Sunday, December 11, 2011

Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

Sometimes when I cook something that I think would be great to blog about, it turns out to be rather homely and not very photogenic.  Such is the case with this delicious apple pie.  It looked so inviting in an old issue of Bon Appetit, but when I took it out of the oven it was a little on the dark side and not that appealing in appearance.

That is not to say while baking it didn't fill up the house with the most intoxicating smells of apples and cinnamon. Yum.  And it was love at first bite upon tasting.  What makes this apple pie rise above the rest in my opinion, is the addition of a couple teaspoons of vanilla extract and the use of brown sugar instead of white sugar with the apples.  The recipe also calls for raisins which I opted not to include this time.

The other wonderful thing about this pie is that it was so easy to put together as there is no top crust but instead a delicious crumb topping.  If you are a fan of apple pie this should be on your list of recipes to try. I think you'll agree it's a keeper.

Cinnamon Apple Pie with Raisins and Crumb Topping
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup (or more) ice water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 3/4 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 6 medium), peeled, halved, cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices (about 8 cups)
1 cup raisins
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Crumb Topping:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Lightly sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

For crust:
Blend flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in processor. Add butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Mix 1/4 cup ice water and vinegar in small bowl; add to processor and pulse until moist clumps form, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if mixture is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.

Roll out dough on floured work surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter deep-dish glass pie dish. Fold edges under and crimp, forming crust sides 1/4 inch above rim of pie dish. Freeze crust 20 minutes.

For filling:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Mix brown sugar, flour, lemon peel, and cinnamon in large bowl. Add apple slices, raisins, and vanilla; toss until well coated. Transfer filling to unbaked crust, mounding filling slightly in center. Bake pie until apples begin to soften, about 40 minutes.

For the crumb topping:
Whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in small bowl. Add butter and rub in with fingertips until mixture begins to clump together.
Sprinkle topping evenly over hot pie. Continue to bake pie until apples are tender and topping is browned and crisp, tenting pie with sheet of foil if browning too quickly, about 50 minutes. Cool pie on rack at least 2 hours. Can be made 8 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.


KandN said...

Have you ever made apple pie with blackberries? I keep hearing about it, but still haven't tried it.

Ms. Divina Loca said...

Oh, I can definitely see the beauty in this pie (it looks delicious!), but I did read something about photographing beige/brown foods on blue plates.