OK everybody, this is it! The first entry in our great Pie Bakeoff of 2008. The Bakeoff is to compare our best recipes, share the pies that made our guests drool, and create a little more confidence in the world of pie-baking.
We're starting it off with a fabulous apple pie from baker Erin. Read on to see more about her Caramel Apple Crumb Pie, including lots of photos of the pie in progress, and her story on why this is her very best pie.
A note on this contest: We'll all just read and enjoy the recipes and stories as the entries in our Bakeoff roll in. We'll line up the best in each category in a couple of weeks and let you vote on the ones that stood out to you as the best. Please feel free to ask questions, give comments, and offer feedback on the recipes as they are posted. And if you try one out, let us all know how it went!
Where is this recipe from? This recipe is adapted from Cooking Light.
While I did not make my own pie crust, I did get to try out a fabulous frozen whole wheat crust, Wholly Wholesome, I purchased at Whole Foods. This pie crust was very good. I am not an experienced pie maker by any means! This was my first pie I've made since I was a kid. I did reduce the amount of syrup from the original recipe, because if you use the full amount, there is too much liquid, in my experience.
Why is this the BEST pie recipe you've got? After my bf's mother's sudden death, we visited his dad often to keep him company. During this time, we ended up eating quite a few frozen, store-bought apple pies, as comfort food in this tough time.
A few years later, my boyfriend still gets the urge for an apple pie. During this time, I've since learned to cook and bake, and the thought of a frozen pie with all its preservatives and yucky stuff grosses me out. I've caught him red-handed in the grocery store frozen food aisle with a pie in his hand more than once. I vowed to make him one, from scratch, using real ingredients. I found this recipe, and he loves it. Now when he eats this pie, it's not in mourning, he can look back and remember happier times.
Caramel Apple Crumb Pie
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
9 cups sliced peeled Granny Smith apple (about 2 3/4 pounds)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons chilled butter or stick margarine, cut into small pieces
2 1/2 tablespoons caramel sundae syrup
To prepare filling, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Combine 1/2 cup brown sugar and cinnamon. Add sugar mixture and apples to skillet; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat; stir in 3 tablespoons flour and lemon juice. Spoon into prepared crust.
To prepare topping, lightly spoon 1/4 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife.
Combine flour and 1/4 cup brown sugar in a bowl; cut in 2 tablespoons butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Drizzle syrup over apple mixture; sprinkle topping over syrup.
Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until apples are tender. Cool on a wire rack.
Good luck Erin!