It is said that people are either Beatles fans or Rolling Stones fans, and that your musical choice explains a lot about who you are as a person. I prefer to group people in entirely different categories: are you a cake person or a pie person?
For myself, I fall firmly on the “cake” side of this equation. Preferably a big layer cake, definitely chocolate, and absolutely slathered with silky, luscious frosting. This might say something about my personality–and it might also account for my snug waistband right about now–but it also explains why I rarely never make pies for our casual consumption.
That being said, if I’m going to make a pie, it’s going to be a big, beautiful, bursting apple pie. There’s just something I love about watching a pie go from this…
And giving credit where credit is due, this is an excellent apple pie recipe, from the perfectly flaky crust to the juicy and flavorful filling. You can tell how sinful the crust is from the pockets of butter scattered throughout the dough:
And look at the result! I would never top an apple pie with a streusel crust, because I think the crisp, crackling top crust is one of the best things about an apple pie. Even though pies aren’t at their best when they’re piping hot, I love the crust fresh from the oven, when it shatters when you pierce it with a fork, sending buttery shards everywhere.
My only changes were to use a mix of apples (Granny Smith and Gala) and to substitute corn starch for the tapioca–I am not a tapioca-in-fillings fan. I unfortunately had to photograph this pie when it was still quite warm, and it hadn’t really mellowed yet. I liked it much better once it was room temperature (or even cold from the fridge!) and the filling had gelled around the apples a bit, keeping them juicy and moist.
The only miss for me was the lemon zest in the filling–that was too jarring. In the future I’ll stick to lemon juice and reserve the zest for lemon-flavored desserts only.
I made a brown sugar ice cream to go along with the pie, and it tasted awesome when I made the base. I was so excited to share it with you guys! Unfortunately, I put on my mad scientist jacket and tried adding some xanthan gum to it, to make it more creamy…and added about four times too much. When I took it out to churn it after its chilling period, it was the texture of snot. No joke! It was sort of repulsive, actually. I whisked in some more liquid, and although it thinned out, it never really recovered. This one is going back to the drawing board, but hopefully I’ll have a successful brown sugar ice cream recipe to share with you soon.
So how’s about it: are you fine folks cake people or pie people? I promise not to judge you too much based on your choice.