Monday, November 3, 2014

Easy Deep Dish Apple Pie

Jan here, and yes! I did name this post EASY deep dish apple pie.

Easy as pie :)

Here's the recipe:

Easy Deep Dish Apple Pie


4 or 5 apples - I used Granny Smith and Braeburn, but you can use your favorite

2 teaspoons cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar

pie crust for a double crust pie, homemade or whatever :) (make it easy!)

Okay, start here: preheat your oven to 350°.

Next, get your pie crust ready. If you're using a ready made one, you're all set. If you're making your own, roll out the bottom crust so it's ready to use.

Find your favorite deep pan. I used my 10" cast iron skillet, but you could use a 9" x 9" baking dish.

Cut your apples into 1/2" chunks.

I use this handy gadget to slice and core the apples:

And then I cut the slices into chunks. Put the chunks in a bowl of water mixed with a couple tablespoons lemon juice until you're ready to use them.

Next, heat the 1/2 cup butter in your skillet until it's melted, add the 1 cup packed brown sugar. Heat the brown sugar and butter together - stirring constantly - for about one to two minutes. Remove from heat.

Remember, if you're baking your pie in a baking dish, cook your butter and brown sugar in a separate skillet!

Lay the bottom crust in the pan, on top of the brown sugar mixture.

Yes, you read that right. The crust goes on top of the brown sugar/butter.

Drain the apple chunks, and mix them with the 2 teaspoons cinnamon and 3/4 cup sugar. Pour the apples into the crust, and then top with another crust.

And yes, we went all rustic with this pie.

Pop it in the oven and bake at 350° for 1 hour to 1 1/4 hour. Cover the pie loosely with foil for the last several minutes of baking to keep the crust from getting too brown.

And here's what it looks like fresh out of the oven. Beautiful, isn't it?

And we served it after church Sunday night. Everybody loved it :)

So, why the pie?

Because it's time to celebrate!!!! How many of us had deadlines on Friday or Saturday? I turned in my book right on time, so I made pie, and we spent Saturday enjoying the Hills.

We drove south to Wind Cave National Park. It was a beautiful day, and we saw plenty of wildlife.

Here are a couple of the Wind Cave bison:

That grass is pretty brown, isn't it? One thing about the short grass prairie is that the grass goes dormant about half way through the summer. Not dead, not dried out - it just stops growing. Because it isn't dried out, all the nutrients are captured in the grass and provide fabulous nutrition for the animals who depend on it all winter long.

Another thing about the Wind Cave bison is that they're more genetically pure than their neighbors in Custer State Park, just to the north.

I'm sure you know that the bison were nearly extinct in the late 1800's. One of the practices used to save the species was to breed them with cattle.

Any wildlife biologists out there? Genetic diversity is key to a healthy population, and that was the idea behind the cross breeding.

So some herds are more pure bison than others, and the Wind Cave bison's purity is somewhere in the high 90% range.

Look at the difference:

Wind Cave bison

Custer State Park bison. Don't mind the specks on the
picture - I took this one in May, and the bugs were
out in force!
From the shape of the horns to the depth and color of the mane, you can tell a real difference between these two. Just look at the front legs - see the heavy coat on the Wind Cave guy?

But differences or not, bison are bison, and I love watching them, wherever they live :)


  1. Interesting about the bison!

    I'm loving that caramel apple pie. That's how I'm thinking of it after seeing that browned butter and sugar! YUM! Thanks, Jan. :)

  2. Also meant to say that I had an edits/AA deadline of Monday. I got it emailed off tonight (Sunday night), so I'm celebrating too!

    1. Yay, Missy!

      And that caramel added so much to this pie! This was a new recipe for me and I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out - but it was delicious!

  3. I didn't know bison had manes. Live and learn. Congrats on meeting your deadlines Jan and Missy!

    Yum to this apple pie -- kind of like a baked apple apple pie. And you didn't even peel them! That is easy peasy.

    1. Kav, bison not only have manes, but they also have beards. I mean, what else are you going to call that much hair?

      And I suppose you could peel the apples if you wanted to, but why do all that work???

  4. I didn't know that about bison. Wow. So glad you had time to relax. I am going to try this recipe with pears and see how it goes. Love rustic pies.

    So on to the next book today?

    1. Oooh, pears sound good!

      I was going to spend the next few days cleaning the house (but really, who wants to do that?), and then plunge into the next book's revisions (told the editor I'd have that book submitted for her around the end of November), but then this book idea came to me yesterday.

      So...guess what I'm doing today?

      I'm sure all writers have a form of ADD, don't we? A new book idea is always calling to us :)

    2. I always mean to wait, but writing is like having a clean kitchen: It's begging to be used or begging to be written! So when I sat down last night to set up Phillip Dickinson's story in South Dakota, post-blizzard, it was like a breath of fresh air. He's going to be a spring indie novella, and that's always exciting!

  5. I want to eat the whole thing. Like, right now!!!! I finished all my deadlines the last two weeks, and I'm psyched. I started a new Love Inspired book and a new novella and I'm about to jump into book two of the Double S Ranch series set in Washington State. Geographically I'm mired in the Finger Lakes fictional town of Seneca Corners, De Smet, South Dakota (JAN!!! I GOT THE BOOK AND STARTED READING IT LAST NIGHT, THANK YOU!!!!) and central Washington State on the genetically crafted cattle ranch of Sam Stafford and Sons.

    I'm all over the place! And apple pie would suit me in every one of those locations, Jan!

    I love the rustic look and the caramel sauce underneath. That's so fun to see and I can just imagine the taste. Melting in my mouth as we speak!