Yesterday was a day of repeats with Croque Madame sandwiches for lunch and Pork Chile Verde for dinner. The big guy's hunting partner was here for an overnighter and just left to head up to the wild blue yonder to set up their huntin' camp. John loves my cooking and I'm always looking for something that will knock his socks off. I found it in this version of an apple pie.
Simply loaded with Granny Smith apples in a pastry crust and covered with a lattice top, the pie's dribbled with a hot butter, sugar, water and vanilla syrup before it goes into the oven. I for one wondered how it could possibly turn out when we bakers are always so careful about making certain our pastry stays super cold before it hits the oven. Well the proof is in the picture, isn't it?
This is an honest purist's apple pie that is all about the fabulous tart flavor of the apples without a speck of cinnamon in sight. It's just sweet enough with a wonderful hint of vanilla and the pastry has crunch, particularly the lattice top where the heat of the oven has set the sugary glaze on top. It is absolutely the best and ONLY apple pie I will ever make again...at least that's what I promised the big guy, when he suggested I "quit fooling around" by trying other recipes. Whether I can stick to it or not is another story.
Never having made an apple pie without cinnamon I thought I'd better come up with some ice cream to take care of it in case we really missed the flavor. Adapted from a Paula Deen recipe, this one has ...gasp...uncooked eggs along with evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and half and half with a good bit of cinnamon and vanilla of course to take care of the flavors. It's rich without being overly sweet, especially since I cut back on the sugar. While the flavors are everything one could want in ice cream dressing an apple pie, personally I found the texture to be not as creamy as a custard based version made with whipping cream and I doubt that I'll make it again...but the pie, oh man that pie!
Of course the calories weren't there either in the ice cream (or not as many since I used low fat versions of the milk) which isn't such a bad thing, but isn't that about as ridiculous as ordering a triple bacon cheeseburger and fries with a diet soda. I mean who's fooling who, right?
Grandma’s Apple Pie (Adapted from allrecipes.com)
Your favorite pastry recipe for a double crust pie
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
6 extra large Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and sliced
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Add flour and combine to form a paste. Add water, sugars, and salt. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, then lower heat and let simmer slowly. Add vanilla.
Preheat oven to 425. Line pie pan with bottom crust. Mound sliced apples in pastry and top with lattice crust and crimp edges. Gently add the sugar/butter liquid over the crust, pouring very slowly so it doesn’t run off. Bake for 15 minutes at 425 then lower heat to 350 and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until apples are tender. Cool to room temperature before cutting.
Cinnamon Ice Cream (Adapted from Paula Deen)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 – 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1/2 of 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup half and half
Using an electric mixer, beat eggs and sugar until light lemon color. Add cinnamon and beat very well to combine. Add evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Stir in half and half. Cover and refrigerate for several hours to blend flavors. Freeze as per your Ice Cream machine’s instructions. Remove from ice cream machine and freeze in air tight container for minimum 2 hours. Makes about 1-1/2 quarts. (Note, if you're worried about using uncooked eggs use a pasteurized liquid eggs instead).