Monday, October 29, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and Skillet Apple Pie

As I sat here at my computer this morning reading the news about Hurricane Sandy and the potential devastation that comes with hurricanes, it brought to mind all the hurricanes that have stormed through my little part of the world.  I live in the Florida Panhandle (about 50 miles from the beach) and therefore have weathered quite a few hurricanes.   Some were much more devastating than anticipated and there were some that I wondered what all the fuss was about.   My conclusion is that you can never truly predict what nature will do.  The best thing you can do is prepare for the worst and pray for the best.  One of the ways we prepare is to make some "comfort food."  What is comfort food?  Well, it can be different things to different people.  To some it might be sushi (not me, by the way), or a homemade schnitzel (again, not me) or in the South, it's usually casseroles and homemade desserts.   Whatever your comfort foods are, they tend to evoke feelings of well-being and well, comfort, like everything is gonna turn out alright.  I made one of my families favorite comfort foods last night, Skillet Apple Pie.   My daughter, Robin, has declared this the best apple pie ever.  Not that she's the best judge.  She's only had Walmart apple pie to compare it to, but it makes me feel good that she loves it.  My son and daughter-in-law who have much more experienced taste-buds have also declared it the best apple pie ever.   Last, but not least, my husband has declared it the most amazing apple pie ever and he's a very adventurous eater (he eats kinds of sushi that I don't even like to look at).  By the way, just like hurricanes, my cooking is unpredictable.  Last nights apple pie tasted alright but it wasn't quite a beauty or a blunder, more of a blooper.  The pie part was good but the ooey-gooey sauce on the bottom got a little burnt.  I cooked the brown sugar too high and too long (which is why there's the side note about cooking it on medium heat).  Just so you know, I was trying to load the dishwasher at the same time.  That's what I get for trying to multi-task in the kitchen.  I'd love to hear from you if you make it and let me know what you think.

Until next time, enjoy the beauty around you and laugh at the blunders.   It makes life much more enjoyable that way :)


2 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 2-3 apples depending on the size of the apple)
2 pounds Red Delicious apples (about 2-3 apples depending on the size of the apple)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon lemon juice (bottled is fine if you don’t have fresh)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 (14.1-oz.) package refrigerated pie crusts

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Peel apples, and cut into 1/4-1/2-inch-thick wedges. Toss apples with cinnamon, lemon juice, flour and nutmeg (optional) and 3/4 cup granulated sugar.  

2. Melt butter in a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat; add brown sugar, and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.  *Do not cook on high or it will burn the brown sugar and develop a slightly bitter taste.

3.  Remove from heat, and place 1 pie crust in skillet over brown sugar mixture. Spoon apple mixture over pie crust, and top with remaining pie crust. 

4.  Cut 4 or 5 slits in top for steam to escape.3. Bake at 350ยบ for 55-65 minutes or until crust is golden brown.  Let stand for about 30 minutes before serving.  
Optional Serving Suggestion:  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.