Crunchy Apple Pie

This week I had a special request for a recipe.  A neighbor from 20 years ago, one of my very favorite babysitting clients, contacted me for a recipe for apple pie to make for her boyfriend’s birthday this week.  I love a challenge, so of course, I had to make an apple pie this week.  The thing is, for being a mainstay in piedom, I haven’t made all that many apple pies in my day.  See, apple pie is my grandma’s pie.  Her signature – the one she always makes for holidays and always is amazing and so delicious that there would be no use in me making one.  In our family, we have a strong respect for one’s signature pie – my sister-in-law makes an amazing pecan bourbon pie, my grandma does apple pie, and my signature is cherry.  So basically, I have no business replicating my grandma’s apple pie, which is a classic 2-types of apples, cinnamon, sugar, and double-crusted.  Instead, I sought out a recipe that was very different, but still fit the bill of an awesome apple pie.  This pie truly delivers.  It tastes amazing, is pretty easy to put together, and the topping gives it a nice texture.

I made this with an all-butter crust, which is different from my usual crust.  It turned out really well.  I’m planning on doing a step-by-step tutorial on making your own pie crust in the future.  Obviously, a homemade crust is fabulous with this pie, but certainly not required.  Also note that the pie starts out looking ridiculously tall, but as it cooks, and especially cools, it will flatten down significantly.

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Crunchy Apple Pie

1 prepared pie crust (unbaked)

6 granny smith apples

1 lime (for juice)

1/2 cup sugar

4 T and 1/2 cup of flour, divided

salt

12 T cold butter (1.5 sticks)

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup oatmeal

1 cup pecans

1.  Preheat your oven to 375.  Peel and core the apples.  I use a vegetable peeler first, then one of those apple slicers that cores and cuts the apple into 8 slices.   This is the most time consuming part of the recipe.  Slice the apples into 1/4″ to 1/2″ slices (I just cut each of the 8 pieces in half).  Squeeze the lime over the apples and toss with the sugar and 4T of flour.  Set aside.

2. Cut the butter into the 1/2 cup of flour.  I slice the butter into 1cm sized cubes first, then mash it up with a pastry cutter.  Stir in the brown sugar and the oatmeal.  This mixture will be crumbly and dry, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

3. Arrange the apple slices into the pie crust.  Spoon the brown sugar/oatmeal/butter topping over the top.  You may have to use your hands to press the topping into the apples to make sure it stays put.  This may cause your pie to look really tall and precarious, but I promise it will flatten down.

4. Carefully transfer your crust to the oven.  Bake for 25 minutes and then check on the pie.  If the crust is beginning to brown, add some foil around the edge.  Rotate the pie 180 degrees (especially if you have an oven that has a hot spot).  Bake the pie for another 25 minutes.  During the second baking session, chop the pecans.  After the pie has baked for 50 total minutes, scatter the pecans over the top of the pie (I used an oven mitt to sort of pat them in).  Bake for 5 more minutes (55 total minutes of baking).  Allow the pie to cool for several hours and serve, ideally, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

January 2014

When I launched Butter is My Jam one month ago, I did not expect that so many of you (to the tune of 1000 hits!) would be reading, sharing, and cooking with me.  I love hearing that that you tried one of my recipes, so thank you for reading and following.  It’s really given me a vote of confidence to continue.  In all honesty, I started this blog because I am often annoyed by the way recipes are written and I wanted a place where I could rewrite them to have for my own use.  I love writing and cooking, so a blog seemed an obvious choice.

You may remember that my first post was a list of goals I want to accomplish before I turn 30 in December.  As part of my personal accountability, I thought I should do a little followup to let you know how things are going.

1. Learn to cook Asian food.

This month I tried a vegetable lo mein and shrimp wonton soup (I’ll be posting the recipe this week).  Both dishes were delicious and I’m excited to add more this month – I’m hoping to try hot and sour soup and egg rolls.

2. Run a 10k.

In the name of accountability, I joined the StrollerStrides run group and signed up for a 10k in March.  I’ve been running for 3 weeks and so far, it’s going really well!  I have done running programs on my own in the past, but typically find a way to postpone and never seem to meet my goals.  Joining a group has really helped to motivate me and make sure I get my runs in.

3. Incorporate pies into everyday life.

My new pie this month was an eggnog pie that had a really different gingersnap crust.  It was really great and nice to make a pie without the pressure of a holiday.  I have an apple pie in the plans today.

4. Do a handstand without a wall.

This is the goal I haven’t made much progress on.  My husband, an ophthalmologist, attended a lecture on problems caused by increased eye pressure (from doing things like standing on your head), so he has put the kabosh on my handstand practice for now.  I am still doing headstands a few times a week, but not focusing heavily on it.

5. Enter some knitted goods into the State Fair.

I have done some research of different categories and patterns and I picked 5 pieces to try to finish.  As soon as I finish my Olympics hat, I’ll be starting on my first project.  State Fair judging places a higher value on execution than difficulty, so it’s more about making no mistakes than attempting a really difficult or impressive looking pattern.  This is generally not my M.O., so it should be a fun challenge.  I’m hoping to enter a toy, a scarf, a hat, a baby sweater, and possibly a crocheted toy as well.

6. Make 2 successful souffles.

I priced some souffle cups and torches.  That’s it.

7. Finish a triathlon.

I can currently swim and bike the required distances, so my 10k training is kind of doing double duty for this goal, too.

8. Blog.

Thanks for reading!  I’ll keep posting :).

9. Stop using my phone in the car.

I’ve all but stopped.  Occasionally I slip up, but usually just for a second and then I put my phone down.  I’ve definitely broken the habit and it’s nice to have more conversations with my toddler in the car at red lights.

So that’s it – again, thanks for reading and cooking with me.  I’m looking forward to an awesome February.