Monday, November 3, 2008

Crunchy Topped Apple Pie

My husband worked for a tree doctor during college at A&M. (He would insert something like, “Whoop, or Go Ags” here.) Needless to say, the man knows a few things about trees. One of his most favorite fruit trees is an apple tree. He has books on them, enjoys doing research about them, talks to people at nurseries, etc. His most favorite apple is called a Honey Crisp. Ahh, the honey crisp, let me tell you I have heard a lot about this apple. Its name gives away the taste. A juicy, crisp apple that seems like it has been injected with honey. One of the saddest days was when he found out that you can not plant them in our part of the world. So, about this time every year you can find this apple in grocery stores. It is like Christmas to him. To me, it means shelling out big bucks for at least 6 apples to make an apple pie.
I do not mind making this pie when my husband does all of the apple chopping. My knife skills are horrendous. I love this recipe because of the topping which is has a caramelized, crunchy, nutty flavor, wonderful. It is also the only time that I use the blue label Karo syrup. You see, this recipe came from one of my most favorite church cookbooks, the Park Street Baptist Church 1972 edition. Love it. If you have, use it. Great stuff in there. The first time I tried this dessert, I had to do some research on the “Blue Label Karo”. I even called the company to make sure that in the 70’s the blue label had the same meaning as it does today. It is not unusual for me to call or write companies. I think I probably do it more than the average person. Don’t even get me started on the Libby’s pumpkin people and a recipe for a Pumpkin Trifle I had trouble with one time. Okay, so bringing this topic back to the recipe, my big warning to you is, this pie is a MESS! Taste great, looks kind of ugly. Unless you enjoy cleaning harden gooey stuff off of the bottom of your oven, put this pie on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Also, it is almost impossible to cut a proper piece. I gave up a long time ago and just started using a big spoon and told myself that it was cobbler in a round pan. The recipe says to put the pie back in the oven after you spread the topping for 10 minutes. Put it back in and stand there and watch it. I have made this pie in a couple of different ovens and they all varied greatly. Finally, you do not have to use a Honey Crisp apple. Any good baking apple will be great.

Crunchy Topped Apple Pie
2 9-inch pie crust (I use Pillsbury Rolled Pie crust)
6 medium sized apples, sliced thin
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp melted butter
1/3 cup Karo Blue Label Syrup (dark)
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp flour
3 tbsp Karo Blue Label Syrup (dark)
2 tbsp softened butter
¼ cup chopped nuts

Unroll one crust and place in the bottom of pie pan. Fill bottom crust with apples. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch, cinnamon, salt, sugar, butter, and syrup. Pour over apples.
Cover with top crust and bake in a 425 degree oven for 45 minutes or until crust is browned and apples are tender. (Pie should be placed on a cookie sheet to protect oven.)
For topping, mix brown sugar, flour, syrup, butter, and nuts in a small bowl. Spread over top of pie and return to oven for 10 minutes or until topping is bubbly (watch carefully).

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