Fresh Ingredient: Apples

I love Autumn, and I love apples.  Apple pie, three ways.  That’s what Charlotte Fresh has been up to recently.  Good thing that local apples are everywhere to be found.

Local apples at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market

Local apples at the Charlotte Regional Farmers Market

The Charlotte Regional Farmers Market has plenty of varieties from Hendersonville, NC. You can wander stand-to-stand and select the variety you like best.

Or, you can go pick your own.  Sky Top Orchard in Flat Rock, NC is popular with a friend of mine – she goes every year.  I intend to get out there sometime, but I think this year, I’m going to try Windy Hill Orchard & Cider Mill in York, SC.  They should have Stayman Winesap apples up until their annual Apple Harvest Festival on the 3rd Saturday of October.  I’m also going to check out their cider and cider doughnuts.  I have one friend who loves cider doughnuts, and I promised her that if I couldn’t find them, I would have to make them. (I should learn to keep my mouth shut!)  More apple orchards can be found on the Blue Ridge Farm Direct Market Association website for NC apples and on All About Apples.

In the meantime, check out how to make three of my fabulous apple pies.  There’s sure to be one that you like.  Sorry, I can’t give away Grandma’s crust recipe, but you can try this one here.

Update on 9/24/10: Since I made the original post, I’ve been reminded that Lincoln, Cleveland, Burke and Alexander Counties also produce apples in close proximity to Charlotte.  Check out http://www.foothillsfresh.com/ and you can search for apples.  Davis & Son Orchard in Lawndale, NC has apples in their store, and starting on Saturday, 9/25 you can find their apples at the Matthews Farmers’ Market for a couple of weeks.  Audrey’s Produce and Coldwater Creek Farms at the Davidson Farmers’ Market are also expected to have apples this week.

Fresh Recipe:  Apple Pie Juniors

Apple Pie Juniors

Apple Pie Juniors

These are a little time-consuming, but great because you get more crust edges per serving than you do in a slice from a 9 or 10-inch pie.  Makes 6.

  • Dough for one 10-inch pie crust
  • 3 medium to large apples (I used Golden Delicious), peeled, cored and diced small like peas
  • 1/8 C brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 Tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp ground nutmeg
  • scant pinch of salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 Tbs butter
  • 1/4 C heavy cream
  • Turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Roll out dough and cut out 6 discs (at least 5 inches diameter) to fit each muffin cup in a standard muffin pan.  Place strips of parchment across the muffin pan to ease removal of the pies after baking.  Pat the dough discs into each muffin cup (on top of the parchment strip), being careful not to tear the dough.  Allow dough to overhang the tops of the cups.  Using a fork, make tine marks around the edges.  Re-roll scraps into a ball for top crusts. Refrigerate the prepared pan and the dough ball.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium bowl, mix the apples, brown sugar, flour, lemon zest and juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper.  Let rest for 15 min.

Remove the dough ball from the refrigerator.  Roll out and stamp out top crusts with a small cookie cutter (I used a tartlett pan), or cut out other designs.

Remove the prepared muffin pan from the refrigerator.  Fill each crust cup with apple filling.  Place thin pats of butter on each cup of apple filling.  Finish with top crusts.  Brush cream on top crusts.  Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Sprinkle with lots of sugar

Sprinkle with lots of sugar

Bake at 425 for 5-7 minutes, then reduce oven to 350 degrees and bake for another 25-30 minutes until crusts are browned and filling is bubbling.  (You might need to cover pan loosely with aluminum foil 15 minutes into baking to prevent crusts from burning.)

Let pan cool on a wire rack.  Serve warm.

Parchments strips help with serving the pies

Parchment strips help with serving the pies

Fresh Recipe:  Charlotte Fresh Traditional Apple Pie

CF's traditional apple pie

CF's traditional apple pie

Put your own twist on this basic, traditional pie by making creative cuttings for the top or substituting brown sugar. Serves 6-8.

  • Two 10-inch pie crusts
  • butter
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Turbinado or granulated sugar for sprinkling

Filling ingredients:

  • 6 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
  • 2-3 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ground cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Prepare bottom crust and set in pan.  Refrigerate.  Mix filling ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes.  Pour filling into prepared crust.  Dot top with pats of butter.  Cover with top crust and pinch shut.  Cut air vents into top crust.  Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar.

Place pie pan on baking sheet to catch drips and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Loosely protect crust with aluminum foil if getting too brown.  Lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 35 minutes more or until filling is bubbly and soft, and crust is golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.

Fresh Recipe:  Apple Crunch Pie

Apple crunch pie

Apple crunch pie

This pie is great if you only have one crust available, or if you just favor crunchy pies. You can add chopped walnuts or pecans to the topping – about 1/3 cup. Serves 6-8.

  • One 10-inch pie crust
  • butter
  • heavy cream for brushing

Filling ingredients:

  • 6 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2-3 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • ground cinnamon and nutmeg to taste

Crunch Topping ingredients:

  • 6-8 Tbs unsalted butter
  • 1/2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C uncooked oats
  • 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1/3 C chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Prepare bottom crust and set in pan.  Refrigerate.  Mix filling ingredients and let sit for 15 minutes.

Mix together topping ingredients, cutting butter into the other ingredients until you get a lumpy crumbled consistency and it holds together like dough when you squeeze it.  Set aside.

Pour filling into prepared crust.  Dot top with pats of butter.  Fold up sides of crust to envelope apples.  Brush crust with heavy cream. Sprinkle pie with crunch topping, covering apples, but leaving a few small steam gaps.

Place pie pan on baking sheet to catch drips and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Loosely protect crust with aluminum foil if getting too brown.  Lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 35 minutes more or until filling is bubbly and soft, and crunch topping is golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.

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About charlottefresh

Helping Charlotte find fresh local food. Spread the word.
This entry was posted in Apples, Local, Pick-Your-Own, Recipes, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Fresh Ingredient: Apples

  1. Leigh Guth says:

    Please mention the wonderful Lincoln, Cleveland, Burke and Alexander County apples. Consumers can check http://www.foothillsfresh.com for apples that are very close to Charlotte!

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