Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sharing recipes

Whenever I need to share a recipe I realize that I don't make anything 'easy'. Well, they are easy, but they are usually multi-stepped and take time and might be a bit hard to explain and then when you need to share it with a first grade class?

My son's first grade class is working on a unit called "How to". And they are going to be making a cookbook for the class. She requested recipes of something the kids enjoy and, if possible, a photo of them making such item with us/parents. And, she wanted it like yesterday (my son forgot his paper at school). Oh and lastly, if it could be culturally tied, that would be a bonus.

Gee whiz! That's a tall order with 1-2 days notice and then with no notice? And, with all ethnic recipes I know, none are simple. I could have found something Henry enjoys from Croatian recipes, but I don't have any photos of him helping with making any of those and really, there aren't many he likes.

But he isn't just Croatian. I'm American with mostly German roots. Why the heck not apple pie? That kid loves apple pie and I have several photos of him helping me make it! He especially loves our apple streusel mini pies. So, I shared that with the teacher. Then I thought, why not share it here as well?

So, here you go!

Mini Apple Pies with Streusel Topping:
Recipe from the book: The Village Baker's Wife by Gayle and Joe Ortiz 

You will need mini pie pans or Brookster pans or  extra large muffin pans to make this recipe or you can make it as a regular pie, use a 9" or 10" round pie pan.

Pie Dough (for double crust - Apple pie recipe will use 1/2 this pie crust recipe):

4 ice cubes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

To make the dough by food processor: place 4 ice cubes in a 1-cup measure and fill it with water. Set aside. Fit the food processor with the metal blade and measure the flour into the bowl of the processor. Add the butter pieces and toss with hands to coat the cubes with flour. Pulse until the butter pieces are the size of peas.

Remove the ice cubes from the water and pour out all but 1/2 cup of the water. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of water through the feed tube of the food processor while pulsing. Stop when the mixture just begins to come together. It should still look dry and crumbly.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently push it together with your hands. Divide the dough into 2 pieces and gently shape the pieces into flat round discs. The dough can no be worked and rolled out, covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days, or covered in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 2 weeks.

Apple Pie:


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces


4 pounds tart apples - like Granny Smith (about 10 cups sliced)
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream.

Use one disc or half recipe of pie dough (or double apples and streusel to use all the pie dough).

To make the streusel, place the dry ingredients in a food processor fitted with the metal blade and pulse several times to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture is crumbly. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

To make the filling, peel, core, and cut the apples into 1/4 inch slices. Combine the flour, granulated sugar, and cinnamon in a separate bowl. (I highly recommend getting one of these: apple peeler/corer/slicer).

Roll out the pie dough and cut it with a 4 to 5" inch round cookie or biscuit cutter. Place the dough into the muffin tins. (or the 10" round pan).

Toss the apples with the sugar mixture and place them in the pie shell(s). They will be mounded slightly, but press them down slightly. Pour the whipping cream evenly over the apples.

Gently apply the streusel to the apples, pressing it into the slices. The streusel should cover the apples mostly.

Place the pie on a lower rack in the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes then heck on them. They will be done when tested with a skewer the apples have slightly softened and the crusts have started to brown. (If making as a large pie - you will bake it for about 1 hour).

Remove from the oven and let them cool for 5 -10 minutes in the tins. Then remove the mini pies with a rubber spatula to lift out and let cool on a wire rack. (Full size pies stay in the tin, of course). 
Best served warm or room temperature. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream or eat plain.
This is a mini streusel apple pie in a container for lunches. My kids love them!


Now, look at all that recipe? That is a fairly simple, straight forward homemade apple pie recipe, but how will a first grader know what to do with that? And writing all that out? What??? I thought of doing cinnamon rolls, but that's just as wordy and the few Croatian recipes me loves? Oh my gosh, I would have to write twice as much! Poor kid! Sorry, mom doesn't just open a can and call it good as homemade!

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