I’m sorry for that lame Friday Five last week. I was knee-deep in a big writing project that I had avoided all day to spend with Sean, Wallis and Joe in a perfect escape and the last thing I really wanted to do was get on the computer. Truth is, our Fourth was awesome, I just didn’t have the energy to tell you that. It must have been all of that sun exposure to my pasty skin.
This photo is titled: Hello, Vitamin D.
Honorable Mention title: #thirdwheel
(Not pictured: my huge pink UV-blocking hat)
It feels so good to sit out in the sun, or bob in the pool with your besties. And we managed to survive the slew of people and screaming kids that surrounded us for the entire afternoon.
As per usual, I planned out our holiday menu way in advance, opting for one favorite and one new recipe. I wanted an American theme to the meal and finally settled on “pies.” What’s more American than pies???
For dinner I made a Frito Chili Pie bar using our favorite vegetarian chili recipe. So. Good.
Check out that frito to chili ratio. It’s how I roll.
Picking the dessert was a little harder since I’m not really a pie girl. I like to eat them, but they can be tricky and I hadn’t even tried to make pie crust since I moved to the mountains. I didn’t want to risk the altitude ruining a dessert for company. Or me…let’s be honest.
So I hit up Pinterest for pie-like recipes and ran into a few that I couldn’t choose between….so I did what anyone with recipe panic does — combine them!
Say hello to my Frankenstein pie, which is about as all-American as you can possibly get.
And this recipe name? What a mouthful. *buh dump chink*
See those swirls in the crust? Oh, nobigdeal, it’s just cinnamon rolls. #whhha?
Next step? Fill with as many apple slices as you like. I didn’t put any binder in or spice the apples since the crust was already a knock-out and they were all going to be covered in a blanket of cookie-dough-tasting goodness. I’d maybe rethink that decision — more on that later.
40 minutes later you have a gorgeous pie that screams Americana and was totally delicious.
Do you know what the worst part is about making pies? The whole “let cool completely before serving” business. Seriously! That’s the real reason I had to hit the pool. This baby was staring me down all afternoon.
But, oh, was it worth the wait. My only ‘eh’ about it was that it was a mess to eat. Without a binder, those apples were sliding around everywhere, forcing us to eat pie out of bowls. Is that un-American? Luckily, it didn’t last long enough for me to really care.
Can’t decide what dessert to make next? Try this, or make up your own Frankenstein dessert. It’s aliiiiive!
Cinnamon Roll Apple Pie with Oatmeal Cookie Crumble
1 box Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (2 crusts)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water)
4 to 6 cups peeled, cored and thinly sliced small Granny Smith apples (use more if you want to pile them high)
additional brown sugar or butter, optional (or use for favorite pie-filling binder)
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cups loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
LET’S DO THIS:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Unroll pie crusts one at a time on a lightly floured surface. Brush each with butter and sprinkle evenly with cinnamon. Roll up tightly and slice into 1/2-inch rounds, like miniature cinnamon rolls. Use the fattest slices (from the center) and press miniature cinnamon rolls, flat side down, evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch glass pie plate, making sure there are no spaces between the rolls. Brush pie crust lightly with egg wash. (Bake whatever leftovers you have on a separate cookie sheet — snacks!) Place crust in fridge while you prepare apples and topping.
Slice peeled apples into a large bowl, spritzing and tossing with lemon juice as you go to keep them from browning. Place sliced apples in a mound on top of the crust.
Combine the oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and use your hands to crumble it up and toss it in the mixture, at least 3-4 mintues. Sprinkle it evenly over the apples.
Tent the pie with foil and bake for about 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake another 20-25 minutes until the crust is a golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. (Good luck with that.)
Happy birthday, America!