Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pie blogging, by request

Apparently, my wife and I aren't the only fans of crystallized ginger. It's delicious in apple pie (which is what got us hooked), and another favorite place to use the stuff is chopped up fine in cream cheese icing (itself a miracle of culinary inspiration, one of those pieces of simple perfection), and spread on carrot cake.

I can't claim too much credit for this recipe, it came from a book, a gift from my not-quite-yet-then mother-in-law ten years ago, almost to the day. Evidently it won a blue ribbon by somebody named Wende. The original recipe calls for Granny Smith apples, which I'm pretty sure we've never tried in any of our yearly attempts. Our own experiments are mostly to find the right variety of forbidden fruit, preferring it a little less firm, a little more flavorful. Gravensteins have been the best-tasting so far, which are available for about one delicious August week, but resulting pie the comes out a little soupy when warm, even if it sets nicely when it cools.

Also, even if you can get away with sweet-ass bourbon when you're cooking with it, that doesn't work with fruity liquors. You'll be better off here getting decent apple brandy.


- about 5 cups of sliced apples, enough to fill the plate well high of the top
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 4 oz. (or so, we usually guess up) of crystallized ginger, chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- butter (it makes everything better)
- pie crust (if you're considering buying one, you're not allowed to use this recipe)

Do the usual. Toss all the ingredients (except the butter) together and dump 'em into the bottom crust. Dot the top with butter, then put the top crust on. Do an egg wash if you like it shiny. Bake at 375 °F for an hour, or until the juices are nice and bubbly. Cool and enjoy.


hipparchia said...

i'm going to have to try both of these. it wol=uld never in ahundred years have occurred to me to add ginger to the frosting on carrot cake, but it sounds delightful.

non-desserty, my favorite recipe so far: split acorn squash in half, fill center hollow with crystallized ginger and walnuts, add a dollop of maple syrup if you like, and a bit of butter, and bake till done.

mbewon: obi-wan goes to tazania

Keifus said...

Cool. The squash thing sounds like it will be very popular.