Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Birthday Treat : Sour Cream Apple Pie

Make. This. Pie. Now. 

This post could easily consist of those four simple words. So, if you're satisfied with my demand go ahead, scroll down to the end of the post, copy down this recipe, and get your behind in the kitchen! If, however, you need a little more convincing and thus aren't prey to my bossy nature, read on!

Tuesday was my mothers birthday. So, naturally, I was given dessert duty. First, she requested a chocolate version of the cheesecake cupcakes I posted recently. A few hours later I got a phone call, she'd changed her mind (good thing I'd decided to wait until the day of to make dessert, or I may have already been deep in chocolate cake batter). She had spied the stunning brightly colored apples ripening in the yard on a visit earlier that day and decided that she wanted apple pie for her birthday. I was fairly happy to oblige, I say 'fairly' because the idea of pie crust generally sends shivers down my spine. Luckily she wanted half crust (on the bottom of the pie) and half streusel (on the top, naturally), which is exactly the way I like my apple pie. Gosh, you'd think we we're related. . . ha!

Speaking of my apple pie, I should confess, I never use a recipe. It's just so unnecessary. All you really need for a good pie are a bushel of tart apples, sugar (I like both brown and white), cinnamon, maybe a bit of ginger, nutmeg and/or cardamom, a touch of flour perhaps, and a good streusel. Come September for the last 5 (or more) years, without fail, I've made an apple pie. Seeing as this was going to be my first pie of the season I wanted to try something a little different. Regardless of the fact that I wait months for September to arrive so that I can make apple pie, I was bored with the idea of my same old, same old, apple pie. That's when I stumbled upon a recipe for sour cream apple pie. Have you ever heard of such a thing? Well, have you? I never had, that's for sure! I found the pictures displayed on countless foodie sites, of what appeared to be perfectly cooked apples suspended in a silky custard, absolutely irresistible. Let me repeat, irr-esis-tible.

This pie did not disappoint. All of the sour cream apple pie recipes I sought out failed to use any kind of spice though, it's really just vanilla and lemon to flavor the filling. I abhorred the idea of leaving out my oh-so autumn flavors, and threw a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg both into the filling and the streusel. The result was apple pie heaven. Sure, a little different, but worthy of any special occasion or Thanksgiving table, and surely much different than any apple pie I've ever seen or tasted. Most of the lucky consumers loved it, warm especially. The boyfriend was the only one who didn't care for it, claiming it just didn't taste like the classic cinnamon laden pie he has grown to look forward to each fall. I have to tell you, that man often surprises me with his traditionalist tastebuds.

Flaky all butter pate brisee (perfect recipe via elise over at Simply Recipes), topped with apples that have been sauteed in a bit of sugar and butter with a touch of spice, a mixture that is then tossed with a bright lemon scented sour cream vanilla bean studded filling (whoa), poured into the buttery crust, and topped with a healthy portion of crispy streusel lumps, all baked to golden perfection. If you dare, top with a scoop of ice cold vanilla ice cream. I don't know how you could complain about such a masterpiece, a wonderful new (for me) take on a classic.

Sour Cream Apple Pie


9 cups tart apples, peeled and sliced
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon high quality cinnamon
a pinch (or two) ground nutmeg
one round of pate brisee prepared, chilled, and ready to go in a large 8 or 9 inch pie dish
1 3/4 cups sour cream
1 vanilla bean scraped, or 1 teaspoon vanilla
zest of one small lemon placed in a small dish
2 eggs
streusel (recipe below)


1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (one stick) butter unsalted butter, melted
1/2 of the lemon zest from above
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt

1. Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, until well combined, and crumbly. Set aside.

Pie Directions: 

1. Place butter, apples, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg into a large skillet over medium heat. Saute for about 5 minutes (perhaps more depending on the size of your slices) until softened. Set aside and allow to cool a bit.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, mix your sour cream, vanilla (bean or extract), half of your zest (reserve the other half for the streusel), and the eggs. Whisk until well combined.
3. Pour sour cream mixture over apple mixture and stir until combined.
4. Pour sour creamed apples into brisee prepared pie dish. Top with streusel.
5. Start the oven at 400 F and bake for 15 minutes covered with tin foil at this heat.
6. Reduce oven to 375, keep pie covered, and cook an additional 15 minutes.
7. Reduce heat a final time and bake an additional 20-30 minutes until crust and crumble is golden and crunchy.
8. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes.
9. Devour!

Now, I dare you to tell me this pie isn't exciting, and unworthy of the extra steps. . . .


RamblingTart said...

What a divine birthday pie, Mallory! :-) I've never had sour cream apple pie but your description is pure heaven!! :-)

RachelleLouise said...

Out of control.