My approach to pie mostly starts with a small dose of panic and the knowledge that every pie is a learning experience. The word “pie” conjures a toasty, lattice-topped apple dessert in my mind, so logically I decided to try my hand at an apricot pie. My main personal hurdle here was the crust. I had yet to make a viable crust from scratch, but looking back on this little experiment, I think I know the reason — about half of my ingredients were the wrong temperature. Somehow, I always trip while crossing the Chasm of Chemistry with every cookie, banana bread, and pie I make.
Alton Brown has a fairly medium-to-hard difficulty level pie crust recipe, which I may or may not have followed to the letter — probably not judging by the sheer amount of dough stuck to my rolling pin. The strategy of shaping the crust with two pie tins was pretty genius, or at least it would have been if my crusts would have stayed together long enough to be shaped.
One standard filling idea that has worked for me countless times is just fruit, sugar, spices, and a dash of salt. The combination lightly spices without overwhelming the fruit, and lets the fruit shine through in the end. The recipe started as an apple pie recipe from Adam’s side of the family, but I started to improvise from what I could remember. The results are a reliably tasty filling for a pie shell, phyllo dough cups, or a galette.
Despite the dough situation, a simple brown sugar walnut granola was a solid crown for this pie. There is plenty of room to be creative with the granola to personal taste, and the granola can be stored in an air-tight container to later be used as a topping for snacks like cereal, ice cream, or yogurt.
Great American Pie Festival Giveaway
Visit the American Pie Council website for some award-winning pie recipes of all difficulty levels, or if you just want to skip right to the eating part and drop by the Great American Pie Festival in Celebration, Florida, from April 27, 2012, through Aprill 29, 2012..
The Council has also generously provided a family four-pack of tickets to the Never Ending Pie Buffet, which Forkful readers can enter to win if they just comment on this post with their favorite pie memories! I look forward to hearing about everyone’s fantastic pies and announcing a winner on Tuesday, April 24, 2012.
[Edited April 24, 2012: The giveaway has been extended to April 25, 2012. The winner will be announced April 26, 2012!l ]
[highlight color=”yellow”][Edited April 25, 2012: The winner of the giveaway is Stephanie! Thank you everyone for taking the time to share your pie memories on Forkful! Participants can verify their entry by entering their email in the Random.org box below.] [/highlight]
- 1 Cup Rolled Oats
- 1 Cup Walnut Halves
- ¼ Tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 Tbsps Cold Salt-Free Butter
- 1½ Cup Brown Sugar
- ¼ Cup Water
- 1 Cup Sliced Frozen Apricots (Can Substitute Sliced Apples or Peaches)
- ⅔ Cup Granulated Sugar or Sugar Substitute
- ¼ Tsp Nutmeg
- ¼ Tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
- ¼ Lemon Juice
- ⅛ Salt
- 3 Tbsps Salt-Free Butter, Cubed
- 1 Ready-made Pie Crust (In Lieu of Homemade Pie Crust)
Tip: If the crust browns too quickly, cover the pie with aluminum foil.