The Apple Of My Pie: Two Fresh Takes On Classic Apple Pie

The Apple Of My Pie: Two Fresh Takes On Classic Apple Pie

“Are you ready for dessert?”

This has to be the most commonly asked question in the dining hall at the Annual Labor Day Picnic in Montrose.

Hundreds flock to the church grounds each year on Labor Day for the famous fried chicken dinner. For more than twelve years I have helped serve tables in the dining hall.

I have the list of pies memorized (I am such a veteran!)

“We have Apple (I say this first because it is my favorite), cherry, peach and lemon – Oh, and angel food cake!” (Not many takers over the age of six – don’t get me wrong, it is delicious, but who would pass up homemade pie for angel food? Come on now!)

That long, delicious list always leaves my tables a little speechless. If “Option D: All of the Above” were available, I’m sure I’d have some takers!

Each time a guest chooses apple pie I feel a small connection and hand out high-fives! Just kidding…

I made a couple of pies for the picnic myself… though not for the dinner. Only real veterans get to make pies for dinner.

Instead I decided to get creative with some apples I had gathered from our tree and enter my pies for the pie auction, a new event for the picnic. So the brainstorming began… butter, check… sugar, check… (Tip: always keep butter and sugar on your shopping list – all good recipes begin this way!)

Okay, so now on to the meat apples of this post. Here are the recipes.

(Below photo shows my “half-and-half experiment” pie before the top was added. I made both the Apple Crisp Cookie Pie (left) and Caramel Apple Poke Pie (right) in one pan to test it out before entering in the contest – plus I wanted to try it too!)

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Ingredients:

Apple Crisp Cookie Pie

For the Dough:

  • 2 1/2 c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Sticks (1 cup) Unsalted Butter, Very Cold and Cubed
  • 1 c. Ice Water

(Recipe for crust from Smitten Kitchen – All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough)

For the Filling:

  • 6-7 Small Apples, Peeled and Sliced (enough to fill one pie pan)
  • 1/2 c. Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Flour
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon

For the Crisp (Apple Crisp Cookie Pie)

  • 1 Dozen Small Oatmeal Cookies, Crumbled (follow your favorite recipe)

 

Caramel Apple Poke Pie

Dough and Filling recipe same as above (only excluding the crisp)

For the Caramel (Caramel Apple Poke Pie)

  • 4 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 c. Brown Sugar, Packed
  • 1/2 c.Half-and-half
  • Pinch Of Salt
  • 1 Tbsp.Vanilla

Note: Refrigerate extra caramel sauce in jar for extra topping later.

(Recipe for caramel sauce from The Pioneer Woman – Easy Caramel Sauce)

Directions (for both pie types):

1) Prepare the dough. (source

  • Make the mix: Fill a one cup liquid measuring cup with water, and drop in a few ice cubes; set it aside. In a large bowl, whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt. Add cubed, very cold unsalted butter and  use a pastry blender, whisk or fork to work the cubes into the flour mixture. When all of the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas — this won’t take long — stop.
  • Glue it together: Start by drizzling 1/2 cup of the ice-cold water (but not the cubes, if there are any left!) over the butter and flour mixture. Using a rubber or silicon spatula, gather the dough together. You’ll probably need an additional 1/4 cup (60 ml) of cold water to bring it together, but add it a tablespoon as a time. Once you’re pulling large clumps with the spatula, take it out and get your hands in there. Gather the disparate damp clumps together into one mound, kneading them gently together.
  • Pack it up: Divide the dough in half, and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. I like to use the sides to pull in the dough and shape it into a disk. Let the dough chill in the fridge for one hour, but preferably at least two, before rolling it out.
  • Do ahead: Dough will keep in the fridge for about a week, and in the freezer longer. If not using it that day, wrap it in additional layers of plastic wrap to protect it from fridge/freezer smells. To defrost your dough, move it to the fridge for one day before using it.
  • Roll out one of the dough balls on a floured surface with a rolling-pin until it fits the size of your pie pan. Press into the bottom of pan. Repeat with second dough ball and reserve for the top of the pie.

*Apologies for lack of photos during this process. The dough gave me very messy hands!

2) Prepare the filling:

  • Wash, peel and slice the apples in uniform size. 
  • Add the remainder of the ingredients for the filling and toss to coat all apples in a medium size bowl.
  • Add apples into pie pan on top of crust.

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3) This is where you must make an important decision… Will it be caramel or will it be cookie??? I would approve if you tried both but note that I have not yet attempted that sinful pie.

For the “Cookie Crisp” version: Crumble the (cooled) oatmeal cookies and divide on top of the apples. Sprinkle with additional brown sugar (about 2 Tbsp. extra)

IMG_2817

For the “Caramel” version: continue to step four.

4) Cover the pie with the top layer of dough and press the edges of pan to seal. Cut vents into the top of pie to let air escape while baking.

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5) Bake at 350 degrees for about 50-60 minutes or until golden on top and bubbly at center. (I have an old stove so your pie may cook faster than mine did!)

6) Meanwhile, create caramel sauce for the “Caramel” version.

  • Into a saucepan on med/low heat combine butter, brown sugar, salt and half-and-half. Whisk gently until it starts to thicken slightly – about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add vanilla and continue to whisk another minute or so.
  • Pour into a glass jar and refrigerate.

7) FINALLY, the greatest part of the “Caramel” version:

  • Allow pie to cool slightly. 
  • Use the handle of a spoon or kitchen utensil to poke holes into the top of pie. I placed about 8-10 holes in the top.
  • Then pour fresh, homemade caramel sauce over the top of pie allowing the sauce to run down into the holes.
  • Optional: serve with additional caramel sauce when serving.

Now, I bet you want a final picture huh? Well it would only be logical to take one before covering your pie in Saran wrap.

As you can see I like to do things out-of-order…

 

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Final tip – Serve with a scoop of ice cream for an out-of-this-world dessert!

Pies can be a labor of love but worth the time and effort in the end! Labor Day Picnic was a success and a yummy day for all!

Here are the easy printables. Please share with your friends and family!

 

Caramel Apple Poke Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

 

A fresh take on the classic apple pie. Best served with love and ice cream.
Ingredients
For the Dough:
  • 2½ c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Sticks (1 cup) Unsalted Butter, Very Cold and Cubed
  • 1 c. Ice Water
    (Recipe for crust from Smitten Kitchen – All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough)
For the Filling:
  • 6-7 Small Apples, Peeled and Sliced (enough to fill one pie pan)
  • ½ c. Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Flour
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
For the Caramel:
  • 4 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 c. Brown Sugar, Packed
  • ½ c. Half-and-half
  • Pinch Of Salt
  • 1 Tbsp.Vanilla
    Note: Refrigerate extra caramel sauce in jar for extra topping later.
    (Recipe for caramel sauce from The Pioneer Woman – Easy Caramel Sauce)

Instructions
  1. Prepare the dough. (smitten kitchen – all butter, really flaky pie dough recipe)
    Make the mix: Fill a one cup liquid measuring cup with water, and drop in a few ice cubes; set it aside. In a large bowl, whisk together 2½ cups flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt. Add cubed, very cold unsalted butter and use a pastry blender, whisk or fork to work the cubes into the flour mixture. When all of the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas — this won’t take long — stop.
    Glue it together: Start by drizzling ½ cup of the ice-cold water (but not the cubes, if there are any left!) over the butter and flour mixture. Using a rubber or silicon spatula, gather the dough together. You’ll probably need an additional ¼ cup (60 ml) of cold water to bring it together, but add it a tablespoon as a time. Once you’re pulling large clumps with the spatula, take it out and get your hands in there. Gather the disparate damp clumps together into one mound, kneading them gently together.
    Pack it up: Divide the dough in half, and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. I like to use the sides to pull in the dough and shape it into a disk. Let the dough chill in the fridge for one hour, but preferably at least two, before rolling it out.
    Do ahead: Dough will keep in the fridge for about a week, and in the freezer longer. If not using it that day, wrap it in additional layers of plastic wrap to protect it from fridge/freezer smells. To defrost your dough, move it to the fridge for one day before using it.
  2. Roll out one of the dough balls on a floured surface with a rolling-pin until it fits the size of your pie pan. Press into the bottom of pan. Repeat with second dough ball and reserve for the top of the pie.
  3. Prepare the filling: Wash, peel and slice the apples in uniform size. Add the remainder of the ingredients for the filling and toss to coat all apples in a medium size bowl. Add apples into pie pan on top of crust.
  4. Cover the pie with the top layer of dough and press the edges of pan to seal. Cut vents into the top of pie to let air escape while baking.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50-60 minutes or until golden on top and bubbly at center.
  6. Into a saucepan on med/low heat combine butter, brown sugar, salt and half-and-half. Whisk gently until it starts to thicken slightly – about 5-7 minutes.
  7. Add vanilla and continue to whisk another minute or so.Pour into a glass jar and refrigerate.
  8. Allow pie to cool slightly. Use the handle of a spoon or kitchen utensil to poke holes into the top of pie. I placed about 8-10 holes in the top.Then pour fresh, homemade caramel sauce over the top of pie allowing the sauce to run down into the holes.
    Optional: serve with additional caramel sauce when serving.
    Serve warm with ice cream!

 

Apple Crisp Cookie Pie
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 8
 

A fresh take on the classic apple pie. Best served with love and ice cream!
Ingredients
For the Dough:
  • 2½ c. All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 Sticks (1 cup) Unsalted Butter, Very Cold and Cubed
  • 1 c. Ice Water
    (Recipe for crust from Smitten Kitchen – All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough)
For the Filling:
  • 6-7 Small Apples, Peeled and Sliced (enough to fill one pie pan)
  • ½ c. Sugar
  • 2 tbsp. Flour
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
For the Crisp:
  • 1 Dozen Small Oatmeal Cookies, Crumbled (follow your favorite recipe)

Instructions
  1. Prepare the dough. (smitten kitchen – all butter, really flaky pie dough recipe)
    Make the mix: Fill a one cup liquid measuring cup with water, and drop in a few ice cubes; set it aside. In a large bowl, whisk together 2½ cups flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt. Add cubed, very cold unsalted butter and use a pastry blender, whisk or fork to work the cubes into the flour mixture. When all of the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas — this won’t take long — stop.
    Glue it together: Start by drizzling ½ cup of the ice-cold water (but not the cubes, if there are any left!) over the butter and flour mixture. Using a rubber or silicon spatula, gather the dough together. You’ll probably need an additional ¼ cup (60 ml) of cold water to bring it together, but add it a tablespoon as a time. Once you’re pulling large clumps with the spatula, take it out and get your hands in there. Gather the disparate damp clumps together into one mound, kneading them gently together.
    Pack it up: Divide the dough in half, and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. I like to use the sides to pull in the dough and shape it into a disk. Let the dough chill in the fridge for one hour, but preferably at least two, before rolling it out.
    Do ahead: Dough will keep in the fridge for about a week, and in the freezer longer. If not using it that day, wrap it in additional layers of plastic wrap to protect it from fridge/freezer smells. To defrost your dough, move it to the fridge for one day before using it.
  2. Roll out one of the dough balls on a floured surface with a rolling-pin until it fits the size of your pie pan. Press into the bottom of pan. Repeat with second dough ball and reserve for the top of the pie.
  3. Prepare the filling: Wash, peel and slice the apples in uniform size. Add the remainder of the ingredients for the filling and toss to coat all apples in a medium size bowl. Add apples into pie pan on top of crust.
  4. Crumble the (cooled) oatmeal cookies and divide on top of the apples. Sprinkle with additional brown sugar (about 2 Tbsp. extra)
  5. Cover the pie with the top layer of dough and press the edges of pan to seal. Cut vents into the top of pie to let air escape while baking.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50-60 minutes or until golden on top and bubbly at center.
    Serve warm with ice cream!

Thanks for reading!

-RH

P.S. When Dan saw me begin to poke holes in my pie he about had a heart attack… then he watched the caramel roll into the holes and cover the top. He was instantly okay with that plan instead! 🙂

 

 

Comments

  1. Cindy Moran says:

    yum going to try this recipe with apples I picked from my tree
    thanks for sharing

  2. Oooh, I am drooling now. I have never heard of a poke one, or thought to use oatmeal cookies for a crumble. Can’t wait to try these!

    • laurenrustichoney says:

      I told you they were “fresh ideas” Winnie! 😉 Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the pies!