What to do when an Apple falls from the fridge?

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Earlier this week, my Husband in an attempt to get to a Pomegranate, dropped a large Granny Smith Apple.  The poor apple bounced several times on the tile and rolled.  The only thing it did not do was split open.  Now, I must admit I am one of those people that takes my time picking my produce and makes sure it has no dents or damage, so you when I picked up the apple….let’s say it was misshapen!  I told him not to worry that I will think of something to do with the poor thing.  The apple did not give me time as it began to bruise and by morning and had large brown spots!

I have never worked with fruit pectin and always have wanted to that I even have a few boxes (so many plans I have but I do not always accomplish them).  The apple was too small to even make a small pie, as I have the pie pans to do so with.  Not in the mood to just munch on a cold apple on a cold day, my alternative was “pocket pies”.  I purchased a pie making machine at Macy’s, which comes with a dough cutter (one for the bottom portion of a pie and a small circle that serves as the top).  I always have rounds “pre-cut” and placed in the freezer so it makes it easier to use.  This apple (well, what remained) was not even big enough to supply filling for 4 mini pies, as that is what the machine makes.  So, I just used the “pre-cut” dough and figured I wing it!

Recipe:
1 Granny Smith apple that was large at one point but after peeling and sculpting, it was more like a medium sized apple
A thin pat of butter (unsalted)
1/4 tsp of white sugar and since I store my used Vanilla Beans in it, I took out a 1/2 inch bean from the sugar and added it to my mix.
A little dash of cinnamon and grating of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of Fruit Pectin (I used the Ball branded one)
1 egg used as a wash and also to seal your pies (I just used a fork for crimping)

I started by just melting the slim pat (it was practically a shaving) of butter on the stove.  Once that dissolved in the pan, I added the sugar and stirred until it dissolved and began to bubble.  I then added the apple (cut into squares and some pieces looked like triangles), the spices, and the used vanilla bean I retrieved from the sugar canister.  I cooked that for a minute on low heat and then added the Fruit Pectin (stirred some more).  I cooked that for 2 minutes and since I dislike mushy apple filling, I left a crisp still in the apples, keeping in mind they would further cook when I bake the pies.  I also liked how quick and nicely the pectin thickened the juices!

DSCN1328Before Baking and you can see I just used a pizza pan and some parchment paper to bake them on.

To assemble your pies, you allow the filling to cool first.  I then took rounds of dough that were equal in size and plopped about a tablespoon and a half of filling in the center.  I took the top portion of the dough and used a piping tip as a cutter to remove a circle from the dough.  I did this because the pie needs to breathe when baked…you don’t want to make apple bombs in the oven :).  I did not want to discard the little round so I used a toothpick to shape it into a heart and added it to the top of my pie.  You literally use your ravioli making technique and just add egg wash to the dough bottom of your pie, put the top on, crimp with a fork and then egg wash the top.  I then just used the egg wash as my glue to stick my mini heart on.

DSCN1329I was just able to yield 3 small Apple Pies but the Apple was saved!

These came out so good that I ventured into making preserves for the first time.  I made strawberry, blackberry and blueberry.  So simple and because I can control the sugar and fruit content, we ended up with berry full jars (no skimping here) and not overly sweet.  I used the berry preserves later to make pies and berry squares…..but that is next week’s post 🙂

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Enjoy the weekend!

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