Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dutch Apple Pie

A slice of Dutch Apple Pie in the process of being devoured.

I recently enjoyed a fun day of baking with my friend Cindy. She wanted to make some mini apple pies that she could share with friends.

One of the yet to be baked mini apple pies made by my friend Cindy.

With two people working, the task of peeling and chopping apples went by so fast that in the end we actually had four cups of surplus apples so we decided to also make a full-sized Dutch Apple Pie.

Because there is no top crust, the part I think is usually most stressful for novice pie makers, Dutch Apple is quick and easy to make. And, the topping,  made with rolled oats, flour, sugar and butter, adds a nice crunch and texture to the soft sweet filling. It really is comfort food at its best and the perfect antidote to blustery Fall weather. Who cares if it's rainy and cold outside when there's Dutch Apple Pie waiting inside?

Here's how to make it:

Dutch Apple Pie
(makes one 9-inch pie)

1 1/2 cups flour
2 /3 cups vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water

In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and sugar. Add Crisco and using your fingers, break it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs with some large pieces remaining.
Add the water, just a few tablespoons at a time until the dough is moist enough to pull together into a ball. Roll out on a floured surface for the bottom crust.

Place the dough in a pie pan and crimp the edges. Chill while preparing the filling and topping.

4 cups peeled and chopped apples (I like a combination of Granny Smith and Golden Delicious)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch sea salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Set aside while preparing the topping.

1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all of the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, using your fingers to break apart the butter. The mixture should resemble coarse crumbs.

To assemble and bake:

Preheat the oven to 400  degrees.

Fill the crust with the apples and sprinkle on the topping.

Place the pie on a sheetpan to catch any spills in the oven.

Bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce the temperature to 350 and continue baking for 40 to 50 minutes or until the topping and crust are golden brown and the juices are bubbling.

*Note: Cooking the pie at a higher temperature for the first five minutes helps set the crust and keep its shape in place. If you put a pie into a lower temperature oven, the crust will cook too slowly at first and droop.

Dutch apple pie before baking. The heart on top was made with a tiny piece of the dough and adds a nice touch.

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