I’ve never exactly kept my obsession with the Smitten Kitchen quiet around here. Seriously. Deb’s blog was one of the very first that inspired me to take the plunge into cooking things outside my comfort zone (read: food that was not Hamburger Helper, Chicken Parm, or Shepard’s Pie) when I began feeding myself on a daily basis after graduating college and moving out on my own. As the years have ticked by, her recipes still remain some of my absolute favorites so naturally I freeeeaked out a year ago when her cookbook was finally released.
One of the first recipes to catch my eye was the Deepest Dish Apple Pie. ho.ly.cow. A decadent masterpiece meant to serve 16 people. What-the-what!? 16 people? But I only live with one other person! We could never ever polish off a pie meant for 16 people. You see this pie, instead of being baked in a standard pie dish, is tucked into a large 10 inch spring form pan. Every square inch is packed with thinly sliced apples and the whole thing is topped with a too good to be true crumble. But once again, it was meant to serve 16 people. So as much as I was dying to dive into it as soon as I opened the book, I knew it would have to wait for the perfect occasion.
Then, last August, Roommate and JBG invited me to join them at the shore for a couple of days during their family vacation in Ocean City. On my first night visiting, their Mom hosted a big Sunday dinner, inviting over some extended family who were vacationing in Ocean City as well. Roommate’s aunt volunteered to bring dessert and as soon as she uncovered the decadent pie, I knew exactly what it was. The Smitten Kitchen Deepest Dish Apple Pie. I savored every bite of its sweet, gooey, goodness as it was just as dreamy as I imagined it would be. Roommate and I quickly agreed that we needed to find another occasion for this pie, ASAP. But you know, that 16 servings thing got us again.
That’s when I got to thinking. If I can reduce a chocolate chip cookie recipe down to a dual serving, why can’t I do the same thing with apple pie? I played around with Deb’s recipe a bit and shrinky dinked it to fit a mini 4 inch spring form pan instead of the wopping, 10 inch one. I adjusted the baking time a bit and voila, the deepest dish apple pie… for 2! Pull out two spoons, top ‘er with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and boom. Dessert is served.
- 3 Tbs flour
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- pinch of salt
- 2 Tbs of cold butter
- 2-3 tsp cold water
- 2 cups of apple, sliced thinly and cut in half (approx 1 large apple)
- 1 Tbs sugar
- 1/2 Tbs flour
- pinch of salt
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- 2 Tbs sugar
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 2 Tbs flour
- 1/8 tsp baking powder
- 1.5 Tbs butter, melted
- 4 inch springform pan (available at Michael’s or similar craft store for a few bucks)
Make sure you start ahead of time, since the crust will need to chill for at least one hour. Measure the flour, sugar, and salt into a wide bowl (I used a pasta bowl) and whisk together with a pastry cutter. Dice the 2 Tbs of cold butter into small squares, then add it to the dry ingredients. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with the pastry cutter until the largest bits of butter are the size of peas. Start by adding two teaspoons of cold water to the dough, only added the third teaspoon if needed. Use a spatula to mix the water into the butter and flour until a lumpy mass has formed. Use your hands to quickly work the dough into a ball, picking up any little bits of flour that may still remain in the bowl. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to chill for one hour.
While the dough is chilling, use a pairing knife to peel and core a large apple (or 2 small ones), then slice it into thin slices, finally cutting each slice in half. Measure two cups of the sliced apples into a bowl and toss them gently with 1 Tbs sugar, 1/2 Tbs flour, 1/8 tsp cinnamon and a pinch of salt.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Once the dough is chilled, remove it from the refrigerator and dump it onto a floured surface. Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough thinly, picking it up and turning it a bit or flipping it every few rolls. Add more flour as needed. You’ll need to roll the dough into an approximate 8 inch diameter circle. Use some cooking spray or left over butter to lightly grease a 4 inch springform pan. Gently lift the pie dough and press it into the pan, making sure its been pushed all the way into the bottom edges. Use your fingers to trim any excess dough.
Scoop the apple mixture into the prepared pie crust, pressing the apples down into the pan as you go. It will look almost too full, with a mound of apple on top of the pie when it is time to stick it in the oven. Place the springform pan on a small baking sheet and bake it for 30 minutes.
While the pie is beginning to bake, melt 1 1/2 Tbs butter in a small bowl in the microwave. In a separate bowl, mix together the dry struesel ingredients. Pour the melted butter into the dry ingredients and mix with a spoon until large clumps start to form.
When the pie has been baking for 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and top with the struesel. Bake the pie for 30 more minute. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the springform pan. I recommend serving it hot with vanilla ice cream.
I know, I know, this seems like an awful lot of work for 2 people. But a) the results are totally worth it. And b) its not as much work as it seems. This is absolutely a doable weeknight dessert that I often times make after getting home from work.
When I come home from work, I whip up the dough which takes no more than 10 minutes. I stick it in the refrigerator and head out on my run. I chop the apples and make the crumble while preparing other ingredients for my dinner, then roll my crust and assemble the pie before sitting down to the table, so it can bake while I eat. I swear, its really that simple, and a total wowzer on a weeknight!
The Deepish Dish Apple Pie from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.
Go big (or in this case small), or go home.