Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Tale of Two Pies for Sweet New Zealand

I am an American, thus I make apple pie.  It's just something we're born to do.

I bought a bag of Granny Smith apples last week to make a pie for my lovely neighbor who had fed our cats while we were away for four days.  I thought I would just eat the ones I didn't use in my pie, apples that is, not cats.  However it seems that I had forgotten that I don't actually like Granny Smith apples because they're just to tough and fibrous, and don't do nice things to my tummy. 

Yes, I still call it my tummy.  Don't judge!

So then it's Monday night and I have all these apples sitting on my bench, taunting me with the pie potential.
Staring apples with the bright and shiny skins - lies!
I did what any self-respecting American with a baking addiction and too many icky apples would do - I made another pie.  But just not the same pie; I went the Tim Taylor route and added More Power!!!  (Remember that show, a staple of a 90's childhood?) 

Here's pie numero uno, made with Edmond's Sweet Short Pastry, which I love even though it sticks like the devil to any surface it's applied to.  Like. The. Devil.  I followed a basic two-crust apple pie recipe for the filling, which didn't call for much more than some white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour.  Meh, it was alright.  My neightbor loved it, but I believe that because someone made it for her, and you always love food that you didn't make yourself.

Not a beauty pageant winner, that's fo sho!

Back to those extra apples.  I may have peeled and cut them up while watching The Mentalist.  A girl's gotta keep up with her shows, and that Simon, he's so darn cute, even if he is Australian. 

Also, this happened in the middle of pie-baking, and I managed to get a shot of it.  Win!

Hungover kitty needs a bigger drink than just her water bowl!
I used the same Edmond's crust because (a) I'm a little lazy and (b) I had two sheets in my freezer - kind of a no-brainer here.  But the filling, oh the filling; I added brown sugar, cloves, and lemon juice to the mix, and the kicker was that I softened them up in my magical non-stick wok to get those juices alllllllll up in there. 

Result: magic!  The crust still stuck to the pie plate though, even though I sprayed it.  Here's the Winning Pie:

Look at that thing of beauty, you can see the caramelized juices giving the apples a nice warm bath of love.  Makes me want to be one of those apples.  Is that weird?

I am so enamoured with this apple pie that I'm putting on my big-girl hat and submitting it (my first ever!) for Sweet New Zealand, hosted this month by one of my NZ food blog idols Pease Pudding.  Eeek!

Here's the recipe, if you find yourself in possession of too many apples and an episode of The Mentalist (or some other similarly riverting crime drama)!

Amazing Apple Pie
serves: 8 or so
time: 1 hour

  • 6 Granny Smith (or equally tart) apples
  • Two pie crusts - I used Edmond's Sweet Short Pastry but any will do
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 egg
  1. Preheat over to 180 C/350 F.
  2. Put one pie crust into a pie plate so that it comes up to the edge of the rim.
  3. Peel, core and cut apples into thin slices, set aside in a bowl and drizzle lemon juice over the apples.  Mix in sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves and let them sit for a few minutes.  This will bring out some of the juices.
  4. In a large frying pan or non-stick wok, melt the butter.  Add the apples and sugar mixture and the flour, and let them simmer on medium-low heat for 7 or 8 minutes, until soft but not translucent.  At this point you will want to eat them straight out of the pan, but restrain yourself, it will be worth it.
  5. Turn off the heat and let the apples cool for a few minutes, then spoon into the pie shell.  Shake the pie plate gently from side to side to get them to settle into harmony with each other.
  6. Cut the remaining pie crust into strips and lay them on top in a lattice, or in a single sheet (be sure to cut a few slits in the top to let the steam out if you do the single sheet option).  Use a fork to press the top crust into the bottom crust and make a pretty pattern.
  7. Whisk up the egg into an egg wash and brush over the top of the crust.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes on a low rack, covering the edges with tin foil if you're worried about burning the crust.
  9. Let cool before serving, preferably with vanilla ice cream on the side!


  1. A good ol' American apple pie - wonderful. Can't beat apple pies - other people's always taste better than mine!

  2. Oh beautiful pie - love the addition of lemon, brown sugar and cloves. I would love a slice of that right now.

    Hope you'll join in with Sweet New Zealand again - this month's link-up is now open here


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