Sunday, September 27, 2015

Cider Apple Pie - 52 Cakes and Pies at Home

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WOW do I love this PIE!

I will be honest, it does take a little extra work.  The Apple Cider Syrup takes about an hour to make.

But that hour is well spent.  The addition of the spiced cider into the pie before baking ads one extra layer of flavor to the pie.  BUT, once the pie has baked and just before serving, adding a second drizzle of the syrup on top of the pie insures deep rich flavors second to none other apple pie recipe!

It is indeed hip to be square (well, rectangular).  I made this pie for a lafge potluck.  Much simpler to make in a 9X13 Casserole dish than to make 2 round pies in pie pans.  Makes 12 slices.  Instead of a lattice work top, I like to use a cookie cutter and add a fun shape to the top of each piece.

In this case, for a backyard BBQ featuring stuffed grilled pork chops... A pig was added to the pie.

And ENJOY we did!

 OK... Here's what I did...

Cider Apple Pie

  • FOR THE APPLE CIDER SYRUP - 6 Cups Apple Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Honey
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 12 Whole Cloves, wrapped in cheesecloth for easy removal (or strained out as last step)
  • FOR THE CRUST - 1 -1/4 Cup Flour
  • 1 TBS Sugar
  • 1 large Pinch of Salt
  • 1 Stick (1/2 Cup) Butter
  • 5 TBS (COLD) Water
  • FOR THE PIE - 5 Pounds Apples (I used a mix of Honey Crisp and Granny Smith), peeled, cored and sliced thin
  • 1-1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Crystalized Ginger (Ginger Candy works), chopped
  • Juice and Zest of 2 medium Lemons
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • An Additional Pie Crust (see above), rolled out thick and cut with your favorite cookie cutter (make 12)
  • Apple Cider Syrup (see above)
  • Dollop of fresh made Whipped Cream for garnish
Cooking Directions
  1. FOR THE SYRUP - Combine all of the ingredients (Apple Juice, Honey, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Cloves (Wrap the cloves in cheesecloth and tie to form a little bundle that can easily be removed) in a medium sauce pan.
  2. Heat over medium heat, stirring often until simmering. Allow to simmer for 1 hour, reducing by half) to concentrate flavors. D
  3. Discard the cloves (Strain if you did not make the clove bundle). Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  4. FOR THE CRUST...Add the flour, salt and sugar to the bowl of a food processor and process to mix.
  5. Prepare the next items, butter should be cold (prefer from freezer) and water in a cup with a couple of ice cubes to keep it cold, cold, cold.
  6. With the machine running, add butter 1 TBS at a time, count to three and add the next TBS of butter. Continue to process until dough resembles small pebbles like wet sand, only 5-10 seconds.
  7. With the machine still running, add the COLD COLD Water one TBS at a time. In just a few seconds a dough ball will begin to form. Stop the processor now.
  8. Prepare your "Rolling area", a place to form the flat circle of crust. This si simple, just a piece of cling wrap (Saran Wrap) laid out flat on a counter. It is important that the wrap be at least 4 inches wider than the pie plate. use an extra overlapping piece of wrap if needed. Then dump the dough ball and all crumbs from the processor onto the center of the cling wrap.
  9. Press the ball and crumbs together and form a flat ball. Press the ball and begin to flatten out into a circle. Add a top layer of cling wrap on top of the now flattened ball. Use a roller and begin rolling the dough into a flat circle or a large 10X14 rectangle. As the dough is flattened it may begin to separate. Just add some of the edges to cover the breaks and continue to roll out. Roll until the dough circle is 2 inches beyond the edge of the pie plate or an inch larger all around the casserole pan. Gently but firmly roll until crust is even thickness.
  10. Remove top layer of cling wrap and place pie plate or casserole pan on center of the dough circle or rectangle.
  11. OK.... Here's the tricky part (first couple of times, once you get used to it, it becomes second nature easy)... lift each corner of the bottom cling wrap up to break the seal on the counter top. Now reach your hand under the cling wrap to the center of the pie plate (that is still resting on the center of the crust). Put your other hand on the top (the bottom) of the plate Lift up and QUICKLY flip everything so the pie plate or dish is now on the bottom, the dough is centered on the plate or dish and beginning to settle. There will be ripples of dough, but everything should be on the plate with some hangover all the way around.
  12. Trim the edges. For the Casserole, just be sure the bottom is covered. trim anything climbing the sides. For the pie plates... With your thumbs, push the dough 1/8-inch above the edge of the mold, to make an even, rounded rim of dough around the inside circumference of the mold. You can then press a decorative edge around the rim of the pastry with the dull edge of a knife. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork at 1/2-inch intervals to prevent air bubbles from forming as you par-bake the crust.
  13. To par-bake, bake crust in a preheated 400 degree oven for 9-10 minutes, until crust just starts to darken in color. If you are going to bake the finished pie (Fruit pies, quiches, etc. you are ready to move on to the next step. If you are making a cold pie (like banana cream:, bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  14. Fill and bake (or chill) as directed for the pie of your choice! And when done... ENJOY!
  15. FOR THE PIE FILLING - Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, prepare a 9X13 casserole pan with nonstick spray.
  16. in a large mixing bowl, Combine Apples, Sugar, Flour, Ginger, Lemon, Cinnamon, Nutmeg and Slt. Fold to mix. You will begin to see a white syrup forming. Add 1 Cup of the Cider Syrup and fold to combine.
  17. TO ASSEMBLE THE PIE - Roll out the pie dough the size of the bottom of the casserole pan and transfer (see detailed notes above).to the casserole pan.
  18. Pour the apple mixture evenly over the dough.
  19. Roll out a second pie dough and cut with cookie cutter (make 12)
  20. Add one cookie cut out for each piece of pie you are making (12).
  21. Bake for 1 hour until the cookie cutter decorations have browned nicely and the liquid begins to bubble. If the cookies begin to brown too much, cover with aluminum foil during last 15 minutes.
  22. When removed from the oven, allow to cool before serving.
  23. Just before serving, pour an additional 1 cup of Syrup over the pie.
  24. Serve with a dollop of fresh made whipped cream and ENJOY!!!


This simple recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Cakes and Pies at Home"!

These are the desserts you make for your family.  No fancy amazing wedding cakes, just the rustic beauty of the classics.  From pumpkin pie to cheesecakes to layer cakes, these are what your family craves for dessert.  You may even see a few unusual crusts and frosting ideas to try.

You get the idea. These recipes are simple, delicious and will have your family wanting dessert first...


This recipe has been added to my growing list of "52 Church PotLuck Dishes"!

A list of something NEW worthy of being shown off at a neighborhood BYODish (Bring Your Own Dish) Party, a Family special occasion dinner, Any Big Holiday Gathering or of course that glorious day when you bring a dish to share with your Church family...

Ages ago, literally almost a half century ago I was listening to our pastor talking about a PotLuck Dinner. It happened to be scheduled around a church work day when we were expected to weed, polish and do general cleaning and maintenance around the church (you know, back in the day when there were no no-wax floors and church pews smelled of Old English furniture polish). I am of course paraphrasing, but as I recall the pastor said,

"A potluck, like a church requires work. At a potluck everyone is expected to contribute.. At a church no one should come empty handed and no one should leave unfed".
I will confess that in my youth I brought more store bought plastic spoons and forks than I ever brought covered dishes and crock pots of fresh made love and caring delights. But now that I have become a hobbyist cook, I occasionally am reminded of those days and people from my youth. I reminded and I do wish that I could drop a dish of some new creation on those old tables at my fondly remembered Liberty Baptist Church.  Tables covered with newspapers and loaded with God's bounty prepared with love and caring... Enjoy


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