That title could’ve been longer. I still know 34 digits by heart because my kid made me sing them to her every night before bed from ages two through three and a half.
I wanted to make some easy apple pie with granny smiths but find a low-sugar recipe that didn’t involve apple juice (because I didn’t have any in the house) or lemon juice (ditto) or Splenda, because while Splenda is fine for some things, I don’t like it where I can taste the unpleasant aftertaste it brings, and I figured pie filling would have that in spades.
I searched through tons of recipes until I gave up and just went with one that was close-ish but I changed the sugar amount drastically, plus changed it to brown for a deeper flavour (brown sugar is not healthier than white sugar…it is white sugar with molasses added back in). I also used refrigerated pie crusts because if I waited for a day when I have time to make full pie crust, I’d never make the pie. So for those of you who prefer scratch crusts, go ahead and substitute your favourite crust recipe.
- Two premade refrigerated pie crusts or your own recipe, enough for a top and bottom of a 9" pie pan
- 5-6 medium to large granny smith apples, just over 4 cups prepared
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (approximate)
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Peel, core, and thinly slice the apples. Optional: reserve the cores and peels if you want to make the apple jelly below.
- In a bowl, mix together the brown sugar, corn starch, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. Make sure there are no lumps.
- Pour the sugar mixture over the apples and toss thoroughly using a fork to coat.
- Put one of the crusts into a deep 9" pie dish.
- Pour the apple-sugar mixture into the pie crust.
- Cut the butter up into small chunks and dot around the top of the apple mixture.
- Put the top crust on, being sure to cut several vent holes. If you wish, you can construct a lattice pattern or use a cutter to make a decorative set of holes. I used a maple leaf pie crust cutter.
- Crimp around the edges to seal the top crust to the bottom crust.
- Put the pie dish on a tray (to catch leaks) and bake at 425 F for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 F and bake for another 30 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned.
- Let cool as long as you can stand waiting and then eat the evidence, nom nom nom.
If you like to taste apples and the spices in your pie instead of sugar, this is the pie for you. Very easy, very tasty.
As I was peeling the apples I wondered what I could do with those peels, so I googled and found several different apple jelly recipes that use cores and peels. Again, most of them had way too much sugar, so I split the difference between one from Food.com and one from About.com and ended up doing the following (albeit with very old pectin I happened to have in my drawer, so fresher pectin should make it gel up better since mine turned out more like syrup):
- Peels and cores from 5-6 medium to large granny smith apples
- 1 box Pectin
- 2 cups sugar
- Put 3 cups of water into a pot and add the apple cores and peels. Bring to a boil, then boil for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Strain the liquid into another container, squeezing out the peels and cores in the strainer. I've read you can then let it sit overnight to let the sediment fall and get only the purely clear juices, but I didn't bother with that.
- Pour the liquid into a cup measure and add enough water so you have 3.5 cups total. Put that back into the pot and bring to a boil.
- Add the Pectin and mix with a whisk. Boil for two minutes.
- Add the sugar and bring to a boil. Let it continue at a rolling boil for another two minutes.
- If canning, put in sterilized jars while hot. If not canning, allow it to cool in the pot and then transfer to a clean storage jar or tub, then store in the refrigerator.
Since mine turned out runny and isn’t being canned, I plan to try using it in some other recipes in the next week or so. But I will definitely buy some fresh Pectin and give it another go the next time I make an apple pie, which will probably be in a few weeks when I’ve got family in town.
PS Yes yes yes I know I’m overdue on the bleeding brain cake post. It’s coming. Was going to be today but then I thought you might all want to know about the pie.
PPS I was dubbed the Official Sucromancer of the Realm by the head of Google+ today. WOOT! If you want to chat with me on a social network, that’s the one that’ll get my attention most often. If you want to be circled back, you need to tell me that you’re a reader of this blog, because I get circled by hundreds of people some days and can’t keep track of them all.