Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cast Iron Apple Pie

Since I'm planning to participate in a Outdoor Dutch Oven demo when we go camping the end of the month I though I'd better try out this new recipe before I did. I saw this recipe on America’s Test Kitchen ( on public television's Beg Week and thought I could convert it to iron. I followed the recipe as stated and the product was, ok. I hate, just ok so when I do this again I'll make some adjustments. There are also adjustments to using an Outdoor Dutch Oven.

The sauce had little flavor and was not thick enough. They use cornstarch and I'm not a fan of that to thicken pies so I'd use flour next time. Also, you need to adjust the thickening agent for the different apples. Some, more juicy that others, will take more flour. Now cinnamon is not to everyone's taste but an 1/8 of a teaspoon, who could even taste that. I'll add more. I've made my suggestions in red for the changes to the recipe and green for the adaptation to cast iron.

For the camping trip, I'll pre-make the pie dough and slice the apples and sprinkle with lemon juice to keep them from getting brown.

Skillet Apple Pie
from the Episode: Easy Apple Desserts

If your skillet is not heatproof, precook the apples and stir in the cider mixture as instructed, then transfer the apples to a 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Roll out the dough to a 13- by 9-inch rectangle and bake it as instructed. If you do not have apple cider, reduced apple juice may be used as a substitute—simmer 1 cup apple juice in a small saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 10 minutes). Serve the pie warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Use a combination of sweet, crisp apples such as Golden Delicious and firm, tart apples such as Cortland or Empire.

Serves 6 to 8

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (5 ounces), plus more for dusting work surface
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons vegetable shortening , chilled
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter , cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3–4 tablespoons ice water

1/2 cup apple cider (see note)
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons cornstarch (I'll use 4 tablespoons flour)
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I'll use 1-2 teaspoons)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (I'll use 3 tablespoons)
(I'll use 3 tablespoons brown sugar)
2 1/2 pounds sweet apples and tart apples (about 5 medium), peeled, cored, halved, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges

1 egg white , lightly beaten
2 teaspoons sugar

Use a 12 inch deep outdoor dutch oven. Pre-heat with 25 coals underneath, lid on, until pan is hot.

1. FOR THE CRUST: Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined. Add shortening and process until mixture has texture of coarse sand, about ten 1-second pulses. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture and process until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer mixture to medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons ice water over mixture. With blade of rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more ice water if dough does not come together. Turn dough out onto sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into 4-inch disk. Wrap dough and refrigerate 30 minutes, or up to 2 days, before rolling out. (If dough is refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable.)

3. FOR THE FILLING: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (between 7 and 9 inches from heating element) and heat oven to 500 degrees. Whisk cider, syrup, lemon juice, cornstarch, and cinnamon (if using) together in medium bowl until smooth. Heat butter in 12-inch heatproof skillet over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add apples and cook, stirring 2 or 3 times until apples begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. (Do not fully cook apples.) Remove pan from heat, add cider mixture, and gently stir until apples are well coated. Set aside to cool slightly.

For DO: Add butter, then apples to the preheated DO. Stir and cook until apples begin to caramelize. Remove DO from coals add cider mixture stirring to coat the apples. Dust in more flour, if needed.
4. TO ASSEMBLE AND BAKE: Roll out dough on lightly floured work surface, or between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap, to 11-inch circle. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll over apple filling. Brush dough with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. With sharp knife, gently cut dough into 6 pieces by making 1 vertical cut followed by 2 evenly spaced horizontal cuts (perpendicular to first cut). Bake until apples are tender and crust is a deep golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes; serve.

For DO: After you cut the pie dough, place 4 coals on the bottom and remaining on the lid. Most of the heat should be towards the outside with a few in the center. You can see I had not enough on the rim. Turn lid every five minutes 1/4 turn and bake until crust is golden brown. I needed 25 minutes. Resist opening the lid until 20 minutes have passed.

This will be quite hot but it needs to be dished up since the DO hold onto that heat for a long time. I spooned it into bowls.

If you are camping and prep this before hand it is a great dessert. I might even try this in my regular home oven.


Doodles said...

are the neighbors loving ya about now..........looks really good.

Spryte said...

I would LOVE some of that right now!