Thursday, April 14, 2011

If You Hate Apple Pie, You Will Love French Apple Pie!

Not just because it's french, but it's a great combination of toasty walnuts, sweet apples, spicy cinnamon and the crumbly crust.  It's easy to make and not too sweet and goopy like a storebought apple pie which is why everyone who hates apple pie usually loves this one.
The only reason I am going to make a Sandra Lee reference in this recipe is because I cheat on the crust.  Okay, the other reason is so that I could reference Anthony Bourdain's hilarious, blog post about her... and of course there is this reason he dislikes her so... this-cake-will-make-your-eyeballs-burst-into-flame

come into the light...angels are singing...really!

Back to the recipe, I am giving you the cheater package measurements:

1 package refrigerated Pillsbury pie crusts (2 in a package)  You can make your own, I am sure Martha Stewart has an amazing recipe but everybody will think you made this cheater crust which is why I stopped  making pie crust messes in my kitchen.  Just throw flour on your face and say, "Yeah, it's my grandmothers recipe from her grandmother!"

1 plastic (sorry, earth) bag of generic green apples
3 or 4 good baking apples like Johnagolds or Gala
2 tsp. cinnamon
2/3 cups sugar
3 tbsp. butter (best hint ever!  freeze the butter and then grate off the 2 tbsp. with a cheese grater)
1 tbsp. flour

1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup raw sugar
2/3 cup flour
1 stick of frozen butter, grated (now that you know about my butter tip, throw away your pastry blender!) 

  • Roll out the cheater pie crusts, dampen the top of one with water and place it on top of the other one to make one crust.  Place into a pie pan (I love stoneware especially Pampered Chef) and crimp, cover the crimped edges with a strip of foil and stick into a preheated 350 degree oven while you prepare apples so you won't have a soggy crust, about 10 minutes.
  • Peel the apples and cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks into a bowl.  Throw in the cinnamon, sugar and grate the butter into the apples.  Mix and put into the pie crust.  
  • Throw the remaining ingredients for the topping into the same bowl (now empty) and mix it well.  With your hands, pat the whole mess onto your apples evenly.  
  • Cover the pie top with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour taking off the foil for the last 5 to 10 minutes to brown.
  • Serve with vanilla ice cream (like I had to tell you that!)
The raw sugar makes the topping extra crunchy and of course, all that butter makes it french, rich and delicious.

Note:  Please don't add raisins to this or tell me about how wonderful an addition golden local harvest home dried raisins are.  Cooked raisins are as appealing to me as boiled roaches.  'nuff said!