Crazy Crust Apple Pie

Well, autumn is here and I'm stoked for it. I'll always be a summer girl at heart, but living in Scotland-- where the weather is always basically autumn-- means it's nice when the time of year matches the temperature outside. I don't mind the shorter days, the impending cold, or the tendency to hole up at home with a good book (or recipe), and I definitely don't mind how cosy everything becomes. So I figured, with autumn in full swing, it's time for the first apple recipe of the season (don't worry, there are definitely more coming).

But over the summer when I took my wee hiatus, I didn't do a lot of baking. Partly this was because I was so busy, and partly this was because no one wants to bake in the summer, and partly this was because I had a whole run of baking disasters right before the hiatus started... many of which I still haven't posted because they were so bad I'm just gonna have to redo them. (During one particularly low point during this spate of calamities, I whinged to Judson as I took yet-another screwed-up cake out of the oven that 'maybe I'm just a terrible baker and nothing I ever make will really come out well and all of my recipes are doomed to failure forever.' And instead of telling me that all of that was false like a best girl friend would have done, he just said 'well, it's good you're getting all this practice, I guess.' Needless to say, I was not pleased with that response... though I totally deserved it for the way I was whinging.)

So since I need to ease myself back into this 'baking all the time' thing, I figured I'd go with something a little simpler (note I didn't say foolproof, as I've long since learned that literally nothing in this box can be called foolproof). And this recipe, which doesn't involve pie crust (we've discussed how much I hate making crust, right?) and doesn't require peeling any fruit (hooray!) fit the bill just fine. While I expected it to be a little cake-like, I wasn't expecting what I got: a lovely balance of barely sweetened, crisp-edged cake with sweet, gooey, spiced apple filling, textured like a dumpling and so easy to whip up the whole thing was in the oven before I had even dirtied the kitchen at all!

A bit of a cross between an apple dumpling and sort of like an 'upside-down cobbler,' this is a perfect dessert for the non-dessert lover: not too sweet, a little spicy, and with the perfect balance of filling to crust. The fact that there's no rolling and the entire thing comes together in only one bowl are all just bonuses.

Note that the recipe calls for canned apple pie filling. Usually I would recommend making your own, but in this instance, I've made easily a dozen from-scratch apple pies in the last four years and I have never once had my filling come out thick enough to keep the 'self-making crust' from getting soggy-- so unless you really trust your filling skills, I'd say stick with the pre-made stuff. It'll make your life easier.

Also, am I the only one who has no idea what 'apple pie spice' is?

Pie filling is incredibly difficult to find in Scotland... or at least in my neighbourhood, so i was stuck with apple, cranberry and raisin filling. Don't worry, i picked all the raisins out before i made the pie.

Pie filling is incredibly difficult to find in Scotland... or at least in my neighbourhood, so i was stuck with apple, cranberry and raisin filling. Don't worry, i picked all the raisins out before i made the pie.

The verdict:

4 spoons out of five. Nothing this good should be this easy.

One year ago: Pina-Colada Cookies & Apricot Nut Drops

The recipe:

Crazy Crust Apple Pie

the directions:
Filling:

Preheat oven to 210C/425F.
Mix all ingredients of filling and set aside.



Crust:

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, water, Stork, and egg.
Blend at lowest speed until mixture is combined, then continue mixing at medium speed until mixture is mostly smooth with only a few lumps.
Spread batter in 9 or 10-inch deep dish pie pan.
Carefully spoon filling into centre of batter, moving out toward the sides as needed, but DO NOT STIR.
Bake 25-30 minutes until crust is puffed and golden brown.

the ingredients:
the filling:

1 can apple pie filling (21 oz.)
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp apple pie spice or cinnamon

the (crazy) crust:

1 c flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¾ c water
2/3 c shortening or Stork
1 egg