FRIDAY’S DISH: Easier Than Pie!

What exactly does it mean when I hear folks saying “easy as pie”? The last time I checked, making pie wasn’t all that easy. Achieving the perfect pie crust requires a lot of skill, the right conditions and ingredients, and a bit of trial and error.

This is why I have found a way to circumvent the whole pie crust alchemy thing. At this time of year my FAVORITE store, Trader Joe’s (or as I affectionately call it, TJ’s) has the most delicious ready-made pie dough in the freezer section. They have puff pastry too but for this application the pie dough is perfect. I’m talking about making an unbelievably easy apple crostata.

 

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Thawing the rolled up dough on the counter, I got to work on the bag of organic gala apples I picked up. This was the hardest part and it wasn’t hard at all. I peeled cored and sliced them, then sautéed the juicy pile in lots of Irish butter. As if it couldn’t get any better, I then sprinkled them with about a third cup of light brown sugar, a half teaspoonful of cinnamon, an eighth teaspoon of allspice, fresh grated nutmeg and a pinch of salt. When the apples were slightly softened I dumped it into a bowl to cool.

 

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By this time the dough is pliable enough to unroll onto a heavy cookie sheet and repair any cracks that happen in the process. I piled the apple filling into the center of the dough and folded the edges up and around to overlap. To make things even more delicious I dotted the top with butter. Brushing the crust with even more melted butter, I sprinkled with granulated sugar, and baked until golden brown (about 25 min). The result is warm apple pie that couldn’t be easier.

 

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