Easy as Pie!

26 Jul

It’s not apple season yet but at the Connolly Ranch where I run my cooking camp there is a tree and it does have apples. They apples are TART, well downright sour I’d say. The kids don’t seem to mind though, they eat them because they get to pick them! Mostly they are used for making fresh pressed apple juice with the ol’ press. The juice is divine but as for eating the apples could use another few months on the tree.

When it comes to kids they don’t seem to care if the fruit is in season or if it has hit it’s maximum sweetness I know this because all 130 kids at my camp enjoyed these apples. My daughter loved them so much that she smuggled home about 10 apples and asked if we could make pie! I thought “pie, in July, from apples…not exactly the fruit I’d choose. How about we use cherries or peaches I asked?”
Her response, “nope we have these green apples from the ranch, I want to use these,” I agreed.  I did remember that I had a lump of pie dough in the freezer from last summer (it was Food Saved so don’t think I was using some old freezer burned dough)  The great part was that I had worked cheddar cheese to the dough in an attempt to make a “fun flavorful” dough.

Cutting apples with kids can be scary until their knife skills get better…we used a chopper. I cut the apples and gave her the chopper to chop them with.  I told her to chop them very small so they would cook faster. She loved whacking the apples and obliterating them!
The easy thing about pie is you don’t need a pie dish, free form pies or tarts are fun because they always look so pretty and rustic. You can pass of the “rustic” tart or pie as beautiful, anytime!
We needed a way to sweeten the apples without dumping a bunch of sugar on them and recently my daughter discovered that she likes apricot preserves. I wanted to use up the jar we had so I suggested it and she agreed.
Kids seem to love kitchen tools and the more you use the more skills they can gain in the kitchen.
We used a rubber pastry brush (not pictured) to spread warmed jam on the crust, they are perfect for this job easy to clean.  Warming and stirring the preserves makes them easy to spread.  After spreading the jam we added our apples, some droplets of butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar for richness and a pinch of salt.
I taught her how to fold the crust up so the sweet goodness wouldn’t leak out.
We baked it for 1/2 hour at 400F and it was amazing!!! She was so proud of her pie!!

4 Responses to “Easy as Pie!”

  1. Anka High Chair September 6, 2011 at 2:01 AM #

    Love this recipe! Can't wait to prepare this!

  2. snow white costume toddler August 7, 2011 at 5:37 PM #

    I wish I had found this earlier, I could've used this for my toddler class' nutrition month activity! Great post!

  3. Lise August 3, 2011 at 1:53 PM #

    Brilliant, going to have a go at this with my small monster this week. Had never thought of using apricot preserve to sweeten the apples in place of sugar. Shall follow you for more useful ideas!

  4. Kim July 26, 2011 at 2:05 PM #

    I love this, can't wait to make it!

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