pizza rolls–and don’t get me wrong, I will occasionally do that (anyone who tells you they never do probably has a pantry full of lies)–but generally I want real food. Real good food.
This brings me to pie. Pie is difficult thing. It’s not actually that hard to make, but it takes some time. You have to make the dough and then chill it and then there’s all that rolling and–yawn–at this point, you haven’t even put together the filling yet. OMG. First world kitchen problems.
However, this apple cake saves the day. All you have to do is dice some apples (with the skin on!), mix them with a super easy batter, pile them into a pan and bake. Done. And what you get is a delicious dessert that’s like pie, but faster and lighter. And if you’re not a fan of pie crust, well you’re probably a vampire but you’re also going to love this dish. And if you are a fan of pie crust, you’re still going to love this dish.
Apple cake: apple pie for minimalists
- 4 large or 8 small-medium honeycrisp or similar apples
- 3/4 c. flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp amaretto
- 2 tbsp frangelico
- 1 cup melted unsalted butter
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 8 or 9 inch pie pan.
- Dice the apples into half inch chunks.
- In the bowl of your mixer, combine all the other ingredients--first the dry and then the wet. Fold in the apples.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 1 hour (start checking it at 50 minutes, depending on your oven).
- Let cool, run a knife around the edge to loosen it and then slice and serve as you like.
© Have Fork, Will Eat
chocolate chip cookie pie
The latest Evernote Cook-Along is this week and it’s awesome: a celebration of all things fall, harvest and pie. It’s going to be amazing. I’ve already been experimenting with caramel apple pie recipes in preparation for it, and this week I’m going to make Paul’s delectable cinnamon pie, some pumpkin pie and maybe some individual pie pops.
mini cinnamon pies
And I want you to join me! The fun of the cook-alongs is two-fold: 1) you get to make (and eat) food! And any excuse to do that is a valid one. And 2) you get to share what you made and see what other people are doing, and get tips, inspiration and recipes—which is the whole point of the internet, if you take away the cat pictures.
tiny heart shaped apple pies
Plus this time there’s a contest—I’ll choose my favorite 5 recipes (the most interesting and most innovative to me) and from there the worldwide Evernote fanclub will choose the top 3. Those winners will get prizes and the all-important bragging rights.
So join us. Post your pies for posterity and enjoy the delicious harvest of fall with some sweet and savory deliciousness!
How the Cook-Along works
Join the Facebook Event!
My Harvest Pie Evernote recipe collection
I’ll say that one more time: double chocolate chip almond cookie pie. Cookie pie. Cookie pie. Cookie pie.
This is a beautiful dessert, in so many ways. First of all, it contains some of the most important ingredients known to man: chocolate, double chocolate, almonds, butter, pie crust. All it’s missing is pork…and you could remedy that buy adding in crumbled bacon and/or using lard in your pie crust. Just something to consider. Secondly, it solves that terrible, gastronomical conundrum that is, “What do I want for dessert? A cookie or a slice of pie?” Welcome to the future, my good hungry friend! Who needs flying cars? You can have cookie pie. That’s two desserts in one. It’s like a culinary double rainbow. Plus, it offers twice the opportunity for supplemental dairy. I mean, pie needs to have one of two things to go with it: ice cream or whipped cream. Or ice cream and whipped cream. And cookies need milk. So you could have a slice of cookie pie with some whipped cream and a glass of milk. Boom. Done. Third, think of all the neatly paired colloquialisms you could make. “Any way you slice it, that’s the way the cookie crumbles!” And uh…um….ok, well maybe that’s the only one. Finally, this dessert is extremely easy to make, even for those of you who are baking-phobic. And do you know what you get at the end of this easy process? Flaky, buttery pie crust, crunchy top and a nice thick layer of chocolate in the middle. It makes a great alternative to the usual whipped chocolate or fruity pies. And if you’re tired of eating pumpkin after Thanksgiving and Christmas, then I believe this one is calling your name. Continue reading
Well, it’s New Year’s Eve. How exciting and yet terrifying. I mean, after midnight tonight, it will officially be 2011. And I have to say, I’m a bit disappointed. I mean, I love my Camry and all but I kind of thought by now I’d have a flying car, or at least a pegasus that was hooked up to a cart of some sort. But no. My vehicle is still a non-magical, non-nuclear powered terrestrial vehicle.
But if I can’t have a personal automotive levitation device, I might as well have the next best thing this new year: brunch. I love brunch. First of all, it’s a delightfully crunchy-sounding word. Brrrrruncccchhh. It’s like weekend-in-a-bowl. It’s also flexible, relaxing, laid back, amenable to last minute plans, sociable and full of delicious flavors and my friends and I are indeed fans of delicious flavors (and also of the TV show Psych). Thus, we are big believers in the awesome healing powers of a good brunch.
Our last brunch was a bit last-minute. It was a couple weeks ago and the planning started on Friday, I think, with Paul messaging me as to whether we were interested in brunching at his place on Sunday. On Saturday, he laid out his menu ideas and we assigned tasks during a quick phone call and then we went grocery shopping for whatever items we didn’t already have in stock. On Sunday, Josh, myself, Brian and Rita trooped over to Paul’s house to get the party started, so to speak, with him and his roommates. Continue reading
The best kind of pie is one that I'm eating.
There are two kinds of people in the world: pie people and cake people. I am one of the latter. Josh is one of the former. They do say that opposites attract. Anyway, I have not done much pie-making in my life (though I occasionally make things for pi). I chalk this up to two things: one, my status as a “cake person,” and two, the cancellation of ABC’s “Pushing Daisies,” which deprived me of my inspiration to produce top-quality pies (if you watched the show, you’d understand).
However, when Jen Haines of A2EatWrite fame—and a fellow member of the illustrious Michigan Lady Food Bloggers Group–sent out a message about needing pie donations for a pie-sale fundraiser for Ann Arbor’s Community High, I figured…this is a good excuse to try out some pie recipes. I sifted through my giant Evernote recipe file (701 recipes now) and my Stumble Upon favorites for a couple suitable recipes. I ended up decided on a chocolate chip cookie pie from Bakerella and–at Josh’s request–a variation of a pumpkin pie with streusel topping, recipe below. As I am not a fan of what I consider to essentially be a “squash pie,” I had to rely on the kindness opinions of strangers people I’ve known for years. They said, “Om nom nom…yummy.” That’s a paraphrase. There were actually five more noms than that.
In the interest of full disclosure, I thought I would use this opportunity to begin learning how to make pie crust. Like from scratch, not from the Pillsbury box. That didn’t happen though. Between work, lack of sleep, 3 pies to make and a feast to prepare for the next day, I ran out of time and energy. Oh, oh…and the fact that since we moved, I have not been able to find my measuring spoons, rolling pin or various other baking necessities. So…yes. I cheated on the crust. But I made up for it with this witty blog post…right? Continue reading
Today is Pi Day. That is, it’s March 14. 3-14. 3.14. Tomorrow, my office will be “rounding up” and celebrating Pi Day with Pie treats. We are awesome like that. So to do my part, I made pies. Mini pies. On sticks. Because food is better on a stick. I made the mini pies just like I’ve done before, only I made the full “pie pop” recipe from Bakerella. This time, half were peach and cinnamon and the other half were strawberry lemon. I cheated by buying canned filling but then doctored it up (added vanilla and cinnamon to the peaches, and vanilla and lemon extract to the strawberry—yum). Here is a quick pictorial of the life of these pies:
the circle of life
we meet in the middle
we are buns in the oven
a pie is born
In honor of Josh’s birthday on Monday, I made pies. Little tiny pies. Our family is having a birthday lunch for him today and I asked him if he wanted a cake, cupcakes or miniature pies and he went for the miniature pies. Because let’s face it–everything is cuter when it’s tiny.
Now, I have to give credit for this to bake-tastic blogger Bakerella, whose Easy as Pie post gave me the idea and made me think, “Hey I could do that.” Normally, the thought “Hey I can do that” combined with actual baking is a dangerous, dangerous thing that just leaves my kitchen covered in flour and me swearing that I will never bake again and stick to what I do best, which is…well, as yet undiscovered, but will most likely be something covered in barbecue sauce. Continue reading