Saturday, January 25, 2014

Ginger and Spice Apple Pie

There's something really cozy and special about apple pie, isn't there?  Well, about a week ago I was all set to make an apple pie with a filling that included a generous amount of pineapple juice that was thickened with cornstarch.  Had my apples ready to go and arranged in the pie crust, just waiting for the pineapple juice mixture, when I realized I was out of cornstarch!  What the heck?  How does someone run out of cornstarch and not even realize it?  My plans of course had to change, so I just kind of tossed some ingredients together -measuring all the way- and shoved my pie creation into the oven. 

Happily, it turned out great!  Not runny like many pies, and the spices are wonderful, but don't overwhelm the flavor of the apples.  I used a variety of apples and you could taste the difference between them, quite nice.  My husband liked the pie enough that he ate over half of it within in an hour of its emergence from the oven.  He loves pie!  I put the leftovers in the fridge and my husband reported that the remaining slices heated up great in the microwave.

Ginger and Spice Apple Pie

pastry for a double crust, deep dish pie (can do homemade or frozen, whatever floats your boat)
1/2 C white sugar
4 Tblsp flour
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
5 good sized apples (I used 2 Granny Smith, 1 Braeburn, 1 Pacific Rose, and 1 Golden Delicious, but use whatever you want)
a little bit of milk and sugar for the top of the crust

Preheat oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet with foil.  Line a deep dish pie plate with the bottom pie pastry.  In a large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, and spices.  Peel, core, and chop apples into chunks about the size of playing dice.  Put the chopped apples in the bowl with the sugar mixture, and toss thoroughly until apples are completely coated.  Spoon apples into prepared pie plate, mounding them in the center.  Sprinkle any remaining sugar mixture on top (there shouldn't be much left over).

Top with remaining pie crust, cut off the excess pastry, and seal the edges with a fork.  Use a knife to cut 4 vents in the top crust.  Brush the top lightly with milk, then sprinkle with a little sugar.  Use long, narrow strips of aluminum foil to cover the crust of the pie so it doesn't burn in the oven.  Place the pie on the prepared baking sheet (this is so there won't be a mess if it overflows).

Bake until a fork can be easily inserted into pieces of apple near the center of the pie (you can poke the fork through the vents in the top crust).  You can cover the top crust with foil if it gets too brown for your liking.  The pie took about an hour and 15 minutes in my oven, but all ovens are different and I'd check the apples for doneness for the first time at about the 45 minute mark.  Remove pie from oven and let cool at least half an hour before serving.  Keep leftover pie in the refrigerator.

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