I’ve had a pie infatuation lately. I’ve always been very solidly in the pie camp rather than camp cake, but I’ve been baking way more cakes than pies in the last year. Pies just take so much damn time and skill to get them right. I’ve had several pie books from the library recently (Four and Twenty Blackbirds, Maida Heatter’s), but I haven’t had the time to actually make any of them.
Two months ago, I took the time to make and freeze a few batches of pie dough. I didn’t add enough water to them, and I knew it at the time, but I talked myself into believing it would be ok. So when a pie craving hit last Thursday, I figured it would try to throw a pie together with the apples I had on hand. I sliced up the apples, added the lemon, sugar, and spices. When it came time to roll out the dough, however, it became plainly obvious that it just wasn’t going to happen. The dough crumbled into pieces. I added some more water, but quickly gave up on the goal of a perfect looking pie. It was a Thursday after all.
So I piled the apples into my mini pie plate. The dough I rolled out in small pieces and patched them haphazardly over the top of the apples. Brushed with egg wash and sprinkled with demerara sugar and baked until the crust was golden and the apples bubbly. It wasn’t a perfect pie, but it tasted great and was good enough for a Thursday evening at home.
Imperfect Apple Pie
yields one mini pie (double amounts for a full-size pie)
- 1/3 c sugar
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest + 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of allspice
- 1 McIntosh apple
- 1 Granny Smith apple
- small handful of raisins
- 1/2 recipe for a single pie crust (you can use any good crust recipe, like this)
- 1 egg white
- Demerara sugar
Slice the apples into 1/4 inch slices and cut slices in half. Mix the apples, sugar, flour, lemon zest and juice, salt, spices, and raisins in a bowl. Toss well to coat the apples in the lemon juice. Pile the apples in a small 6″ pie plate (a small cast-iron pan works well).
Tear the dough into chunks and use a rolling pie to roll the chunks to approximately 1/4″ thickness. Arrange the pieces of dough on the top of the apples so that most of the filling is covered, it’s ok to overlap. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake at 450º for about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375º and continue baking until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbly.