Monday, November 16, 2009

Food Snobbery (Upside Down Apple Pie)

I made a pair of upside down apple pies yesterday afternoon for work today. It's a birthday tradition of bringing in a treat when it's your birthday. Anyways, the recipe I got from (great website by the way) called for a pre-made pie crust. I normally make my pie crusts from scratch the way my grandma taught me, but against my better judgment, I used store-bought crust. I don't think it was the way to go. I'm all for ease of baking, but in this case, the crust just tasted like blah. A homemade crust is all buttery and delicious. I was volunteered to make another one for Thanksgiving since Arvilla. (who hit 99 this year) is having trouble making things like pie.

The recipe itself was super easy. Grandma, Grandpa, Mom and I sliced up bushels and bushels of apples this fall from the trees in their backyard and then Grandma and Grandpa canned them with some sugar and cinnamon. Making a pie is usually as easy as making a crust, dumping a jar of apples in and covering it. Obviously there are a few steps I'm missing, but that's the general idea.

For this recipe, you'll need a pre-heated oven at 375. You start out with 4 tbsp of butter, a 1/2 cup of brown sugar and a 1/2 cup of chopped pecans. You mix all that together in a pan on a low burner until it gets all caramelly. I don't think I waited long enough. Mine was still pretty gritty with sugar. You pour that into a pie plate that you've sprayed and then put a piece of wax paper or parchment paper on. Make sure you get the caramelly stuff all over the bottom of the pan. Cover that with your first pie crust and then start the apple part.

I used a quart of apples from Grandma, but the recipe says to use 5 big granny smith apples. You throw in a cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of flour, 3/4 tsp of cinnamon and 2 tbsp of melted butter. I threw it all in there together, but I guess you should mix everything together and then put in the apples. To each his own. Mine turned out just fine. When all the apples have been covered in sugary goodness, dump them into the pie plate. Put your top crust on over that, making sure that the edges overlap just enough so you can roll the top and bottom crust together. Use a sharp knife to poke some holes in the top to vent and you're ready for the oven!

Slide that pie in the oven, middle rack, for about an hour or an hour and 15 minutes. Make sure to put a pan under it to catch drips, because it definitely will drip. When it's all golden brown on top, take it out and let it cool for a few minutes. Then take a plate or the pan you're going to serve it on and invert the pie. The plate will come right off and so will the paper. Don't wait too long to flip it (like I did) or the caramel will stay on top and won't drip off the sides like the pictures. I didn't get any pictures of these pies (I'll post one from my Thanksgiving pies), but here the link to the page I was referencing earlier. The Cutting Edge of Ordinary: Upside-Down Apple Pie

Here is the recipe in regular format:

6 tablespoons butter, melted & divided
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup chopped pecans
2 refrigerated pie crusts (though I prefer homemade pie crusts)

1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
5 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices

Preheat the oven to 375. Coat a pie plate with nonstick cooking spray and line it with parchment or waxed paper. Coat the paper with cooking spray also.

In a small bowl combine 4 tablespoons of melted butter, the brown sugar and the pecans. Mix well and spread evenly over the bottom of the pie plate. Place one of the crusts in the pie plate, pressing it firmly against the nut mixture and up the sides of the plate. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon and the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Mix well. Add the apples in and toss gently to coat. Spoon into the pie crust.

Place the second crust over the apple mixture. Trim and fold the edges together to seal. Cut some slits in the top of the crust for venting.

Bake 1 to 1 ¼ hours or until crust is golden brown.

To invert the pie. Place a plate that was larger than the pie on top of it and just flip it over. Remove the pie plate then gently lift the paper. Enjoy!

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