Beyond Apples: 13 Fruit Recipes to Bake This Fall Slideshow



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Preheat the oven for these ripe fall baking recipes

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Beyond Apples: 13 Fruit Recipes to Bake This Fall

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As holiday baking season is gearing up, find renewed inspiration in fall fruits other than the ubiquitous apple with these 13 recipes that celebrates the produce from Mother Earth this fall harvest.

From cakes sweetened with figs to tart cranberry pies to a fall persimmon twist on a pineapple upside-down cake, we have recipes that will make baking a joy this fall season.

Chocolate Pomegranate Brownies

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Cranberry Almond Coffee Cake

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Fig Tart

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Here is an elegant yet easy dessert from brothers Massimiliano and Federico Sali at Tinello, located in London. It's perfect for sharing with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top. As an alternative presentation, you can use eight smaller tart pans for individual servings. — Peter Prescott and Terence Conran

For the Fig Tart recipe, click here.

Fresh Fig Cake

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Fudge Lava Cake with Cactus Pear Crème Anglaise

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Grape Harvest Cake

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Junipear Pie

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Pear and Blackberry Cobbler

Persimmon Pound Cake

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Persimmon Upside-Down Cake

The cake batter in this recipe has meringue in it that gives it that extra light and fluffy texture. Poured on top of crunchy tangerine-flavored caramel and fresh slices of persimmon, it’s the perfect combination of texture, freshness, and sweet. — Ashley Weaver

For the Persimmon Upside-Down Cake recipe, click here.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

This cookie recipe is a healthier alternative to others because of the added Greek yogurt, whole wheat pastry flour, rolled oats, walnuts, and dark chocolate. Greek yogurt adds extra protein, and is a substitute for a half cup of butter. The whole wheat flour, rolled oats, and walnuts bring in additional protein and fiber. The molasses contributes not only great flavor, but a good amount of potassium. Last, but not least, the dark chocolate is a great addition of iron, and more potassium and fiber. Just because it’s the holidays it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice your health — have a treat that’s both healthy and sweet. —Alisha Falkenstein

For the Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies recipe, click here.

Pumpkin Spice Cake Roll

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To help satisfy your pumpkin spice cravings while also keeping nutrition in mind, Tammy Lakatos Shames and Lyssie Lakatos have created their own better for you pumpkin spice cake roll. By swapping out unhealthy ingredients for more nutritious ones and using better for you ingredients, such as raw pumpkin, this delicious recipe is amazingly nutritious and has all the pumpkin spice flavor you need. Plus, it will only set you back 145 calories. — The Nutrition Twins

For the Pumpkin Spice Cake Roll recipe, click here.

Roasted Almond Foccacia Bread with Grapes and Rosemary

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Beyond apples: Glory be the crabapple pie–an heirloom recipe

If you’ve never had crabapple pie you’re in for a taste treat as distinctive as lemony sweet apple pie that packs walloping good flavor.

As American as crabapple pie?

Well, hardly, since this fruit doesn’t’ enjoy the same popularity as its larger cousin, the apple. This is a shame because crabapples are a sturdy little fruit with a distinctive taste–as tart as a lemon but once sweetened with sugar they’re ethereally sweet and lend great taste to pies, jams, chutneys and sauces.

Crabapples, considered a wild apple, grow well in our region crate of crabapples at the farmer’s market

Crabapples are a little difficult to work with because they’re so small. They generally don’t need peeling if you did, using the standard peeler might result in some nicked fingers. Actually it’s preferable to leave the skins on because they’re pectin rich and act as a natural thickener.

Crabapples are at farmers’ markets now. I picked up several pounds of them at Uncle’s Farm Stand owned by Mike Farrell, the Hollis farmer. His second in command is Keith Boyle who has for several years been the source for me of wonderful family recipes that I’ve shared here. And last week he finally brought me the recipe for crabapple pie from his 90-year-old grandmother, Gladys Gilbert of Rumford, known for her old-fashioned farm cooking. I made the pie earlier this week and followed it exactly as written. It worked out perfectly—one helluva good pie!

One of the most distinctively different tasting slice of pie you’ll ever have

The ingredients are fairly simple: crabapples, sugar, flour and butter. I noticed, however, that it didn’t call for the usual apple pie spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. I was tempted to add them but decided to make the pie without alternation.

Some of the directions were a little vague, however, and I altered it slightly where needed. Preparing the fruit is somewhat time consuming because you need a lot of crabapples to yield 6 cups. Count on 2 1/2 to 3 pounds or about 30 crabapples.

The crabapples should be cored, pitted and quartered, but this is messy business because of their size. Here’s how I handled it: Cut the apples in half and cut one of the halves in half again. The other half is cut in half by cutting around the core and seeds—basically carving the apple away from the core. You could use an apple corer but the fruit would fall apart.

Because the raw crabapples are so hard, they’re steamed for several minutes before using. I thought this was an interesting step, and in my research I found this to be consistent in other recipes.

After steaming, put the crabapples in a strainer to cool before handling

One final flavor feature in the pie is this: According to Keith, his grandmother’s secret ingredient is brown sugar sprinkled over the crabapple mixture once it’s assembled in the pie shell.

The last touch is to sprinkle the top with brown sugar

I served it with peach ice cream, which I had made the other day to use up the last of my peach stash. It’s an interesting match for the pie, but I think a good vanilla ice cream works better.

Gladys Gilbert’s Crabapple Pie

Pastry dough for 2-crust pie (see Note 2)

6 cups crabapples, cut in quarters (see cooking notes above), unpeeled

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/ 4 (heaping) cup light-brown sugar

Milk and sugar for glazing

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare the bottom crust and affix in a 9-inch pie dish. Refrigerate until needed.

Meanwhile prepare a steamer by putting a steaming rack into a large pot filled with several inches of water and bring to the boil. Add the apples, cover and steam for 3 minutes. Remove to a strainer and let cool for another 3 minutes.

Prepare the apples by cutting in quarters (see headnote), removing seeds, core and stem. You will need 6 cups, about 2 1/2 pounds or about 30 crabapples. Put into a large mixing bowl and mix with the white sugar, butter, flour and lemon juice, combining with your hands.

Transfer to the prepared shell, mounding up the apples. Sprinkle the top with the light-brown sugar. Roll out the second crust and affix over the top, making a decorative edge and cut four small slits in the dough. Brush the pastry lightly with milk and optionally sprinkle the top with sugar (the original recipe does not call for this).

Put the pie on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment (to catch drippings) and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for at least 45 minutes, (rotating the pan halfway through) or until the juices inside are bubbling and the crust is a rich golden brown (see Note 1). Serve warm with ice cream.

Note 1: After 45 minutes the juices were not bubbling much so I raised the heat to 375 degrees and turned on the convection and continued to bake for about 7 minutes longer until the juices were bubbling well inside the pie. You want to make sure the apples are cooked and softened and a period of simmering in their juices will accomplish this. If the crust gets too dark, cover the pie loosely with foil. All ovens are different so baking time is approximate.

Note 2: My flaky pastry dough recipe, which I’ve posted often, is a wonderful one to use for pies. It’s basically a butter dough enriched with freshly rendered lard, which adds incredible flakiness to the crust. Using a food processor put in 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use southern soft-wheat flour, available from specialty sources), pinch salt and heaping teaspoon sugar. Pulse a few times to combine. Add 2 sticks unsalted or lightly salted butter, cubed and chilled, and 4 tablespoons lard, cubed and chilled. Pulse 10 times until you have small and slightly larger pieces of fat and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pulsing, add gradually 1/2 cup of ice water until the mixture just begins to pull away from the bowl. It should be slightly moist to the touch. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently once or twice and form into 2 disks, wrapped in plastic and chilled for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

Next week: My Apple Brown Betty. This was originally scheduled to appear this week but when I received the crabapple pie recipe, I featured that instead.

Local ingredients used

Crabapples, Uncle’s Farm Stand, Hollis, at Portland Farmer’s Market


Beyond apples: Glory be the crabapple pie–an heirloom recipe

If you’ve never had crabapple pie you’re in for a taste treat as distinctive as lemony sweet apple pie that packs walloping good flavor.

As American as crabapple pie?

Well, hardly, since this fruit doesn’t’ enjoy the same popularity as its larger cousin, the apple. This is a shame because crabapples are a sturdy little fruit with a distinctive taste–as tart as a lemon but once sweetened with sugar they’re ethereally sweet and lend great taste to pies, jams, chutneys and sauces.

Crabapples, considered a wild apple, grow well in our region crate of crabapples at the farmer’s market

Crabapples are a little difficult to work with because they’re so small. They generally don’t need peeling if you did, using the standard peeler might result in some nicked fingers. Actually it’s preferable to leave the skins on because they’re pectin rich and act as a natural thickener.

Crabapples are at farmers’ markets now. I picked up several pounds of them at Uncle’s Farm Stand owned by Mike Farrell, the Hollis farmer. His second in command is Keith Boyle who has for several years been the source for me of wonderful family recipes that I’ve shared here. And last week he finally brought me the recipe for crabapple pie from his 90-year-old grandmother, Gladys Gilbert of Rumford, known for her old-fashioned farm cooking. I made the pie earlier this week and followed it exactly as written. It worked out perfectly—one helluva good pie!

One of the most distinctively different tasting slice of pie you’ll ever have

The ingredients are fairly simple: crabapples, sugar, flour and butter. I noticed, however, that it didn’t call for the usual apple pie spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. I was tempted to add them but decided to make the pie without alternation.

Some of the directions were a little vague, however, and I altered it slightly where needed. Preparing the fruit is somewhat time consuming because you need a lot of crabapples to yield 6 cups. Count on 2 1/2 to 3 pounds or about 30 crabapples.

The crabapples should be cored, pitted and quartered, but this is messy business because of their size. Here’s how I handled it: Cut the apples in half and cut one of the halves in half again. The other half is cut in half by cutting around the core and seeds—basically carving the apple away from the core. You could use an apple corer but the fruit would fall apart.

Because the raw crabapples are so hard, they’re steamed for several minutes before using. I thought this was an interesting step, and in my research I found this to be consistent in other recipes.

After steaming, put the crabapples in a strainer to cool before handling

One final flavor feature in the pie is this: According to Keith, his grandmother’s secret ingredient is brown sugar sprinkled over the crabapple mixture once it’s assembled in the pie shell.

The last touch is to sprinkle the top with brown sugar

I served it with peach ice cream, which I had made the other day to use up the last of my peach stash. It’s an interesting match for the pie, but I think a good vanilla ice cream works better.

Gladys Gilbert’s Crabapple Pie

Pastry dough for 2-crust pie (see Note 2)

6 cups crabapples, cut in quarters (see cooking notes above), unpeeled

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/ 4 (heaping) cup light-brown sugar

Milk and sugar for glazing

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare the bottom crust and affix in a 9-inch pie dish. Refrigerate until needed.

Meanwhile prepare a steamer by putting a steaming rack into a large pot filled with several inches of water and bring to the boil. Add the apples, cover and steam for 3 minutes. Remove to a strainer and let cool for another 3 minutes.

Prepare the apples by cutting in quarters (see headnote), removing seeds, core and stem. You will need 6 cups, about 2 1/2 pounds or about 30 crabapples. Put into a large mixing bowl and mix with the white sugar, butter, flour and lemon juice, combining with your hands.

Transfer to the prepared shell, mounding up the apples. Sprinkle the top with the light-brown sugar. Roll out the second crust and affix over the top, making a decorative edge and cut four small slits in the dough. Brush the pastry lightly with milk and optionally sprinkle the top with sugar (the original recipe does not call for this).

Put the pie on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment (to catch drippings) and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for at least 45 minutes, (rotating the pan halfway through) or until the juices inside are bubbling and the crust is a rich golden brown (see Note 1). Serve warm with ice cream.

Note 1: After 45 minutes the juices were not bubbling much so I raised the heat to 375 degrees and turned on the convection and continued to bake for about 7 minutes longer until the juices were bubbling well inside the pie. You want to make sure the apples are cooked and softened and a period of simmering in their juices will accomplish this. If the crust gets too dark, cover the pie loosely with foil. All ovens are different so baking time is approximate.

Note 2: My flaky pastry dough recipe, which I’ve posted often, is a wonderful one to use for pies. It’s basically a butter dough enriched with freshly rendered lard, which adds incredible flakiness to the crust. Using a food processor put in 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use southern soft-wheat flour, available from specialty sources), pinch salt and heaping teaspoon sugar. Pulse a few times to combine. Add 2 sticks unsalted or lightly salted butter, cubed and chilled, and 4 tablespoons lard, cubed and chilled. Pulse 10 times until you have small and slightly larger pieces of fat and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pulsing, add gradually 1/2 cup of ice water until the mixture just begins to pull away from the bowl. It should be slightly moist to the touch. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently once or twice and form into 2 disks, wrapped in plastic and chilled for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

Next week: My Apple Brown Betty. This was originally scheduled to appear this week but when I received the crabapple pie recipe, I featured that instead.

Local ingredients used

Crabapples, Uncle’s Farm Stand, Hollis, at Portland Farmer’s Market


Beyond apples: Glory be the crabapple pie–an heirloom recipe

If you’ve never had crabapple pie you’re in for a taste treat as distinctive as lemony sweet apple pie that packs walloping good flavor.

As American as crabapple pie?

Well, hardly, since this fruit doesn’t’ enjoy the same popularity as its larger cousin, the apple. This is a shame because crabapples are a sturdy little fruit with a distinctive taste–as tart as a lemon but once sweetened with sugar they’re ethereally sweet and lend great taste to pies, jams, chutneys and sauces.

Crabapples, considered a wild apple, grow well in our region crate of crabapples at the farmer’s market

Crabapples are a little difficult to work with because they’re so small. They generally don’t need peeling if you did, using the standard peeler might result in some nicked fingers. Actually it’s preferable to leave the skins on because they’re pectin rich and act as a natural thickener.

Crabapples are at farmers’ markets now. I picked up several pounds of them at Uncle’s Farm Stand owned by Mike Farrell, the Hollis farmer. His second in command is Keith Boyle who has for several years been the source for me of wonderful family recipes that I’ve shared here. And last week he finally brought me the recipe for crabapple pie from his 90-year-old grandmother, Gladys Gilbert of Rumford, known for her old-fashioned farm cooking. I made the pie earlier this week and followed it exactly as written. It worked out perfectly—one helluva good pie!

One of the most distinctively different tasting slice of pie you’ll ever have

The ingredients are fairly simple: crabapples, sugar, flour and butter. I noticed, however, that it didn’t call for the usual apple pie spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. I was tempted to add them but decided to make the pie without alternation.

Some of the directions were a little vague, however, and I altered it slightly where needed. Preparing the fruit is somewhat time consuming because you need a lot of crabapples to yield 6 cups. Count on 2 1/2 to 3 pounds or about 30 crabapples.

The crabapples should be cored, pitted and quartered, but this is messy business because of their size. Here’s how I handled it: Cut the apples in half and cut one of the halves in half again. The other half is cut in half by cutting around the core and seeds—basically carving the apple away from the core. You could use an apple corer but the fruit would fall apart.

Because the raw crabapples are so hard, they’re steamed for several minutes before using. I thought this was an interesting step, and in my research I found this to be consistent in other recipes.

After steaming, put the crabapples in a strainer to cool before handling

One final flavor feature in the pie is this: According to Keith, his grandmother’s secret ingredient is brown sugar sprinkled over the crabapple mixture once it’s assembled in the pie shell.

The last touch is to sprinkle the top with brown sugar

I served it with peach ice cream, which I had made the other day to use up the last of my peach stash. It’s an interesting match for the pie, but I think a good vanilla ice cream works better.

Gladys Gilbert’s Crabapple Pie

Pastry dough for 2-crust pie (see Note 2)

6 cups crabapples, cut in quarters (see cooking notes above), unpeeled

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/ 4 (heaping) cup light-brown sugar

Milk and sugar for glazing

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare the bottom crust and affix in a 9-inch pie dish. Refrigerate until needed.

Meanwhile prepare a steamer by putting a steaming rack into a large pot filled with several inches of water and bring to the boil. Add the apples, cover and steam for 3 minutes. Remove to a strainer and let cool for another 3 minutes.

Prepare the apples by cutting in quarters (see headnote), removing seeds, core and stem. You will need 6 cups, about 2 1/2 pounds or about 30 crabapples. Put into a large mixing bowl and mix with the white sugar, butter, flour and lemon juice, combining with your hands.

Transfer to the prepared shell, mounding up the apples. Sprinkle the top with the light-brown sugar. Roll out the second crust and affix over the top, making a decorative edge and cut four small slits in the dough. Brush the pastry lightly with milk and optionally sprinkle the top with sugar (the original recipe does not call for this).

Put the pie on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment (to catch drippings) and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for at least 45 minutes, (rotating the pan halfway through) or until the juices inside are bubbling and the crust is a rich golden brown (see Note 1). Serve warm with ice cream.

Note 1: After 45 minutes the juices were not bubbling much so I raised the heat to 375 degrees and turned on the convection and continued to bake for about 7 minutes longer until the juices were bubbling well inside the pie. You want to make sure the apples are cooked and softened and a period of simmering in their juices will accomplish this. If the crust gets too dark, cover the pie loosely with foil. All ovens are different so baking time is approximate.

Note 2: My flaky pastry dough recipe, which I’ve posted often, is a wonderful one to use for pies. It’s basically a butter dough enriched with freshly rendered lard, which adds incredible flakiness to the crust. Using a food processor put in 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use southern soft-wheat flour, available from specialty sources), pinch salt and heaping teaspoon sugar. Pulse a few times to combine. Add 2 sticks unsalted or lightly salted butter, cubed and chilled, and 4 tablespoons lard, cubed and chilled. Pulse 10 times until you have small and slightly larger pieces of fat and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pulsing, add gradually 1/2 cup of ice water until the mixture just begins to pull away from the bowl. It should be slightly moist to the touch. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently once or twice and form into 2 disks, wrapped in plastic and chilled for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

Next week: My Apple Brown Betty. This was originally scheduled to appear this week but when I received the crabapple pie recipe, I featured that instead.

Local ingredients used

Crabapples, Uncle’s Farm Stand, Hollis, at Portland Farmer’s Market


Beyond apples: Glory be the crabapple pie–an heirloom recipe

If you’ve never had crabapple pie you’re in for a taste treat as distinctive as lemony sweet apple pie that packs walloping good flavor.

As American as crabapple pie?

Well, hardly, since this fruit doesn’t’ enjoy the same popularity as its larger cousin, the apple. This is a shame because crabapples are a sturdy little fruit with a distinctive taste–as tart as a lemon but once sweetened with sugar they’re ethereally sweet and lend great taste to pies, jams, chutneys and sauces.

Crabapples, considered a wild apple, grow well in our region crate of crabapples at the farmer’s market

Crabapples are a little difficult to work with because they’re so small. They generally don’t need peeling if you did, using the standard peeler might result in some nicked fingers. Actually it’s preferable to leave the skins on because they’re pectin rich and act as a natural thickener.

Crabapples are at farmers’ markets now. I picked up several pounds of them at Uncle’s Farm Stand owned by Mike Farrell, the Hollis farmer. His second in command is Keith Boyle who has for several years been the source for me of wonderful family recipes that I’ve shared here. And last week he finally brought me the recipe for crabapple pie from his 90-year-old grandmother, Gladys Gilbert of Rumford, known for her old-fashioned farm cooking. I made the pie earlier this week and followed it exactly as written. It worked out perfectly—one helluva good pie!

One of the most distinctively different tasting slice of pie you’ll ever have

The ingredients are fairly simple: crabapples, sugar, flour and butter. I noticed, however, that it didn’t call for the usual apple pie spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. I was tempted to add them but decided to make the pie without alternation.

Some of the directions were a little vague, however, and I altered it slightly where needed. Preparing the fruit is somewhat time consuming because you need a lot of crabapples to yield 6 cups. Count on 2 1/2 to 3 pounds or about 30 crabapples.

The crabapples should be cored, pitted and quartered, but this is messy business because of their size. Here’s how I handled it: Cut the apples in half and cut one of the halves in half again. The other half is cut in half by cutting around the core and seeds—basically carving the apple away from the core. You could use an apple corer but the fruit would fall apart.

Because the raw crabapples are so hard, they’re steamed for several minutes before using. I thought this was an interesting step, and in my research I found this to be consistent in other recipes.

After steaming, put the crabapples in a strainer to cool before handling

One final flavor feature in the pie is this: According to Keith, his grandmother’s secret ingredient is brown sugar sprinkled over the crabapple mixture once it’s assembled in the pie shell.

The last touch is to sprinkle the top with brown sugar

I served it with peach ice cream, which I had made the other day to use up the last of my peach stash. It’s an interesting match for the pie, but I think a good vanilla ice cream works better.

Gladys Gilbert’s Crabapple Pie

Pastry dough for 2-crust pie (see Note 2)

6 cups crabapples, cut in quarters (see cooking notes above), unpeeled

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/ 4 (heaping) cup light-brown sugar

Milk and sugar for glazing

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare the bottom crust and affix in a 9-inch pie dish. Refrigerate until needed.

Meanwhile prepare a steamer by putting a steaming rack into a large pot filled with several inches of water and bring to the boil. Add the apples, cover and steam for 3 minutes. Remove to a strainer and let cool for another 3 minutes.

Prepare the apples by cutting in quarters (see headnote), removing seeds, core and stem. You will need 6 cups, about 2 1/2 pounds or about 30 crabapples. Put into a large mixing bowl and mix with the white sugar, butter, flour and lemon juice, combining with your hands.

Transfer to the prepared shell, mounding up the apples. Sprinkle the top with the light-brown sugar. Roll out the second crust and affix over the top, making a decorative edge and cut four small slits in the dough. Brush the pastry lightly with milk and optionally sprinkle the top with sugar (the original recipe does not call for this).

Put the pie on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment (to catch drippings) and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for at least 45 minutes, (rotating the pan halfway through) or until the juices inside are bubbling and the crust is a rich golden brown (see Note 1). Serve warm with ice cream.

Note 1: After 45 minutes the juices were not bubbling much so I raised the heat to 375 degrees and turned on the convection and continued to bake for about 7 minutes longer until the juices were bubbling well inside the pie. You want to make sure the apples are cooked and softened and a period of simmering in their juices will accomplish this. If the crust gets too dark, cover the pie loosely with foil. All ovens are different so baking time is approximate.

Note 2: My flaky pastry dough recipe, which I’ve posted often, is a wonderful one to use for pies. It’s basically a butter dough enriched with freshly rendered lard, which adds incredible flakiness to the crust. Using a food processor put in 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use southern soft-wheat flour, available from specialty sources), pinch salt and heaping teaspoon sugar. Pulse a few times to combine. Add 2 sticks unsalted or lightly salted butter, cubed and chilled, and 4 tablespoons lard, cubed and chilled. Pulse 10 times until you have small and slightly larger pieces of fat and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pulsing, add gradually 1/2 cup of ice water until the mixture just begins to pull away from the bowl. It should be slightly moist to the touch. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently once or twice and form into 2 disks, wrapped in plastic and chilled for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

Next week: My Apple Brown Betty. This was originally scheduled to appear this week but when I received the crabapple pie recipe, I featured that instead.

Local ingredients used

Crabapples, Uncle’s Farm Stand, Hollis, at Portland Farmer’s Market


Beyond apples: Glory be the crabapple pie–an heirloom recipe

If you’ve never had crabapple pie you’re in for a taste treat as distinctive as lemony sweet apple pie that packs walloping good flavor.

As American as crabapple pie?

Well, hardly, since this fruit doesn’t’ enjoy the same popularity as its larger cousin, the apple. This is a shame because crabapples are a sturdy little fruit with a distinctive taste–as tart as a lemon but once sweetened with sugar they’re ethereally sweet and lend great taste to pies, jams, chutneys and sauces.

Crabapples, considered a wild apple, grow well in our region crate of crabapples at the farmer’s market

Crabapples are a little difficult to work with because they’re so small. They generally don’t need peeling if you did, using the standard peeler might result in some nicked fingers. Actually it’s preferable to leave the skins on because they’re pectin rich and act as a natural thickener.

Crabapples are at farmers’ markets now. I picked up several pounds of them at Uncle’s Farm Stand owned by Mike Farrell, the Hollis farmer. His second in command is Keith Boyle who has for several years been the source for me of wonderful family recipes that I’ve shared here. And last week he finally brought me the recipe for crabapple pie from his 90-year-old grandmother, Gladys Gilbert of Rumford, known for her old-fashioned farm cooking. I made the pie earlier this week and followed it exactly as written. It worked out perfectly—one helluva good pie!

One of the most distinctively different tasting slice of pie you’ll ever have

The ingredients are fairly simple: crabapples, sugar, flour and butter. I noticed, however, that it didn’t call for the usual apple pie spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. I was tempted to add them but decided to make the pie without alternation.

Some of the directions were a little vague, however, and I altered it slightly where needed. Preparing the fruit is somewhat time consuming because you need a lot of crabapples to yield 6 cups. Count on 2 1/2 to 3 pounds or about 30 crabapples.

The crabapples should be cored, pitted and quartered, but this is messy business because of their size. Here’s how I handled it: Cut the apples in half and cut one of the halves in half again. The other half is cut in half by cutting around the core and seeds—basically carving the apple away from the core. You could use an apple corer but the fruit would fall apart.

Because the raw crabapples are so hard, they’re steamed for several minutes before using. I thought this was an interesting step, and in my research I found this to be consistent in other recipes.

After steaming, put the crabapples in a strainer to cool before handling

One final flavor feature in the pie is this: According to Keith, his grandmother’s secret ingredient is brown sugar sprinkled over the crabapple mixture once it’s assembled in the pie shell.

The last touch is to sprinkle the top with brown sugar

I served it with peach ice cream, which I had made the other day to use up the last of my peach stash. It’s an interesting match for the pie, but I think a good vanilla ice cream works better.

Gladys Gilbert’s Crabapple Pie

Pastry dough for 2-crust pie (see Note 2)

6 cups crabapples, cut in quarters (see cooking notes above), unpeeled

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/ 4 (heaping) cup light-brown sugar

Milk and sugar for glazing

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare the bottom crust and affix in a 9-inch pie dish. Refrigerate until needed.

Meanwhile prepare a steamer by putting a steaming rack into a large pot filled with several inches of water and bring to the boil. Add the apples, cover and steam for 3 minutes. Remove to a strainer and let cool for another 3 minutes.

Prepare the apples by cutting in quarters (see headnote), removing seeds, core and stem. You will need 6 cups, about 2 1/2 pounds or about 30 crabapples. Put into a large mixing bowl and mix with the white sugar, butter, flour and lemon juice, combining with your hands.

Transfer to the prepared shell, mounding up the apples. Sprinkle the top with the light-brown sugar. Roll out the second crust and affix over the top, making a decorative edge and cut four small slits in the dough. Brush the pastry lightly with milk and optionally sprinkle the top with sugar (the original recipe does not call for this).

Put the pie on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment (to catch drippings) and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for at least 45 minutes, (rotating the pan halfway through) or until the juices inside are bubbling and the crust is a rich golden brown (see Note 1). Serve warm with ice cream.

Note 1: After 45 minutes the juices were not bubbling much so I raised the heat to 375 degrees and turned on the convection and continued to bake for about 7 minutes longer until the juices were bubbling well inside the pie. You want to make sure the apples are cooked and softened and a period of simmering in their juices will accomplish this. If the crust gets too dark, cover the pie loosely with foil. All ovens are different so baking time is approximate.

Note 2: My flaky pastry dough recipe, which I’ve posted often, is a wonderful one to use for pies. It’s basically a butter dough enriched with freshly rendered lard, which adds incredible flakiness to the crust. Using a food processor put in 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use southern soft-wheat flour, available from specialty sources), pinch salt and heaping teaspoon sugar. Pulse a few times to combine. Add 2 sticks unsalted or lightly salted butter, cubed and chilled, and 4 tablespoons lard, cubed and chilled. Pulse 10 times until you have small and slightly larger pieces of fat and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pulsing, add gradually 1/2 cup of ice water until the mixture just begins to pull away from the bowl. It should be slightly moist to the touch. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently once or twice and form into 2 disks, wrapped in plastic and chilled for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

Next week: My Apple Brown Betty. This was originally scheduled to appear this week but when I received the crabapple pie recipe, I featured that instead.

Local ingredients used

Crabapples, Uncle’s Farm Stand, Hollis, at Portland Farmer’s Market


Beyond apples: Glory be the crabapple pie–an heirloom recipe

If you’ve never had crabapple pie you’re in for a taste treat as distinctive as lemony sweet apple pie that packs walloping good flavor.

As American as crabapple pie?

Well, hardly, since this fruit doesn’t’ enjoy the same popularity as its larger cousin, the apple. This is a shame because crabapples are a sturdy little fruit with a distinctive taste–as tart as a lemon but once sweetened with sugar they’re ethereally sweet and lend great taste to pies, jams, chutneys and sauces.

Crabapples, considered a wild apple, grow well in our region crate of crabapples at the farmer’s market

Crabapples are a little difficult to work with because they’re so small. They generally don’t need peeling if you did, using the standard peeler might result in some nicked fingers. Actually it’s preferable to leave the skins on because they’re pectin rich and act as a natural thickener.

Crabapples are at farmers’ markets now. I picked up several pounds of them at Uncle’s Farm Stand owned by Mike Farrell, the Hollis farmer. His second in command is Keith Boyle who has for several years been the source for me of wonderful family recipes that I’ve shared here. And last week he finally brought me the recipe for crabapple pie from his 90-year-old grandmother, Gladys Gilbert of Rumford, known for her old-fashioned farm cooking. I made the pie earlier this week and followed it exactly as written. It worked out perfectly—one helluva good pie!

One of the most distinctively different tasting slice of pie you’ll ever have

The ingredients are fairly simple: crabapples, sugar, flour and butter. I noticed, however, that it didn’t call for the usual apple pie spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. I was tempted to add them but decided to make the pie without alternation.

Some of the directions were a little vague, however, and I altered it slightly where needed. Preparing the fruit is somewhat time consuming because you need a lot of crabapples to yield 6 cups. Count on 2 1/2 to 3 pounds or about 30 crabapples.

The crabapples should be cored, pitted and quartered, but this is messy business because of their size. Here’s how I handled it: Cut the apples in half and cut one of the halves in half again. The other half is cut in half by cutting around the core and seeds—basically carving the apple away from the core. You could use an apple corer but the fruit would fall apart.

Because the raw crabapples are so hard, they’re steamed for several minutes before using. I thought this was an interesting step, and in my research I found this to be consistent in other recipes.

After steaming, put the crabapples in a strainer to cool before handling

One final flavor feature in the pie is this: According to Keith, his grandmother’s secret ingredient is brown sugar sprinkled over the crabapple mixture once it’s assembled in the pie shell.

The last touch is to sprinkle the top with brown sugar

I served it with peach ice cream, which I had made the other day to use up the last of my peach stash. It’s an interesting match for the pie, but I think a good vanilla ice cream works better.

Gladys Gilbert’s Crabapple Pie

Pastry dough for 2-crust pie (see Note 2)

6 cups crabapples, cut in quarters (see cooking notes above), unpeeled

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/ 4 (heaping) cup light-brown sugar

Milk and sugar for glazing

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare the bottom crust and affix in a 9-inch pie dish. Refrigerate until needed.

Meanwhile prepare a steamer by putting a steaming rack into a large pot filled with several inches of water and bring to the boil. Add the apples, cover and steam for 3 minutes. Remove to a strainer and let cool for another 3 minutes.

Prepare the apples by cutting in quarters (see headnote), removing seeds, core and stem. You will need 6 cups, about 2 1/2 pounds or about 30 crabapples. Put into a large mixing bowl and mix with the white sugar, butter, flour and lemon juice, combining with your hands.

Transfer to the prepared shell, mounding up the apples. Sprinkle the top with the light-brown sugar. Roll out the second crust and affix over the top, making a decorative edge and cut four small slits in the dough. Brush the pastry lightly with milk and optionally sprinkle the top with sugar (the original recipe does not call for this).

Put the pie on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment (to catch drippings) and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for at least 45 minutes, (rotating the pan halfway through) or until the juices inside are bubbling and the crust is a rich golden brown (see Note 1). Serve warm with ice cream.

Note 1: After 45 minutes the juices were not bubbling much so I raised the heat to 375 degrees and turned on the convection and continued to bake for about 7 minutes longer until the juices were bubbling well inside the pie. You want to make sure the apples are cooked and softened and a period of simmering in their juices will accomplish this. If the crust gets too dark, cover the pie loosely with foil. All ovens are different so baking time is approximate.

Note 2: My flaky pastry dough recipe, which I’ve posted often, is a wonderful one to use for pies. It’s basically a butter dough enriched with freshly rendered lard, which adds incredible flakiness to the crust. Using a food processor put in 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use southern soft-wheat flour, available from specialty sources), pinch salt and heaping teaspoon sugar. Pulse a few times to combine. Add 2 sticks unsalted or lightly salted butter, cubed and chilled, and 4 tablespoons lard, cubed and chilled. Pulse 10 times until you have small and slightly larger pieces of fat and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pulsing, add gradually 1/2 cup of ice water until the mixture just begins to pull away from the bowl. It should be slightly moist to the touch. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently once or twice and form into 2 disks, wrapped in plastic and chilled for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

Next week: My Apple Brown Betty. This was originally scheduled to appear this week but when I received the crabapple pie recipe, I featured that instead.

Local ingredients used

Crabapples, Uncle’s Farm Stand, Hollis, at Portland Farmer’s Market


Beyond apples: Glory be the crabapple pie–an heirloom recipe

If you’ve never had crabapple pie you’re in for a taste treat as distinctive as lemony sweet apple pie that packs walloping good flavor.

As American as crabapple pie?

Well, hardly, since this fruit doesn’t’ enjoy the same popularity as its larger cousin, the apple. This is a shame because crabapples are a sturdy little fruit with a distinctive taste–as tart as a lemon but once sweetened with sugar they’re ethereally sweet and lend great taste to pies, jams, chutneys and sauces.

Crabapples, considered a wild apple, grow well in our region crate of crabapples at the farmer’s market

Crabapples are a little difficult to work with because they’re so small. They generally don’t need peeling if you did, using the standard peeler might result in some nicked fingers. Actually it’s preferable to leave the skins on because they’re pectin rich and act as a natural thickener.

Crabapples are at farmers’ markets now. I picked up several pounds of them at Uncle’s Farm Stand owned by Mike Farrell, the Hollis farmer. His second in command is Keith Boyle who has for several years been the source for me of wonderful family recipes that I’ve shared here. And last week he finally brought me the recipe for crabapple pie from his 90-year-old grandmother, Gladys Gilbert of Rumford, known for her old-fashioned farm cooking. I made the pie earlier this week and followed it exactly as written. It worked out perfectly—one helluva good pie!

One of the most distinctively different tasting slice of pie you’ll ever have

The ingredients are fairly simple: crabapples, sugar, flour and butter. I noticed, however, that it didn’t call for the usual apple pie spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. I was tempted to add them but decided to make the pie without alternation.

Some of the directions were a little vague, however, and I altered it slightly where needed. Preparing the fruit is somewhat time consuming because you need a lot of crabapples to yield 6 cups. Count on 2 1/2 to 3 pounds or about 30 crabapples.

The crabapples should be cored, pitted and quartered, but this is messy business because of their size. Here’s how I handled it: Cut the apples in half and cut one of the halves in half again. The other half is cut in half by cutting around the core and seeds—basically carving the apple away from the core. You could use an apple corer but the fruit would fall apart.

Because the raw crabapples are so hard, they’re steamed for several minutes before using. I thought this was an interesting step, and in my research I found this to be consistent in other recipes.

After steaming, put the crabapples in a strainer to cool before handling

One final flavor feature in the pie is this: According to Keith, his grandmother’s secret ingredient is brown sugar sprinkled over the crabapple mixture once it’s assembled in the pie shell.

The last touch is to sprinkle the top with brown sugar

I served it with peach ice cream, which I had made the other day to use up the last of my peach stash. It’s an interesting match for the pie, but I think a good vanilla ice cream works better.

Gladys Gilbert’s Crabapple Pie

Pastry dough for 2-crust pie (see Note 2)

6 cups crabapples, cut in quarters (see cooking notes above), unpeeled

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/ 4 (heaping) cup light-brown sugar

Milk and sugar for glazing

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare the bottom crust and affix in a 9-inch pie dish. Refrigerate until needed.

Meanwhile prepare a steamer by putting a steaming rack into a large pot filled with several inches of water and bring to the boil. Add the apples, cover and steam for 3 minutes. Remove to a strainer and let cool for another 3 minutes.

Prepare the apples by cutting in quarters (see headnote), removing seeds, core and stem. You will need 6 cups, about 2 1/2 pounds or about 30 crabapples. Put into a large mixing bowl and mix with the white sugar, butter, flour and lemon juice, combining with your hands.

Transfer to the prepared shell, mounding up the apples. Sprinkle the top with the light-brown sugar. Roll out the second crust and affix over the top, making a decorative edge and cut four small slits in the dough. Brush the pastry lightly with milk and optionally sprinkle the top with sugar (the original recipe does not call for this).

Put the pie on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment (to catch drippings) and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for at least 45 minutes, (rotating the pan halfway through) or until the juices inside are bubbling and the crust is a rich golden brown (see Note 1). Serve warm with ice cream.

Note 1: After 45 minutes the juices were not bubbling much so I raised the heat to 375 degrees and turned on the convection and continued to bake for about 7 minutes longer until the juices were bubbling well inside the pie. You want to make sure the apples are cooked and softened and a period of simmering in their juices will accomplish this. If the crust gets too dark, cover the pie loosely with foil. All ovens are different so baking time is approximate.

Note 2: My flaky pastry dough recipe, which I’ve posted often, is a wonderful one to use for pies. It’s basically a butter dough enriched with freshly rendered lard, which adds incredible flakiness to the crust. Using a food processor put in 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use southern soft-wheat flour, available from specialty sources), pinch salt and heaping teaspoon sugar. Pulse a few times to combine. Add 2 sticks unsalted or lightly salted butter, cubed and chilled, and 4 tablespoons lard, cubed and chilled. Pulse 10 times until you have small and slightly larger pieces of fat and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pulsing, add gradually 1/2 cup of ice water until the mixture just begins to pull away from the bowl. It should be slightly moist to the touch. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently once or twice and form into 2 disks, wrapped in plastic and chilled for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

Next week: My Apple Brown Betty. This was originally scheduled to appear this week but when I received the crabapple pie recipe, I featured that instead.

Local ingredients used

Crabapples, Uncle’s Farm Stand, Hollis, at Portland Farmer’s Market


Beyond apples: Glory be the crabapple pie–an heirloom recipe

If you’ve never had crabapple pie you’re in for a taste treat as distinctive as lemony sweet apple pie that packs walloping good flavor.

As American as crabapple pie?

Well, hardly, since this fruit doesn’t’ enjoy the same popularity as its larger cousin, the apple. This is a shame because crabapples are a sturdy little fruit with a distinctive taste–as tart as a lemon but once sweetened with sugar they’re ethereally sweet and lend great taste to pies, jams, chutneys and sauces.

Crabapples, considered a wild apple, grow well in our region crate of crabapples at the farmer’s market

Crabapples are a little difficult to work with because they’re so small. They generally don’t need peeling if you did, using the standard peeler might result in some nicked fingers. Actually it’s preferable to leave the skins on because they’re pectin rich and act as a natural thickener.

Crabapples are at farmers’ markets now. I picked up several pounds of them at Uncle’s Farm Stand owned by Mike Farrell, the Hollis farmer. His second in command is Keith Boyle who has for several years been the source for me of wonderful family recipes that I’ve shared here. And last week he finally brought me the recipe for crabapple pie from his 90-year-old grandmother, Gladys Gilbert of Rumford, known for her old-fashioned farm cooking. I made the pie earlier this week and followed it exactly as written. It worked out perfectly—one helluva good pie!

One of the most distinctively different tasting slice of pie you’ll ever have

The ingredients are fairly simple: crabapples, sugar, flour and butter. I noticed, however, that it didn’t call for the usual apple pie spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. I was tempted to add them but decided to make the pie without alternation.

Some of the directions were a little vague, however, and I altered it slightly where needed. Preparing the fruit is somewhat time consuming because you need a lot of crabapples to yield 6 cups. Count on 2 1/2 to 3 pounds or about 30 crabapples.

The crabapples should be cored, pitted and quartered, but this is messy business because of their size. Here’s how I handled it: Cut the apples in half and cut one of the halves in half again. The other half is cut in half by cutting around the core and seeds—basically carving the apple away from the core. You could use an apple corer but the fruit would fall apart.

Because the raw crabapples are so hard, they’re steamed for several minutes before using. I thought this was an interesting step, and in my research I found this to be consistent in other recipes.

After steaming, put the crabapples in a strainer to cool before handling

One final flavor feature in the pie is this: According to Keith, his grandmother’s secret ingredient is brown sugar sprinkled over the crabapple mixture once it’s assembled in the pie shell.

The last touch is to sprinkle the top with brown sugar

I served it with peach ice cream, which I had made the other day to use up the last of my peach stash. It’s an interesting match for the pie, but I think a good vanilla ice cream works better.

Gladys Gilbert’s Crabapple Pie

Pastry dough for 2-crust pie (see Note 2)

6 cups crabapples, cut in quarters (see cooking notes above), unpeeled

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/ 4 (heaping) cup light-brown sugar

Milk and sugar for glazing

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare the bottom crust and affix in a 9-inch pie dish. Refrigerate until needed.

Meanwhile prepare a steamer by putting a steaming rack into a large pot filled with several inches of water and bring to the boil. Add the apples, cover and steam for 3 minutes. Remove to a strainer and let cool for another 3 minutes.

Prepare the apples by cutting in quarters (see headnote), removing seeds, core and stem. You will need 6 cups, about 2 1/2 pounds or about 30 crabapples. Put into a large mixing bowl and mix with the white sugar, butter, flour and lemon juice, combining with your hands.

Transfer to the prepared shell, mounding up the apples. Sprinkle the top with the light-brown sugar. Roll out the second crust and affix over the top, making a decorative edge and cut four small slits in the dough. Brush the pastry lightly with milk and optionally sprinkle the top with sugar (the original recipe does not call for this).

Put the pie on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment (to catch drippings) and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for at least 45 minutes, (rotating the pan halfway through) or until the juices inside are bubbling and the crust is a rich golden brown (see Note 1). Serve warm with ice cream.

Note 1: After 45 minutes the juices were not bubbling much so I raised the heat to 375 degrees and turned on the convection and continued to bake for about 7 minutes longer until the juices were bubbling well inside the pie. You want to make sure the apples are cooked and softened and a period of simmering in their juices will accomplish this. If the crust gets too dark, cover the pie loosely with foil. All ovens are different so baking time is approximate.

Note 2: My flaky pastry dough recipe, which I’ve posted often, is a wonderful one to use for pies. It’s basically a butter dough enriched with freshly rendered lard, which adds incredible flakiness to the crust. Using a food processor put in 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use southern soft-wheat flour, available from specialty sources), pinch salt and heaping teaspoon sugar. Pulse a few times to combine. Add 2 sticks unsalted or lightly salted butter, cubed and chilled, and 4 tablespoons lard, cubed and chilled. Pulse 10 times until you have small and slightly larger pieces of fat and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pulsing, add gradually 1/2 cup of ice water until the mixture just begins to pull away from the bowl. It should be slightly moist to the touch. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently once or twice and form into 2 disks, wrapped in plastic and chilled for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

Next week: My Apple Brown Betty. This was originally scheduled to appear this week but when I received the crabapple pie recipe, I featured that instead.

Local ingredients used

Crabapples, Uncle’s Farm Stand, Hollis, at Portland Farmer’s Market


Beyond apples: Glory be the crabapple pie–an heirloom recipe

If you’ve never had crabapple pie you’re in for a taste treat as distinctive as lemony sweet apple pie that packs walloping good flavor.

As American as crabapple pie?

Well, hardly, since this fruit doesn’t’ enjoy the same popularity as its larger cousin, the apple. This is a shame because crabapples are a sturdy little fruit with a distinctive taste–as tart as a lemon but once sweetened with sugar they’re ethereally sweet and lend great taste to pies, jams, chutneys and sauces.

Crabapples, considered a wild apple, grow well in our region crate of crabapples at the farmer’s market

Crabapples are a little difficult to work with because they’re so small. They generally don’t need peeling if you did, using the standard peeler might result in some nicked fingers. Actually it’s preferable to leave the skins on because they’re pectin rich and act as a natural thickener.

Crabapples are at farmers’ markets now. I picked up several pounds of them at Uncle’s Farm Stand owned by Mike Farrell, the Hollis farmer. His second in command is Keith Boyle who has for several years been the source for me of wonderful family recipes that I’ve shared here. And last week he finally brought me the recipe for crabapple pie from his 90-year-old grandmother, Gladys Gilbert of Rumford, known for her old-fashioned farm cooking. I made the pie earlier this week and followed it exactly as written. It worked out perfectly—one helluva good pie!

One of the most distinctively different tasting slice of pie you’ll ever have

The ingredients are fairly simple: crabapples, sugar, flour and butter. I noticed, however, that it didn’t call for the usual apple pie spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. I was tempted to add them but decided to make the pie without alternation.

Some of the directions were a little vague, however, and I altered it slightly where needed. Preparing the fruit is somewhat time consuming because you need a lot of crabapples to yield 6 cups. Count on 2 1/2 to 3 pounds or about 30 crabapples.

The crabapples should be cored, pitted and quartered, but this is messy business because of their size. Here’s how I handled it: Cut the apples in half and cut one of the halves in half again. The other half is cut in half by cutting around the core and seeds—basically carving the apple away from the core. You could use an apple corer but the fruit would fall apart.

Because the raw crabapples are so hard, they’re steamed for several minutes before using. I thought this was an interesting step, and in my research I found this to be consistent in other recipes.

After steaming, put the crabapples in a strainer to cool before handling

One final flavor feature in the pie is this: According to Keith, his grandmother’s secret ingredient is brown sugar sprinkled over the crabapple mixture once it’s assembled in the pie shell.

The last touch is to sprinkle the top with brown sugar

I served it with peach ice cream, which I had made the other day to use up the last of my peach stash. It’s an interesting match for the pie, but I think a good vanilla ice cream works better.

Gladys Gilbert’s Crabapple Pie

Pastry dough for 2-crust pie (see Note 2)

6 cups crabapples, cut in quarters (see cooking notes above), unpeeled

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/ 4 (heaping) cup light-brown sugar

Milk and sugar for glazing

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare the bottom crust and affix in a 9-inch pie dish. Refrigerate until needed.

Meanwhile prepare a steamer by putting a steaming rack into a large pot filled with several inches of water and bring to the boil. Add the apples, cover and steam for 3 minutes. Remove to a strainer and let cool for another 3 minutes.

Prepare the apples by cutting in quarters (see headnote), removing seeds, core and stem. You will need 6 cups, about 2 1/2 pounds or about 30 crabapples. Put into a large mixing bowl and mix with the white sugar, butter, flour and lemon juice, combining with your hands.

Transfer to the prepared shell, mounding up the apples. Sprinkle the top with the light-brown sugar. Roll out the second crust and affix over the top, making a decorative edge and cut four small slits in the dough. Brush the pastry lightly with milk and optionally sprinkle the top with sugar (the original recipe does not call for this).

Put the pie on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment (to catch drippings) and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for at least 45 minutes, (rotating the pan halfway through) or until the juices inside are bubbling and the crust is a rich golden brown (see Note 1). Serve warm with ice cream.

Note 1: After 45 minutes the juices were not bubbling much so I raised the heat to 375 degrees and turned on the convection and continued to bake for about 7 minutes longer until the juices were bubbling well inside the pie. You want to make sure the apples are cooked and softened and a period of simmering in their juices will accomplish this. If the crust gets too dark, cover the pie loosely with foil. All ovens are different so baking time is approximate.

Note 2: My flaky pastry dough recipe, which I’ve posted often, is a wonderful one to use for pies. It’s basically a butter dough enriched with freshly rendered lard, which adds incredible flakiness to the crust. Using a food processor put in 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use southern soft-wheat flour, available from specialty sources), pinch salt and heaping teaspoon sugar. Pulse a few times to combine. Add 2 sticks unsalted or lightly salted butter, cubed and chilled, and 4 tablespoons lard, cubed and chilled. Pulse 10 times until you have small and slightly larger pieces of fat and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pulsing, add gradually 1/2 cup of ice water until the mixture just begins to pull away from the bowl. It should be slightly moist to the touch. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently once or twice and form into 2 disks, wrapped in plastic and chilled for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

Next week: My Apple Brown Betty. This was originally scheduled to appear this week but when I received the crabapple pie recipe, I featured that instead.

Local ingredients used

Crabapples, Uncle’s Farm Stand, Hollis, at Portland Farmer’s Market


Beyond apples: Glory be the crabapple pie–an heirloom recipe

If you’ve never had crabapple pie you’re in for a taste treat as distinctive as lemony sweet apple pie that packs walloping good flavor.

As American as crabapple pie?

Well, hardly, since this fruit doesn’t’ enjoy the same popularity as its larger cousin, the apple. This is a shame because crabapples are a sturdy little fruit with a distinctive taste–as tart as a lemon but once sweetened with sugar they’re ethereally sweet and lend great taste to pies, jams, chutneys and sauces.

Crabapples, considered a wild apple, grow well in our region crate of crabapples at the farmer’s market

Crabapples are a little difficult to work with because they’re so small. They generally don’t need peeling if you did, using the standard peeler might result in some nicked fingers. Actually it’s preferable to leave the skins on because they’re pectin rich and act as a natural thickener.

Crabapples are at farmers’ markets now. I picked up several pounds of them at Uncle’s Farm Stand owned by Mike Farrell, the Hollis farmer. His second in command is Keith Boyle who has for several years been the source for me of wonderful family recipes that I’ve shared here. And last week he finally brought me the recipe for crabapple pie from his 90-year-old grandmother, Gladys Gilbert of Rumford, known for her old-fashioned farm cooking. I made the pie earlier this week and followed it exactly as written. It worked out perfectly—one helluva good pie!

One of the most distinctively different tasting slice of pie you’ll ever have

The ingredients are fairly simple: crabapples, sugar, flour and butter. I noticed, however, that it didn’t call for the usual apple pie spices of cinnamon and nutmeg. I was tempted to add them but decided to make the pie without alternation.

Some of the directions were a little vague, however, and I altered it slightly where needed. Preparing the fruit is somewhat time consuming because you need a lot of crabapples to yield 6 cups. Count on 2 1/2 to 3 pounds or about 30 crabapples.

The crabapples should be cored, pitted and quartered, but this is messy business because of their size. Here’s how I handled it: Cut the apples in half and cut one of the halves in half again. The other half is cut in half by cutting around the core and seeds—basically carving the apple away from the core. You could use an apple corer but the fruit would fall apart.

Because the raw crabapples are so hard, they’re steamed for several minutes before using. I thought this was an interesting step, and in my research I found this to be consistent in other recipes.

After steaming, put the crabapples in a strainer to cool before handling

One final flavor feature in the pie is this: According to Keith, his grandmother’s secret ingredient is brown sugar sprinkled over the crabapple mixture once it’s assembled in the pie shell.

The last touch is to sprinkle the top with brown sugar

I served it with peach ice cream, which I had made the other day to use up the last of my peach stash. It’s an interesting match for the pie, but I think a good vanilla ice cream works better.

Gladys Gilbert’s Crabapple Pie

Pastry dough for 2-crust pie (see Note 2)

6 cups crabapples, cut in quarters (see cooking notes above), unpeeled

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/ 4 (heaping) cup light-brown sugar

Milk and sugar for glazing

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare the bottom crust and affix in a 9-inch pie dish. Refrigerate until needed.

Meanwhile prepare a steamer by putting a steaming rack into a large pot filled with several inches of water and bring to the boil. Add the apples, cover and steam for 3 minutes. Remove to a strainer and let cool for another 3 minutes.

Prepare the apples by cutting in quarters (see headnote), removing seeds, core and stem. You will need 6 cups, about 2 1/2 pounds or about 30 crabapples. Put into a large mixing bowl and mix with the white sugar, butter, flour and lemon juice, combining with your hands.

Transfer to the prepared shell, mounding up the apples. Sprinkle the top with the light-brown sugar. Roll out the second crust and affix over the top, making a decorative edge and cut four small slits in the dough. Brush the pastry lightly with milk and optionally sprinkle the top with sugar (the original recipe does not call for this).

Put the pie on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment (to catch drippings) and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for at least 45 minutes, (rotating the pan halfway through) or until the juices inside are bubbling and the crust is a rich golden brown (see Note 1). Serve warm with ice cream.

Note 1: After 45 minutes the juices were not bubbling much so I raised the heat to 375 degrees and turned on the convection and continued to bake for about 7 minutes longer until the juices were bubbling well inside the pie. You want to make sure the apples are cooked and softened and a period of simmering in their juices will accomplish this. If the crust gets too dark, cover the pie loosely with foil. All ovens are different so baking time is approximate.

Note 2: My flaky pastry dough recipe, which I’ve posted often, is a wonderful one to use for pies. It’s basically a butter dough enriched with freshly rendered lard, which adds incredible flakiness to the crust. Using a food processor put in 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use southern soft-wheat flour, available from specialty sources), pinch salt and heaping teaspoon sugar. Pulse a few times to combine. Add 2 sticks unsalted or lightly salted butter, cubed and chilled, and 4 tablespoons lard, cubed and chilled. Pulse 10 times until you have small and slightly larger pieces of fat and the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pulsing, add gradually 1/2 cup of ice water until the mixture just begins to pull away from the bowl. It should be slightly moist to the touch. Turn out onto a lightly floured board, knead gently once or twice and form into 2 disks, wrapped in plastic and chilled for at least 1 hour before rolling out.

Next week: My Apple Brown Betty. This was originally scheduled to appear this week but when I received the crabapple pie recipe, I featured that instead.

Local ingredients used

Crabapples, Uncle’s Farm Stand, Hollis, at Portland Farmer’s Market



Comments:

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  4. Beamer

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  5. Bryne

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