With both of our having the entire week off for the Thanksgiving holiday, there is good reason to celebrate! And, with a bunch of apples hanging around, pie is the perfect answer.
Apple pie is a very subjective thing. Undoubtedly a favorite – but favorites come in many varieties, just like apples. Time and energy play into it as well – homemade crust? peeled apples? bottom crust? crisp topping?
I am very partial to crisp toppings. In fact, I usually just make apple crisp as it requires no crust. I don’t peel the apples, either; the skins add something to the entire melange which I find quite good. Apple choice is important in many instances, but a variety of apples often makes for the best pies for flavor.
Spices are also critical to flavor. Your favorite may not be mine. I like my pie with lots of spice – not hot, though adding pepper when there is a lack of ginger gives a pie a bit of zip.
Here, then, is my recipe for this particular pie. Next one may vary. Enjoy – and happy holidays!
Apple Pie & Crisp
6-8 apples, sliced, peeled if you want, and cut into bite size pieces
Zest of lemon – all of it if you want from the lemon you juice
1 lemon, squeezed
1/2 c. white sugar
2-3 T. tapioca
Fresh ginger, finely grated – 2-3 T.
Mace – 2-3 tsp.
Nutmeg – 1/2 grated (about 1 tsp.)
Cinnamon – 2-3 T. – the hotter the cinnamon, the less you should use
2-4 T. water
If making a pie, preheat oven to 425 F. Mix all the stuff together and let sit while you create the pie crust and/or topping. Stir it now and then so it can juice up.
Pie Crust – one or two, pre-made or homemade.
Up front, I don’t measure anything. It is thrown together. Too wet, add more dry ingredients of your choice; too dry, add more melted butter.
1 stick butter, melted
1 c. oatmeal (more or less)
3/4 – 1 c. flour
1/4-1/2 c. brown sugar
Nuts (I used walnut halves)
Spices as used in the pie, and a bit of salt
Mix dry ingredients together. Pour in melted butter. Mix until rather crumbly but holds together if squeezed in your hand. Pat topping onto pie or crisp (or both – which is what I ended up making because I had oodles of apples).
Let’s Bake It!
For the pie, place pie in 425 F oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn to 350 F. Bake another 40-50 minutes. Baking the pie at a very high heat helps prevent the bottom crust from being soggy. Failure to turn down the oven after 10 minutes can be disastrous. Set that timer!
If you are making a crisp along with the pie, do not put the crisp in the oven until you turn down the temperature. If you are only making a crisp, bake it at 350 F for about 40-50 minutes.
Serve warm, cold, with ice cream. A good cup of coffee and pie is a great afternoon treat.
Enjoy! And happy holidays to everyone.