16-8: French Apple Pie

It’s the first days of spring, but I’m still catching up on old posts. Consider it “spring cleaning.” Here’s one from Thanksgiving 2017, 16-8: French Apple Pie. In 2016, I went all out for Thanksgiving and made most of the entire meal from Simply Delicious recipes. We had alternate plans for 2017, so only an easy-to-prepare ahead of time dessert was needed.

I’ve already covered a similar recipe to this one: 16-15: Tarte Tatin. Consider these a smaller, more rustic version. In regards to authenticity, as long as it’s apples on top and crust on bottom, it counts as a French apple pie according to Wikipedia. ???

It’s suggested to serve the pie warm, but the nice thing about apple pie is that it’s versatile. This is a great recipe to make ahead of time and warm somewhere else upon eating, but it can also be eaten at room temperature. If nothing else, making them small like I chose to allows you to heat them up individually in the microwave if need be.

Where were we headed on Thanksgiving 2017? Well, nowhere far, just to my folks’ house which is pretty much here in town. But we had plans that morning–we participated in the Run to Feed the Hungry, which takes place in the morning on Thanksgiving Day. Hence the need for something that could be made in advance and easily transported/held.

Ingredients. I went with Granny Smith apples which aren’t the most interesting, but I was in a rush and they were already in an easy-to-grab bag.

While setting up for this recipe, I had a couple of ideas regarding slight variations. One, which was baking the pies into smaller individual tart pans instead of one large one, I went with. The other, which was sprinkling the tops of each pie with powdered sugar in the shape of a turkey (see stencil above), I did not.

Coring, peeling, and slicing–all in one picture.

Slicing up the butter before adding it to the food processor for dough lends itself to a much more consistent product. It also reduces the load on your poor food processor blade when you don’t just chuck an entire whole stick of butter in there and hope for the best.

Selecting an egg for the dough.

As I’ve said before, it’s dough when it sticks to the side of the bowl in one big ball. Too dry? Add water. Too wet? Add flour.

After chilling my dough, I chopped it into 6 pieces for individual pie crusts.

The dough balls were a bit short to create 6 individual pies, and I only needed 4. I chose to chop the last two balls in half and add each of those to the existing 4 to bulk them out a bit. I mostly worked the dough into the pans by hand, but used my tart tamper (the wooden stick-looking thing) to finalize the job.

Attempted pretty patterns with my apple slices–not sure that’s what I got.

I used brown sugar with some cinnamon in it to sprinkle on top–apple pies can always benefit from a bit of cinnamon. Pie pans are on a Silpat even though there shouldn’t be much sticking–I’m actually using the Silpat BECAUSE it will lend a bit of stickyness to the pan and keep the smaller pies from sliding around while I take them in and out of the oven. I also put them all on one pan because it’s WAY easier than trying to wrestle (and not destroy) 4 small HOT pie pans with oven mitts.

After baking. I’m not sure why they didn’t have you put the preserves on prior to baking–16-39: Apricot Tart followed a similar method. I suppose it’s to keep the preserves from burning or melting off during baking, but it always just seems strange.

Final product, before I plastic-wrapped them up for storage/transport. I popped them out of the pans after transporting them–it helps to protect the shells. Overall, they tasted exactly like you expect–like small apple pies. Nothing fancy, but made a good, low-effort dessert.

Grade: B+