Food & Drink

Recipes for special apple pies

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Apple pie
Serve up one of these versions of the all-American apple pie with some vanilla ice cream on the side and you will delight those special people in your life with a wonderful treat that's sure to please
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Get ready to treat the special people in your life with these favorites.

The first two of these recipes owe their origins to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (no, they don't begin with directions about how to plant an apple tree). Directly through their County Extension Services in every state, the USDA researches and publishes recipes for a wide variety of ingredients and a wide range of budgets.


In addition to clear directions each recipe contains a Nutrition Facts analysis just like the labels on foods at the grocery store. This information is of particular importance if you decide to make a sugarless recipe for anyone on a special diet. This collection of special apple pies for special people has something for just about every taste.


The third recipe is a French take on apple pie and comes from "Cooking Up a Song - Favorite Recipes of the Westchester Choral Society."


Deep Dish Apple Cranberry Pie


4 large peeled, cored and sliced apples
2½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. apple pie spice (or ½ tsp. cinnamon and ½ tsp. nutmeg)
Pie crust for single-crust pie


1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl and place in a 10-inch, deep dish pie pan.


2. Place pie crust on top of fruits. Cut three or four slits to allow the steam to escape.


3. Bake at 375 degrees for about an hour. Serve warm. Refrigerate any leftovers.


Sugarless Apple Pie


Pastry for a 2-crust pie
6-ounce can frozen apple juice concentrate
¾ tsp. cinnamon
4 cups (or so) of apple slices
1 Tbsp. cornstarch or Clear Jel
2 Tbsp. water or juice
1½ Tbsp. margarine


1. Heat apple juice concentrate and cinnamon. Add the apple slices and cook until partly tender.


2. Remove the apple slices from juice.


3. Mix the cornstarch or Clear Jel and water until smooth. Add to the juice and cook, stirring until thick.


4. Combine the apples and sauce (thickened juice); cool slightly.


5. Fill the unbaked pie crust and dot with margarine. Roll out top pastry for top crust and put on top of pie. Cut vents in the top. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes or until nicely browned.


Tarte Tatin: French Apple Pie


This special pie for special people is much less work than you might imagine—your guests will be happily astounded. The skillet is essential.


1 frozen puff pastry sheet (from a 17 ½ oz. pkg.), thawed
½ stick butter, softened
½ cup sugar
7 - 9 apples (3-4 lb.), peeled, cut in eighths lengthwise and cored
A well-seasoned 10-inch cast iron skillet


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Roll pastry sheet into a 10 or 11-inch rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Trim, using a plate as a guide, into a 10-inch circle. Transfer to a baking sheet and chill.


2. Melt butter in skillet and then pour sugar evenly over it. Arrange apple slices on sugar, overlapping in concentric circles. Cook over moderately high heat on top of stove, undisturbed till juices are deep golden and bubbling, about 18 to 25 minutes.


3. Place skillet in middle of oven over piece of foil to catch juice drippings. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove from oven and cover with chilled pastry. Bake another 20 - 25 minutes until pastry is browned.


4. Cool at least 10 minutes. Just before serving, invert a platter over skillet. Carefully holding platter and skillet together, turn over so that pastry is on the platter with apples on top. Brush any excess caramel from the skillet over the apples.


The tart can be cooled longer (up to 5 hours) before inverting and can then be heated over moderately low heat one or two minutes to loosen the caramel.

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