Monday, 30 September 2013

Deep Dish Apple Crumble Pie

I haven't had much luck last two baking adventures have included a donut disaster x 2 (first batch I forgot the sugar (what?), and the second batch I must have doubled the baking powder or something because I created a new baked good - Muffin-nuts, because it was like muffin tops over donut bottoms) and a tasty but not pretty attempt at dutch apple pancakes.

So, I am happy to present this apple crumble pie, representing attempt number two at butter pastry.  It browned a little too much on the edges, but still delicious.  This pie really shines when served cold.

Deep Dish Apple Crumble Pie

Butter Pastry Crust
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup plus 1 to 2 tbsp cold buttermilk

5 or 6 granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Crumble Topping
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup white sugar
large pinch of salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small chunks

In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed butter and, using your
fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Create a well in the mixture and pour in the cold buttermilk. Mix together with a fork.  Add more buttermilk bit by bit as needed - the mixture should be moist but not wet.  Form a ball and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Roll out the pie crust on a well floured surface and place into a 9 inch pie pan.  Trim edges and make it all pretty.  Refrigerate for another 30-60 minutes. This is a good time to make the filling and topping.

Combine apple slices, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl and mix until the fruit is covered in the sugar. Once pie crust is cold, pour apples into crust and pat down gently.

Crumble Topping:
Combine flour, oats, sugar, and salt. Add the cold butter chunks and incorporate by hand, breaking down the chunks into smaller bits and pieces.  Crumble over top of the apple mixture until nicely covered - don't overdo it or it won't bake properly.  

Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 35 minutes or until topping is golden brown and pie juices are bubbling around the edges.
Make sure to place a baking sheet underneath the pie to catch the drips!

Let cool for at least 2 hours before serving.  Store covered in the fridge.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Rocky Mountain Cookies

We spent last week hiking in the Canadian Rocky Mountains in Banff National Park. It was stunningly beautiful at every turn - we simply stopped taking photographs and focused on just experiencing it.

I baked up a batch of these cookies to pack along for our hikes....these were so so good after hiking 1.5 hours up a mountain hill to one of the best views of the entire trip.  They were also the perfect tonic to soothe our aching knees at the bottom of that same hill.  These did make appearances elsewhere in the Rockies, but too quick for the camera : )

Rocky Mountain Trail Mix Cookies at the top of the Little Beehive, Lake Louise

I based these on my Juan de Fuca Trail Mix Cookies, but added peanut butter and swapped the ingredients around - end result - I have a feeling these will make an appearance for our next hike, although there won't be a mountain in sight.

Rocky Mountain Trail Mix Cookies
Shores of Lake Louise

1 1/4 cups oats
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup salted roasted cashew pieces
1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Combine oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. 
In a separate bowl, cream together sugars and butter until light and fluffy.  
Add eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla, mixing well.
Add in flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.  . 
Add in chocolate chips, cashews, cranberries, and pepitas.  Mix thoroughly. 

Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, place balls of dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. 
Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.  Let cool on cookie sheet for about 3-5 minutes until firm enough to remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 2 dozen large cookies.

Best eaten at high altitudes.  Keeps well up to 5 days in a sealed container (if they last that long).