Monday, October 25, 2010

Gingerbread Apple Crumb Topping Pie

When I think of fall, I think of the following things in the following order:
1. That weird fall smell that's very distinct but that you can't really describe, but I know you totally know what I'm talking about
2. Pies both apple and pumpkin
3. Time to bust out my scarves again, yay!
4. Leaf piles
5. It's finally seasonally appropriate to have hot soups again, yay!

Today's blog post will focus on the second thought, surprisingly enough. I know you're just having a heart attack with surprise right now that I'm going to talk about pie today, because I totally never ever talk about it.

This? Never.

A few friends hosted my roommate and I for a lovely dinner last week. We're all vegetarians (except for my roommate who is pure carnivore) who like to try out vegan foods, so we're all up in each other's business cooking each other meals, and last week they offered to host.
Not being able to resist, I offered to bring dessert. I figured it was time to bust out last year's apple pie, but modify it from that failurebake. Don't even click that link, it will just make you sad.
Unfortunately, this pie didn't let me show off my awesome basketweave crust -- the dough doesn't really allow for it; it's not the kind you chill and roll out. It's more of a crumb topping crust that you press into the bottom of the pan, but with the same buttery gingerbread taste of the last pie. The response to the pie was positive and I really enjoyed it myself, but let's bear in mind, I assembled this pie like an hour before we left for our dinner, and on the walk to their place our friends texted us to find cracked wheat bulgur in a giant grocery store that had just opened that day, so we had no idea where anything was. I also happened to be out of tin foil, so I had to wrap the unbaked pie in a plastic bag, which started leaking and dripping valuable, delicious pie juice all over my hands, jacket, purse, and jeans. Not only this, but the first clerk we asked for help had no idea what we were talking about and instead of telling us he decided to wander around the store hoping to lose us while we trailed aimlessly after him (and pie juice trailed after me). In the end, they didn't even have the cracked wheat bulgur, and we went tabbouleh salad-less for our falafel. Damnit.
My point is, the pie sat for a while and then lost a lot of its juices, so it might have had the potential to be even more delicious. Like a superman of pies. Could you imagine?
With this version of apple pie I sliced the apples way thinner, which I will always do from now on -- it makes each slice of apple softer, more tenderer, and soaked in pie juice. Yummeh.

1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. allspice
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1/2 C. margarine, softened
1 T. molasses
2 T. cold water

Sift together flour, sugar, spices, salt and baking powder. Add the margarine, cutting in with a pastry knife or even just with your fingers, till the margarine bits are pebble-sized or smaller. Drizzle in molasses and water, mixing with your fingers till the dough clings into a ball. Molasses can be a pain in the ass to get out of the measuring spoon, but I read a tip somewhere that suggested wiping the spoon with oil before measuring the molasses, and it's gone over like gangbusters in la cocina de dorie. Set aside half a cup of the dough and press the rest to the bottom of a pie pan, bake for ten mins at 275 degrees.

4-5 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. allspice
1/2 t. ginger
1/4 C. maple syrup
1 T. canola oil
2 T. arrowroot

Toss all ingredients except for arrowroot; sprinkle arrowroot on top.

Fill cooled pie crust with filling. Crumble 1/2 cup of mixture over filling and cover with tin foil. Bake 20 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove tin foil and bake another 20 minutes.

Serve warm with a scoop of vegan ice cream.

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