Yummy! Who doesn't like the sweet smell of an apple pie baking in the oven? We buy candles and air-fresheners with this scent to fill our homes so why not just take the little bit of time to create that smell for real? That inviting smell will take you back to your Mom's kitchen or your favorite little diner. Whichever memory it conjures up, it always makes me think of Fall. This is the time of year to get to your local farmer's market and check out all the varieties of apples available. Honey Crisp is my favorite for just snacking - it's crisp and sweet with a little tartness at the same time - just amazing! I urge you to seek it out and try it and you will be forever happy, I promise. For baking, I always go for the tart Granny Smith. It holds up so well in the baking process and the sugars just meld together to create the perfect balance of sweet and tart flavors. Now, there have been times when I have picked-up other varieties, only to find them soft or mealy when I go to eat them. No worries! Don't throw them out as they make great applesauce.
Below is an apple pie that I played around with because I had some left-over Kraft Caramel Bits (my new fall baking ingredient) I added them to the filling and then made a streusel topping because my daughter thinks streusel should be on everything. It turned out super-juicy with just the right balance of apples and caramel. Home-made crusts scare you? In a hurry? Don't let these stop you! Buy your crust in the refrigerator section of your grocery store - it won't change the sweet aroma that will flow out of your oven and into the house... I'm jus' sayin'...
Dutch Apple Pie
1 9in pie crust
1 batch of streusel topping (see below)
5 medium tart apples (peeled and sliced thin)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbs ground cinnamon
1/2 cup Kraft caramel bits (found in chocolate chip aisle)
1 stick of butter
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Mix the above together until small pea-size crumbles are made.
In a large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon.
Put all of that into the pie crust. Distribute strewsel topping all over top of pie. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until it is brown on top and juices are oozing out of the top, and the house is smelling like pure comfort!