Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oh no, apple pie

A friend of mine told me recently that she reads my blog just to see the mistakes. And while (I hope) she was kidding, I don't want to disappoint.
Now, right about here, is where I should put a picture of the apple pie I made.
But I can't. It's just too painful.
Something went wrong. And I don't know what. The recipe was simple: I took a graham cracker pie crust, some apples, lemon juice, sugar, flour and salt, and a topping of butter, brown sugar, flour, oats and salt.
Sounds good right? Right. What went wrong? You tell me.
It started off pretty well, with 5 apples, peeled and cored. And no, those chocolate chips in the background aren't for this recipe. But wouldn't that be interesting....?(Pretend there are five here.)
I used granny smith, but plenty of different kinds of apples will work, and, if you'd like, you can use two or three different kinds to mix things up.
So anyway, in apple pies in the past, I have diced up the apples, but I figured I would make some nice little thin slices here instead. And eat a couple along the way. Step two complete, with no apparent problems. Next I tossed them with the flour, sugar, lemon juice and salt. And ate a few slices. And then, even though I wasn't supposed to yet, I dumped it all in the waiting crust.

Now, I'm what you might call a paranoid baker. If something seems a little off, perhaps a little strange, I start to worry. If the amount seems wrong, or if it doesn't smell the way I think it should, or if it looks a funny color, I start to panic. And, most of the time, everything turns out ok in the end. And sometimes, it does not.

After I placed the apples in the crust, I realized I had alot left. Like, alot. And while I didn't have a problem eating a few more slices (clearly), I did think for a minute. Is this the right sized crust? Did I layer the apples right?
But, I piled them slightly convexly (is that a word?) and set about for the next step. Which was, of course, making the topping. A pretty simple mix - 1/2 cup flour, 1 1/2 sticks butter, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup quick oats and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Now the recipe that I was sort of pretending to follow said I should cut the butter into the flour, and then add the remaining ingredients. But, well, I'm not exactly the queen of patience, so I just mixed together all the dry ingredients, and then cut the butter in to that. And by cut, I mean used my hands. As I was doing this, I thought the butter seemed so be a little much, but I checked, and double cheSo, after I mixed the topping together, I sprinkled it evenly over the pie. And I stuck it in the oven.
As I mentioned earlier, I am not known for my patience, and I always end up - despite my mother's urging to the contrary - checking the oven before anything is done.
(Side note: oh how I wish my new oven had a window.)
Anyway, about a half hour in to the hour long cooking time, I took a quick peek. And....oh.
The carefully placed topping had completely melted down the slope of the pie, dripping off the edges of the crust and pooling on the (thank goodness I put it there) baking sheet underneath.
I watched in abject horror as my pie appeared to melt off and brown in all the wrong places. I could even see apple sticking out! Oh no!
Well, as this pie was supposed to serve as a dessert for my friends, I had no time to make something else, and I brough it anyway.
After I picked off the pieces of the top that had slid down, it looked basically presentable, but I certainly wasn't hopeful.
And as we cut into it, the pie that should have been crisp and delicious, was liquidy and didn't hold together.
From this, I have drawn two conclusions:
1 - the convex nature of the pie made the topping slide off when heated.
2 - the topping had a too high butter content that made it melt.
So, notes for the future, and one (slightly) redeeming factor: the whole thing got eaten anyway.

Tip of the Day: If a recipe doesn't work, don't get discouraged! Sometimes, you've done something wrong, sometimes it was the recipe, but either way you can remember what happened and use it in the future.

Recipe: I'll share the original recipe I used here, but there definitely need to be adjustments!
Graham cracker pie crust
4 to 5 apples
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
4 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 teaspoon salt

Peel, core and slice the apples, and mix with the lemon juice, sugar, flour and salt.
Cut the butter into the flour, and mix in the brown sugar, oats and salt.
Fill pie crust with apples, and top with mixture.
Bake on 375 F for 55 minutes.


  1. i like your labels for this post: "failure"

  2. Hey, things don't always work out like we hope. Oh well. At least it was still yummy and edible!