April 10, 2010

Apple of My Eye Pie Redux

Way back in November, I made what looked like a pretty darn good apple pie.  Hibernating in the corner of my freezer, Easter Sunday seemed as good a time as any to figure out how to bake a frozen pie in double-quick time in my TurboChef.

An easy 23 minutes later, the pie emerged from the oven, perfectly browned and utterly delectable.  It's the ultimate combination - a slow day of cooking and a super speedy way to eat the results.  Yum!

If you try the recipe, note that I have modified it with the addition of lemon juice and cardamom.  The lemon juice adds quite a pronounced lemony flavour, which I love, but if you want something more subtle, try adding just a tablespoon. Also be sure to let the pie cool sufficiently so the juices "set". If you're baking in a regular oven, pop the pie in a preheated oven at 350°F for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, check the pie and if the crust is browning too quickly, cover the top with foil (or even just the edges if that's what's really browning). Continue baking for another 30-40 minutes, or until the slits on top are bubbling.

My friend Jenny tells me about baharat, which sounds amazing. See her explanation below.  Next time I'll try some of that to give this pie a spicy note.

For seasoning, in addition to a bit of lemon juice and sugar, I'm using baharat. Mine is from the Spice House in Chicago - the top note of this popular table seasoning from the Middle East (I'm all about ME cuisines this year) is very cinnamon/nutmeg, but the secondary note upon first taste is more complex, leaving one with a little kick that fits in with today's vogue for spicy desserts. Ingredients are: Tellicherry black pepper, coriander, cumin, Ceylon select cloves, Saigon cinnamon, cardamom, Spanish paprika and Chinese Tien Tsin chile peppers. Sounds weird, but really works.