Braisin’ Semi-Failure: Apple-Apple Pie

Basically: I saw this recipe floating around Tumblr, I had an apple languishing in the crisper, and I still had some leftover pie dough. So I thought I might as well take a stab at it. Unfortunately it turned out kind of a mess. Apparently Golden Delicious apples, while a fine variety to use in pie interiors, are not the sort whose outer walls will hold up particularly well for this application. You want to use a firmer apple, like a Granny Smith or Braeburn or Winesap.

It is also possible that my problem came from scooping the walls too thin. I used a grapefruit spoon to carve out the inside, which on the whole was kind of a pain in the ass. I put the apple in the oven and kept an eye on it as it baked. Good thing, too, because at the 25-minute mark the entire thing slumped down and fell over. I attempted to rescue and prop it back up with an aluminum foil snake for the rest of the baking time, but the damage was done. The pie crust got mangled (I tried to hide the worst of it at the back of the photos).

This wasn’t a total failure. I will try it again with a different apple variety. It definitely tasted good. I’m sure I can make it turn out prettier.

lemon juice
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 Tbsp AP flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
enough pie dough to make a 3-inch round at 1/4-inch thick
powdered sugar (optional)

Heat oven to 370. Cut off the top of the apple. With a grapefruit spoon or melon baller or really, really carefully with a knife and spoon, scoop out the interior of the apple. Try not to pierce the skin. Discard the core and dice the rest. Peel the top bit you cut off and dice that flesh as well. Mix diced apple with a few drops of lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt.

Place apple shells on a lipped baking pan lined with parchment. (If you are making a lot of these—like 12—I read a suggestion to nestle them in a muffin tin, which would totally counteract the slumping problem I had. Don’t cram them in there, just use the wells to sort of cradle their bottoms.) Fill the apple shell with the chopped apple mixture.

Roll out your pie dough to 1/4-inch thick. Cut out a circle (or use some kind of fun cookie cutter) and poke some holes in it with a straw (steam holes!). Place the dough lid on top of the apple. Don’t mold it down, just place it on top.

Bake for 40 minutes. The dough should be nicely golden on top. Sprinkle top with powdered sugar (optional).

Potato and Gorgonzola Pie

[image: slice of potato and gorgonzola pie]
[image: slice of potato and gorgonzola pie]

HOLY COW THIS IS SO GOOD. Stopping myself after two pieces was a struggle. I wasn’t sure whether to call it a quiche, since there’s just the one egg in it. The original recipe I read called for a tart pan, but since I didn’t have one, it’s now a pie.

I guess I could have done a better job arranging the potatoes, since that slice up there just looks like I stacked everything up vertically. I don’t even care though, it’s just too delicious.

1 pound small red potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1-4″ thick
1 cup heavy cream
1 egg
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme and rosemary
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pie crust, homemade or purchased (I bought one from Trader Joe’s because I’m lazy, but since it cracked while unrolling, I still had to take to it with a rolling pin to get it back together, thereby sort of undoing the convenience)

Heat oven to 350.

Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Add a dash of salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain.

Line a pie plate with the crust, trimming excess. Arrange potato slices in circles, overlapping each other. Sprinkle gorgonzola on top evenly.

Whisk the cream and egg together, then pour on top. Sprinkle herbs on top, as well as 1/2 tsp kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

Place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet and put in the oven. Bake at 350 for 45–60 minutes or until browned and bubbling (the original recipe called for 45, but I ended up going for an hour). Cool for a bit on a rack before slicing.

[image: potato and gorgonzola pie]
[image: potato and gorgonzola pie]