Tuesday, November 13, 2007

book club and apple pies

One of the things I have enjoyed since moving here is joining the ward book club. This month was only my second month, and, of course, I had volunteered to host. As I was going over possible treats to serve, Somebody finally said, "You know, this isn't a baking competition." Oh, how wrong he was. A bunch of women from Church? This was nothing if not a baking competition. Because the store was out of fresh blueberries, I decided on apple pie and ice cream. I'm not really an apple pie fan, but I had stumbled across this recipe with this challenge. Who am I to turn down a request to test a recipe? I decided on the cinnamon ice cream because, well, it sounded the best, and took the suggestion of the recipe to pair it with apple pie. The recipe here is adapted from this recipe, but I opted to make little individual pies in a muffin tin instead of hand pies. I'd made the hand pies before and thought it was too much crust for the amount of filling, plus, the look I was going for here (rustic) made sealing the crust easy--I opted to not seal the crust. These recipes made the perfect amount of crust and filling for twelve muffin-size individual pies.
The crust:
Although I have a pie crust recipe that I consider to be the best in the world, I opted to try something new this time and opted for a cream cheese crust. It mixed up really quickly and turned out flaky, so it might be another option to use in the future.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons powered sugar

Blend the butter and cream cheese for 30 to 45 seconds on medium-low speed.

Sift the flours and confectioners' sugar into a medium-size mixing bowl. With the mixer on low, add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture about 1/3 cup at a time, blending after each addition.

When the ingredients are combined, scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead gently 3 or 4 times, and then form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 1/2 hours, until firm enough to roll.

After it had chilled, I rolled out the dough and cut it into circles big enough to fit inside the muffin cups (about four inches wide). I also cut out enough smaller circles (about two inches wide) for the tops.

The filling: (again, the original recipe is here, but below is what I used)
3 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped up
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons butter

Mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, corn syrup and vanilla extract in a bowl, and whisk until combined. Combine with chopped apples. Divide evenly among the muffin cups. Top with small dough circles. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon/sugar. Bake for 20 minutes at 350. Let rest for five minutes.

Top with cinnamon ice cream. Drizzle with caramel ice cream topping. Enjoy.

Somebody had the one remaining leftover the next day and he said it was even better after the filling had time to sit and thicken.

Oh, and I totally rocked the baking competition.


housewife said...

Oh as if I didn't miss you guys enough already you had to go and post that! It looks fabulous. I wish I was in your book club! By the way...read anything good?

Janssen said...

Why in the world am I not in your book club?

chloe elizabeth said...

Oh, how I miss Jen and Somebody!

Chandler Family said...

Gee that reminds me that we still owe you guys a night of cooking dinner! That looks fantabulous!