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Monday, October 15, 2018

October 15: Dutch Apple Pie

I’m in a great mood today. 

For one thing, I’m feeling almost back to normal after spending the better portion of the past couple days camped out on my couch nursing my first cold in 14 months. (I know. That’s an amazing streak of good health for which I’m so grateful.) And even this cold wasn’t that severe in the scheme of illnesses. I attribute my rapid recovery to a few things. (I'm sharing them because I highly recommend trying these out yourself next time you feel unwell. Hopefully they help!)

A. Tea. I drank a cup of echinacea plus elderberry tea first thing in the morning and again before bed. Then, in the afternoon I had a cup of green tea. 
B. Essential oils. I spent 10 minutes under a steam hood each day. (Place 3-4 drops each Edens Garden Immunity & Breathe Easier Synergy Blends in a bowl. Fill with boiling water. Spread a bath towel around your head and the bowl enclosing yourself in a head-tent. Breathe deeply.) At bedtime, I diffused the same blend for an hour in the diffuser by my bed. 
C. Sinus rinses. Twice daily. Basically, it’s the same concept as a neti pot, but instead of needing to tilt your head, you keep it upright.
D. Rest. The first day, when all I had was pretty much a sore throat, I skipped my normal gym routine and did yoga at home (low-intensity and also keeping my germs to myself.) The following two days, I was achy, tired, and congested, so I rested. I also made an effort to go to bed earlier than normal.
And now, like I said, I’m feeling almost back to normal. Which is glorious.

Also glorious is that today is the first day of legitimate fall temperatures and low humidity after weeks of unseasonably warm, humid, and/or wet weather. Blech! (Grant you, by the time you read this post, it will no longer be the first day of said weather, but it’ll still be new, so let’s call it even, shall we? NB: In case you were wondering, I wrote this Friday and now it's Monday.)

These happy things made me want to get in the kitchen today and do all the fall cooking! I made a wholesome, fresh tomato soup with the bumper crop of tomatoes and herbs in our garden. (I’ll share that recipe on here at some point.) But after that, I was all about dessert. My apples are still calling out to me (they say, “uuuuuuuuse ussssss”) and my Facebook memories reminded me of an apple cookie I made a couple years back and now that I’m thinking of it, I can’t stop thinking of it, and I realized I haven’t made an apple pie yet and I remembered I wanted to try making apple cinnamon rolls and OMIGOSH THIS MUST ALL BE REMEDIED ASAP. (Do you ever have those moments?) 

I decided to start with the pie. I chose a Dutch apple variety (which I saw on the Sugar & Soul blog) because I’ve never made one before and it looked fab. 

(Spoiler alert: it was!) Also, I *may* have yodeled a bit while making it. (Though in a less creepy way than that youtube example.)

This is one of those times when I’d advise you to go to the original post because the blogger took the time to give tons of interesting facts about Dutch apple pie and helpful baking tips (not that it’s particularly complicated), so I’ll include the ingredient list here and my directional-photo play-by-play.

I made a few minor changes to the original recipe (used 6 Jonagold apples instead of 5 Granny Smith; cut back the almond extract, added in pumpkin spice extract; eliminated plain nutmeg because I hate plain nutmeg, subbed in half pumpkin pie spice and half cardamom blend) and my changes are reflected below. 

Dutch Apple Pie
(Adapted from Sugar & Soul blog) 


9-inch pie crust (I used a Pillsbury refrigerated one; you can use homemade or your fave bought) 

Apple Filling
6 crisp medium to tart apples(I used Jonagolds), peeled & sliced into ¼” slices, then halved 
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cupwhitesugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice(mine was the juice of one lemon)
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon McCormick pumpkin pie extract 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 
1/8 teaspoon cardamom
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Crumb Topping
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pie crust in dish. Set on foil-lined rimmed cookie sheet, and set aside. 

Prepare crumble topping by combining butter, sugars, and flour in a small bowl. Cut together with a pastry blender (or your fingers) until coarse crumbs form. Set aside. 
I like to cube my butter to help it along
Coarse crumbs
Prepare your apples and put them in a large bowl.

Peel the apples. If you can do it in one long strip like I did,
more power to you. 
Look how pretty!
1/4 inch slices-- nice and thin
Cut those slices in half

Flavor up those apples with sweet and spicy goodness and toss to coat. 
This is where the magic happens (plus the sugars & flour)

Pour the apples into the pie crust. Arrange them so they fit together nicely. It'll mound a bit and that's a good thing. 

Domey goodness
Spread the crumb topping onto the apples. 

Create an aluminum foil dome to cover the top of the pie. Don't let it touch the topping.
View from under the dome
Bake on the cookie sheet and under the dome for 35 minutes. 
After 35 minutes under the dome
Closeup after 35 minutes
Remove foil dome and return to over for another 15-30 minutes. (I checked it at 15 but it was nowhere near ready. I put it back in for 10 more, then rotated it and gave it 5 more.) The topping should be golden and the filling bubbly. Warning: It smells HEAVENLY. 

That's golden and bubbly!
Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. The filling will set as it cools. 

Still domed and lovely
Hard as it will be, try not to slice into this until it's set (give it at least a few hours). Serve it warm or at room temperature, with or without ice cream or whipped cream. 

The apple filling has a sugary & warm spice, and also a fresh brightness from the lemon. And the topping? Buttery and sweet-- just how we like it! We had this still a little warm from the oven as dessert after that homemade tomato soup for dinner, and it was the perfect exclamation point for my happy fall mood! 

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