But when I saw some big, green granny smith apples at the farmer's market this week, I couldn't help myself.
Maybe it's because so many of my friends and fellow bloggers are getting excited about the coming fall weather and all that autumn entails. In this house, we are autumn lovers. Changing colors, light sweaters, Halloween, apples, pumpkin, butternut squash, crunchy leaves, cool breezes--we love it all. Which means we will have to force autumn upon southern California. Because 100 degree temps in the middle of September doesn't make sense to northerners like us.
Transition: have you ever been plagued by the decision whether to make cobbler or pie? I love them both. I've been a huge apple pie fan since I was a kid (my mom can attest that I always requested apple pie as my birthday cake). So I decided to combine the two. Revolutionary!
Putting cobbler into pie. Kind of like putting autumn into southern California.
Maple Apple Cobbler Pie (modified from here)
makes one mini-pie, but easily amplified to make more!
Butter Pie Crust
pinch of salt
1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut into cubes and chilled (I stuck mine in the freezer for about 10 mins)
3-5 Tbsp ice water
Combine all dry ingredients into a large bowl. Toss the butter cubes in the mixture to coat, then work in with your hands until no lumps larger than a pea remain. Add ice water 1 Tbsp at a time and stir with a fork until dough comes together, then use your hands to form dough into a ball. You can add a bit more water or flour if your dough is too dry/sticky. Dough should be smooth and pliable. Wrap the ball of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 or more hours.
Apple Maple Cobbler Filling
1 Tbsp butter
1 large granny smith apple
scant 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup quick cooking oats
In a saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Cut apple into 1/2 inch cubes and add to melted butter. Sautee for about 5 mins, until apples are beginning to soften. Combine the cornstarch, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and pie spice in a small bowl. Once the apples are soft, remove from heat and add dry mixture. Stir to coat the apples. Stir in maple syrup. Return to LOW heat and cook the mixture for about 5 mins until it begins to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in oats, then set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the refrigerated dough on a clean surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. Transfer dough to a mini pie tin sprayed with cooking spray, and remove excess dough around the outside. I braided my extra dough and coiled it around the top of the pie, but you can roll it out again to make a smooth top, or roll into strips to make a criss-cross top. Add cooled filling to pie and cover with your top. You may need to pinch the top crust closed with a fork. Bake for 16-20 minutes, until crust starts turning golden brown. Cool for at least 10-12 minutes.
This is a fairly sweet apple pie. If you prefer your pie tarter (is that a word?) you can either lower the amount of brown sugar and maple syrup, or slice your apples larger. I knew that the smell was enticing (a certain someone was lurking behind me while I took photos and snatched his piece up the second I finished) and the taste was even better. Think flaky crust with extra gooey insides. Although with the heat here I should have added ice cream.