Saturday, October 6, 2012

Glazed Flat Apple Pie

I can see why I became addicted to reading food blogs, about five years ago. They're so visual.  I fall into the category of folks who tastes with my eyes.  All it takes is for a mouth-watering photo to pop out of the screen, and my brain goes into crave mode.

Seriously, it's become a problem and I can't help myself.  That's exactly what happened when Cathy of "Wives With Knives" posted her recipe for Glazed Apple Pie Bars.   I could not stop thinking about that recipe!

 Braeburn, Jonagold and Granny Smith Apples

...and, I'm not even a fan of apple pie!  Blasphemy, I know. I've mentioned, numerous times, that pie crust doesn't rock my world.  But, that has changed, now that I found a pie crust recipe that I like. I'm convinced that adding egg and vinegar makes for a very tender pastry crust.  (I used my food processor to make the pie crust.) I'd have to ask Alton Brown why that is, but it works-- and you can't taste the vinegar, either.

However, I find that the dough can be a little testy to work with, because it breaks apart and requires a bit of patching.  That's why I found making a pie in a half-sheet baking pan makes the task easier to do. Thanks, Cathy, for that tip, because I have one of these pans and I use it all the time.

Plus, this Apple (and potato) Peeler makes the work of peeling, coring and slicing an breeze. 
There are two ingredients, that I order from King Arthur Flour (online) that I cannot be without. One of them is their Boiled Cider.

I add it to any recipe that uses apples, because it kicks up the flavor in  a very good way.  It's super concentrated, so you can even use it to make apple cider. 

The other ingredient that I love is Instant ClearJel.  I mix this to the sugar, before adding it to any fruit pie filling.  Instant ClearJel doesn't "cloud" my fillings and does a great job of preventing runny pies. Win!  For this pie filling, I used 1 cup sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice and some fresh lemon juice.

Once the apple filling was spread onto the bottom half of the pie crust, I dotted it with unsalted butter, then topped it with the second crust.  TIP:  Parchment paper makes this easier to do.  Once the crust is rolled, on top of the parchment paper, I can just flip it onto the baking sheet. Much easier!

I like to make an egg wash, to brush on top of the pie crust.  (You can also use heavy cream.)  I buy sparkling sugar -- where else-- from King Arthur Flour.  I sprinkle it on top and then set the pie on a large baking sheet (or my baking stone) at 375F for about 35-45 minutes.

I debated about adding the glaze, since there was, already,  sugar on top...but I ultimately decided to try it.

As an afterthought, I realized that caramel would be a fun twist or even maple to the glaze would be fun. This time, I stuck with powdered sugar and water.

My cooling racks fit perfectly over my kitchen sink, so that's where I do all of my "drizzling". It makes cleanup so much easier!  (You're welcome.) Cathy adds chopped walnuts, which sounds fantastic. My son doesn't like them, so I opted out.

I was losing natural light, fast, so I couldn't get really good shots of the pie-- and I was anxious to taste this pie. I sliced into it, while it as still warm. Vanilla ice cream would have been a nice touch, but I went au naturel.

TASTING NOTES:  This  crust is my new favorite (always subject to change).  It's very tender.  I loved the cinnamon in the filling, but you could certainly leave it out.  Using a blend of apples is a good way to go, because you have sweet and the Granny Smith tart, plus you have different levels of apple texture...from soft to slightly crispy.  I liked the crunchiness of the sugar and the glaze was a nice touch, as well. This pie was a hit with all of us, and a friend described this as "the best strudel he has ever eaten".  I can see why, because the pastry is so tender.

This recipe goes on the top of the pile as a "keeper recipe".  Cathy, thanks for inspiring me to make a pie in a non-traditional pan.  This would be perfect as  a potluck kind of dessert, because you can make smaller slices to go around.

As always, you will find a printable recipe card at the very end of this post. If you can't view it, click here


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Susan said...

What is it about baking with apples that starts the juices running in my mouth? Beautiful "pie" and I am glad you have been converted to the all American apple pie lover group!!!

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a clever technique. Nothing smells better than an apple pie baking in the oven.

Kate said...

How cool! A great way to serve many and only one it.

I am interested in the Boiled Cider. I haven't seen it before...I am going exploring...

Danielle Imstuffed said...

oooh my goooooodness! And here I am, stuck at car. no apples. not fair at all

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

I'm so happy to read that you enjoyed this recipe, Debby. Using parchment to position the crust is a great idea as is adding a bit of boiled cider to the filling. I think that the acid of the vinegar keeps the gluten strands from getting too long--thus resulting in a tender, flaky crust. Whatever really works. I bought apples today at the farmers' market so I can make these bars again. Yum - yum.

Velva said...

I taste with my eyes too. I am drooling. Love, love this flat apple pie recipe.


P.S. I need to get a apple peeler.

Axelle the french cook said...

I love apple cakes and this one seems to be so excellent !

Joanne said...

I love this fun new pie shape! And yes it seems like it would be a lot easier to roll out the pie crust for this!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I don't know why more people don't do it this way, especially pie crust klutzes like me who would do much better with a square shape. This time instead of thinking outside the box, we're being creative by thinking inside a box! :)

I have been wanting to try that clear gel. I have as much trouble with runny pies as I do with crusts. I'm glad it has your seal of approval. Will try for my next fruit pie for sure.

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said...

Oh my. I'm in looooooove with this!!!

Karen said...

I made this 'flat pie' after seeing Cathy's recipe, too, but used rhubarb. I really liked how they came out.

Paola Bertolli said...

Really cool and interesting recipe!! I like your blog!! so many compliments!!
kisses from Italy!!

Kristi @ My San Francisco Kitchen said...

Ohhh your apple pie looks so yummy! Apple pie is one of my favorite desserts, I used to make them with my mom all the time growing up.

Amalia said...

My mom makes something very similar to this apple pie. But she shreds the apples with a grater. It's one of my favorite cakes everrrr! It's so amazing, it's fall in one bite :)

Reggie said...

This sounds like the business!!!

Bill said...

I'm a new food blogger and I just discovered your blog. I'm very impressed and I'm looking forward to following you! I'm really enjoying hunting for the best blogs and yours looks great!

AdriBarr said...

Blasphemer!! I just love apple pies, and this one looks great. About the vinegar & egg, both act as tenderizers. The acid in the vinegar decreases the strength of the gluten that is formed. The egg yolks soften raw doughs, even as they give structure to the same dough once it is baked. The egg fats are emulsifiers and as such, interfere with gluten formation.

Debby Foodiewife said...

LOL! AdriBarr. I'm starting to leave the dark side and to discover the glory of apple baked goods. This pie baptized me!