Sunday, January 22, 2006

Biscuit Apple Pie

Ohhhhhhhh where does time go? Last thing I knew I was preparing the recipe for my Biscuit Apple Pie, and all of a sudden a new year has come along and it's been ages since I wrote. Well, no more dilly-dallying, here we go! Did your freezer get any emptier over the holidays? Were you able to flush out that icebox? I look forward to hearing from you!

Ziploc bags are the ultimate tool for storing food in your freezer, I marvel, while I extract one very flat, large frozen bag out of my freezer. The light brown lumpy contents do not look very appetizing, but for once I know what this bag holds: in big, black Sharpie letters it says "Rome Apples w/cinnamon and raisins". Furtherdown it has a date, "10/25/2005" and a measurement, "4 cups". Well, there you go then, four cups of apples with cinnamon and raisins, prepared by me (I recognize the handwriting), not too long ago.

One of the blessings of living in the country is the abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables that are readily available, either from your own grounds or from a farmer down the road. During apple harvesting time, we try to enjoy the apples in all its varieties: fresh, baked, boiled (with a little bit of sugar you can have instant applesauce!) and ofcourse in apple pie. The ones I don't get to use immediately I freeze, so I can enjoy a wonderful apple pie in the wintertime. Here is how I do it. Core and peel five to six apples, depending on their size. Put the slices in a pan, add one tablespoons of lemon juice and toss to coat. Then add 3 tablespoons of apple juice, cider or just water and slowly bring to a boil. Add 1/2 cup of plump raisins, 2 tablespoons of sugar and cinnamon or apple pie spice to taste. Everybody likes their cinnamon either stronger or weaker, so go with what you like best. I use 2 teaspoons. The apples will release part of their juices so that, together with the sugar, it will form a sticky syrup. You may add some more water or juice during the short cooking process to make sure the apples don't burn. Instead of raisings, you can add dried cranberries, or substitute apples for pears. No rules here!

Boil on a slow fire for about 10 minutes, then take the pot off the fire and let it cool. When cooled down enough, taste for cinnamon and sweetness and if you like it, pour the apples with the syrupy juice in the ziploc bags, and push out all the air. Zip them, then lay them flat on the counter, so you can mark them. Try to find a flat spot in your refrigerator and allow them to cool for a couple of hours before you put them in the freezer. By freezing them flat, you can stack them afterwards, which saves a lot of space.

Biscuit Apple Pie

1 bag of frozen apple slices
1 roll of biscuits (refrigerated)
3 tablespoons of melted butter

Thaw one of the frozen bags of apple slices. In the meantime, open a roll of biscuits (for a 9 inch springform I use 10) , separate each biscuit on the counter and let them breathe for a couple of minutes, then roll each one flat with a rolling pin. If you don't have a rolling pin, no worries, just use a lightly floured wine bottle or a pop bottle. Coat the springform with an anti-stick spray, and lay each rolled out biscuit in the pan, first covering the bottom, then the sides. The biscuits usually stand to be pulled and stretched a bit, so you should have plenty to cover the bottom and sides. When done, brush the inside of the dough with the melted butter. If you have biscuit dough left, you can cut it in strips and make one of those fancy lattice pies, just make sure to brush the top of the lattice with some of the leftover butter.

Pour the thawed apple slices and syrup into the form. The oven should be preheated at 400 degrees and baked approximately 30 minutes. If you make a lattice top, lay a cooking spray coated piece of aluminum foil over it, and remove that in the last 10 minutes, to avoid burning the dough.

Pull out the springform and check to see if the biscuit is done. If yes, hurrah, turn off the oven, put the pie where it can cool before you "spring" that form. If not, go in three minute increments.

This is a thick, bready dough for a great apple pie. Hope you like it!

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