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.


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.


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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