I just got a call from my sister saying that the apple orchards are open now. What a thrill it is to take the kids and run to the nearest orchard to taste the locally grown apples. Now you wouldn’t think there is a difference between a Mac from the store and one you just picked, but I assure you there is. What is nice is if you don’t feel up to picking, they are for sale as you drive in, along with the question “Would you like some hard apples too?” I would love to hear from anyone out there who can tell me what that means. The Yankee Chef would like to know which you like? I am not going to give you anymore information, not even the alternative to ‘hard’ apples because that will give it away!
I would like to point out to you new readers of my column just what I mean by ‘Yanked”. That’s when I grab a mainstream recipe or even a recipe from long ago that no one makes anymore and tweak it my way. It may be to simplify it so more of us will try it(such as a Michelin star dish with a 12-word name and even more ingredients)or just to reinvent it so that we can enjoy what our forbears did. One such recipe is Apple Cider Pie.
‘Yanked’ Apple Cider Pie
Without adding any spices, except sugar and vanilla, to the filling, I think you will find that the cider gives you all the flavor you desire. Our ancestors thought so.
1 Single crust pie shell
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. flour
1 t. vanilla
5 large apples, peeled and sliced(about 5 c.)
1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 c. cold butter or margarine
Place cookie sheet on oven rack. Heat oven to 350° F. In 1-quart saucepan, cook 3 c. apple cider or juice with 1/4 c. butter over medium heat until reduced by half, about 12-15 minutes. It will be thick and syrupy and that’s great!.
In large bowl, beat 1/2 c. sugar and egg with wire whisk until light and fluffy. Beat in 2 T. flour and 1 t. vanilla. Beat in cider/butter mixture. Gently stir in apples. Pour into pie crust.
In medium bowl, stir together all streusel ingredients except butter. With pastry blender or fork, cut in 1/4 c. butter until mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over apples. Place pie on cookie sheet in oven.
Bake 50-60 minutes or until apples are tender and top is golden brown. Cool 2 hours.