Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Apple Hill to Apple Pie

Just last year was I introduced to the fall phenomenon known as Apple Hill.  Now, I'll back up a few years.  I was born and grew up for a good portion of my life in Indiana.  I remember Fall as crispy cool weather where you are just about seeing your breath when you walk outside.  Having to wear coats alongside your Halloween costume which so ruined the purpose of the costume. ;-)  Where raking leaves (and your neighbors leaves) just to get the largest pile known to man was a FUN idea and then stuffing them into those cool pumpkin trash bags in the end.  But ultimately, to be able to travel up to Michigan to pick apples was one of my favorite Fall memories.  I remember getting barrels and barrels of apples and running up and down the aisles of the apple trees.  I even think we took our beloved red wagon like the one above in my logo to gather our barrels.  This was always what defined Fall for me and why I love it so much.  It's being with family, the colors, the foods, the activities, the weather, the holidays.  I love it all!!!

So back to Apple Hill...this place represents for me everything I love about Fall in Indiana.  Apple Hill is basically a ton of orchards all in one place.  Some have U-pick fruit besides apples like berries and pears, and others have U-pick pumpkins, cider presses, crafts, baked goods, picnic areas, etc.

Mike and I took our annual trip to Apple Hill this past weekend.  A couple things on my list when we go:

1) Must get an apple fritter from High Hill Ranch...although I've been told those at Rainbow Orchards put up a good fight.  (I'll have to try them next year!)
2) Barsotti Apple Cider - it's literally like drinking a liquid apple.
3) A couple caramel apples for Mike
4) Picking out the perfect pumpkin to carve for Halloween
5) Checking out all the country crafty goodness.

This year we actually went and picked some apples from Pine O' Mine knowing I was going to make some version of an apple pie.

I saw this wonderfully easy Mini Apple Pie recipe on Cookin' Up North, but I took some creative liberties as I always do :-)

Now, Laurie used one whole package of pie crust in her recipe.  I only used half since I didn't want to be eating 16 mini pies between the BF and I.  But sadly, I didn't notice this until my two apples were peeled and sliced.  Soo...that's where my creative liberties come in.

The Recipe:

1/4 Cup of white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 package of refrigerated pie crust
2 tbsp. melted butter
1 medium tart apple (I chose Granny Smith's) cut into 8 wedges

First, in a small bowl mix together the sugar and cinnamon.  Set aside, 1 tbsp of the mixture for topping.

Then, peel and cut the apple.  

On lightly floured cookie sheet, roll out half a package of pie crust.  Brush 1 tbsp. melted butter onto the surface.
With a pizza cutter, cut pie crust into 8 even slices.  

Sprinkle the large mixture of cinnamon/sugar onto the pie crust and use the brush to spread evenly over the surface.  

Roll one wedge of apple per pie slice.  

Brush the remaining 1 tbsp of melted butter on the tops of pies and sprinkle the saved 1 tbsp of cinnamon/sugar over the top of each slice.  

Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes.  (More like 12)

Apple Topping: What is that you say? There's no apple topping in the original recipe?  Nope, there's not...but again, since I only wanted 8 mini pies I had some extra wedges to use.

My Apple Topping Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
6 tbsp. butter
3 large spoon fulls of brown sugar
1 tart apple peeled and cut into small chunks.

An apple topping for the apple pie....a little guttenous?  Maybe, but I didn't want to be wasteful with my remains and to be honest, it PERFECTED the dish and took it to a-whole-nother level!

So take the butter, cinnamon, and sugars and heat on medium in a small saucepan until it boils and add the apple chucks.  Turn heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes, the liquid will start to get a little sticky.  And pour over apple pies as desired.  I used a little drizzle technique.

 Enjoy and maybe add some vanilla ice cream! That would've really been the cherry on top :-)

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