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Apple of my pie

October 19, 2010
By Mary Ann Menendez - Special to the EDN

There is something about homemade apple pie that makes my heart sing and lips smile.

Moms and apple pie still go together at least in my opinion.

My Mom like all Moms back in the day made pies with "from scratch" crust, everything from banana cream to every fruited pie known to woman. Back in those days, there was no prepared dough at the stores as neither refrigerated or frozen was produced.

Every kitchen in American had a rolling pin. Does yours today? At a certain point back then, there was a crust mix in a box but it wasn't very good.

The apple pie, at least at my house, was top notch. I loved watching her peel the apples. Mom had the knack of slicing the peel off in one continuous motion, forming a trail of red, yellow or green ribbon. The knack was not passed down in the realm of hereditary cooking traits!

Most stay-at-home Moms of the '50s and '60s did go through much of the day-to-day operation of running a household just like June Cleaver sans the heels and ever-present pearls. This past weekend came the news of the passing of Barbara Billingsley, who was the TV Mom to Beaver and Wally.

In news accounts, both men recalled her role as the "Leave It to Beaver" Mom and what wisdom she gave on and off the show. It was a shock to be reminded that teenager Wally is NOW 65 YEARS YOUNG! How can that be?

Getting back to the pie topic Of course grocery stores 50-odd years ago didn't have all of the varieties of apples as we do today. Mostly it was the Delicious apple carefully picked to be enveloped between two golden and flaky crusts. Sometimes Mom made Dutch Apple Pie and that was equally good.

We won't even delve into the nutritional value of apple pie in this column. There comes those times in life when we all need to just make up our minds that some foods are meant to bring us COMFORT, GOOD TASTE AND PERHAPS A FEW WONDERFUL MEMORIES FROM OUR CHILDHOOD.

Push out thoughts of thigh-hugging calories and have a slice pie soon!

Creamy Apple Pie

6 cups green apples, peeled and cored

3/4 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons melted butter

1 large egg

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 pie crusts

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Fit the bottom pie crust into a 9-inch pie pan. Wash, peel and core apples. Arrange thinly sliced apples in the bottom pie crust. Combine all remaining ingredients, mixing well. Pour mixture over apples. Cover pie with second crust; crimp or flute edges and cut slits in top, creating vents to allow steam to escape. Brush the crust with milk, cream, or an egg wash. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until apples are tender (check through the center vent).

Old Country Apple Pie

4 red apples, peeled, cored and sliced

4 green apples, peeled, cored and sliced

Place sliced apples in 9-inch unbaked pie shell. Mix and sprinkle over apples:

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon cloves

Sprinkle 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice over top.

Crumb Crust:

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup flour

1 stick butter

Few drops of vanilla

Mix together sugar and flour. Cut the butter into the sugar and flour mixture using a fork. Incorporate the few drops of vanilla Sprinkle over top of pie. Bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes. If the pie begins to brown too rapidly, cover lightly with foil.

Wacky Apple Pie

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

1 egg

Few sprinkles of cinnamon

6 sliced apples, cored and peeled

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, water, shortening and the egg in a medium-sized bowl. Beat well for 2 minutes. Grease a pie pan and pour in the mixture. Add the sliced apples, cinnamon and apple pie spice on top of the flour mixture. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden-brown.

Apple & Caramel Pie

1 9-inch pie shell

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

4 medium tart apples, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks

2 teaspoons apple pie spice, divided

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 pkg.(8 ounces) low-fat cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Whipped topping

Bake pastry shell but do not prick. Cool. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar. Stir in apples and 1 teaspoon apple pie spice. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in flour. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Drizzle caramel topping over pastry shell. Sprinkle with walnuts. Spoon apple mixture over walnuts and set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, egg, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Pour over apples. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the cream cheese layer comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Chill completely. To serve, top with whipped topping. Sprinkle with remainder of apple pie spice.

Crisped Apple &

Peanut Butter Pie

1/2 cup oatmeal

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Dash of salt

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup peanut butter

8-10 apples

Prepared pie crust

Vanilla ice cream

Place oatmeal, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, salt into a bowl. Stir ingredients together. Add butter and mix together. Melt peanut butter. Pour melted peanut butter into mixture and stir together until incorporated. Preheat oven for 350 degrees. Peel and slice apples. Place in pie crust until full. Spread oatmeal mixture over apples. Bake pie for 30-40 minutes. Cool slightly before serving with ice cream.

Crunchy Apple Pie

1 9-inch pie shell, unbaked

1 (21 ounce) apple pie filling

1/2 cup cold butter, divided

1 (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon maple extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup unsifted flour

1/3 cup granola, crushed

Place rack on lowest position in oven. Preheat at 425 degrees. Spoon filling into pie shell and bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 1/4 cup butter; beat in canned milk, eggs, maple extract, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over apples. Combine sugar and flour; cut in remaining 1/4 cup butter until crumbly; stir in granola. Sprinkle over pie. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake 30 minutes or until set in center. Cool slightly, serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers.

Apple Pizza

Pastry for 9-inch, 2-crust pie

8 tart apples

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 teaspoon nutmeg

Crumble Topping ( recipe follows)

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Prepare pastry as directed except roll 1 inch larger than your pizza pan. Ease into pizza pan; flute edge. Pare apples; cut into slices about 1/2 inch thick. Beginning at edge of crust and overlapping slices, cover entire crust with apples. Stir together sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg; sprinkle over apple slices. Top with crumb topping. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until edge is golden brown and apples are tender. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees after initial 15 minutes of baking. Best served warm and, if desired, topped with ice cream or whipped cream.

Crumb Topping:

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup firm butter

Mix flour, sugar and butter until crumbly.

Bagged Apple Pie

1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell

3 pounds cooking apples

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 cup soft butter

Large brown paper bag

Heat oven to 400 degrees, peel and quarter apples. In large bowl toss apples with mixture of 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour and cinnamon until coated. Fill pie shell and pile higher in the center. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Mix 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup butter to a paste. Spread over apple pile and put pie in bag, close bag, place on center rack of oven 1 hour or until pie is nicely brown. Cool 5 to 10 minutes and remove the pie from the bag with EXTREME CAUTION.

Lo-Cal Apple Pie

5 cups apples, sliced

2 teaspoons tapioca

8 packets sugar substitute


1 double pie crust recipe

Make the pie crust according to your recipe. Roll out the pie crust to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Arrange the apple slices in the crust, sprinkle with tapioca, sugar substitute and cinnamon. Roll out the remaining pie crust and place on top. Slit the top of the crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until apples are tender.

Apple Pie Bars

3 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

1 cup shortening

1/2 cup water

1 egg, beaten

Mix flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, shortening, and mix like pie crust. Add water and egg and form into a ball. Chill.


8 cups apples, peeled and sliced

2 tablespoons tapioca

1 cup sugar

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix all together. Roll or press 2/3 of crust into bottom of 10 x 15 inch pan, place apple mixture on top. Roll out remaining dough and place on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes. When cool frost with icing.


4 tablespoons butter, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons milk

1 2/3 powdered sugar

Mix together and frost pie bars.

Deluxe Apple Pie

1 (8 ounces) pkg. low-fat cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1 (8 ounces) non-dairy whipped topping

Walnut crust (below)

1 can apple pie filling

1/2 cup sour cream

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup raisins

Walnuts, chopped

Blend cream cheese and powdered sugar. Fold in whip cream. Spread over walnut crust. Top with apple pie filling. Combine sour cream, cinnamon and raisins. Spread over top of pie. Chill. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Walnut Crust:

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup flour

Mix and press into 10-inch pie plate.



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