Monday, November 9, 2009

Apple Polishing

Every year as fall approaches my husband gets excited about two things - football and apple pie. This year being no exception he started with the subtle hints ("Ooh, apples are in season!"), moved up to not-so-subtle hints ("You know, I really, really like apple pie."), and when no signs of apple pie making appeared in the kitchen, he went for the throat ("If you love me, you'll make me an apple pie," said with enormous Bambi eyes and the trembling lower lip).

Well, for crying out loud, I'll make the pie!

And not just any pie. I had plans for making the ultimate apple pie. The deepest of deep dish apple pies. The apple pie that would force all others to admit inadequacy. The recipe I chose used a springform pan. That's how seriously deep dish it is. And it took 5-6 pounds of apples. Oh, yeah, and it had a streusel topping, too. This big bad boy was going to be awesome!

But the transition from awesome sounding recipe to pie cooling on counter had a few problems. Because it took so long to bake, the crust got tough as dog biscuits. And the apples slices, which had been mounded over the rim when I put the pie in the oven, after cooling sunk down in the middle like a tire with a blowout. And the yummy streusel topping? The butter melted and left pools of grease over the top. Tasty grease, yes, but still not attractive.

I was so disappointed I took no pictures. Instead I'm going to share with you what I did with the leftovers.

When I peeled and cored the apples, I saved those bits in a saucepan, covered them with water, tossed in a cinnamon stick, and let it simmer for an hour or so.

When the water cooled, I strained out the bits and poured the apple water in a jar and stored it in the refrigerator. Why? Because it makes fabulous oatmeal. Replace regular water with the apple water, add chunks of apples to the cooking oatmeal, top with a bit of brown sugar and some cream if you're feeling decadent. You won't believe how wonderful it smells and tastes - full of apples and heady with cinnamon. I promise you you'll never go back to store-bought flavored oatmeals!

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

- makes 2 servings

2/3 cup apple water made from organic apple peels and cores*
1/3 cup rolled oats
handful of chopped apple (peel on is fine)

1- In a small saucepan, bring the apple water to a boil. Add the oats and stir to mix. Add the apple chunks.

2- Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the oatmeal is the desired consistency. I like it just when it stops looking soupy.

3- Ladle into bowls and top as you like with brown sugar, milk, or cream. My parents like a blob of peanut butter on theirs, but I think that messes with the consistency.

*This is one place where I must put my dainty foot down and insist on organic. A lot of the pesticide residue on apples is found in the peels and to boil the peels concentrates the residue into the apple water. A bowl of oatmeal in the morning is a delicious, warming breakfast for your family. A bowl of pesticides is not.

Note: the portions I used are for the serving size I like. For heartier appetites, use 1/2 cup oats per person. For daintier eaters, use 1/4 cup oats. The apple water is always in a 2 to 1 ratio with the oats. Twice as much water as oats. Isn't this the easiest recipe ever?


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

No worries about no photos - it SOUNDS fabulous; and I love the leftovers usage!

Yep, organic apples are a MUST around here as well.

Homemade Heaven said...

Now that is waste not want not! I am very impressed - I will say you spoke a really good pie - you'll have to still show us how you make the "eat your heart out, if you love me" pie!

sarah said...

This looks super good. Glad to see you had the little shout out to organics ;-)

grace said...

well, bless your heart. bless your heart for attempting the ultimate apple pie. bless your heart for not letting the scraps go to waste and instead creating something heavenly with them. bless your heart for even thinking that anyone's foot is ever dainty--i'll be darned if feet aren't the ugliest things in this world. :)

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Hope you're all feeling much better:D This will surely have you on the mend.

Melinda said...

Oh dear! Is this the pie that was in the oven while we were talking to each other?
So disappointing! Did 'Bambi eyes' cry? Oh no, I hate it when Bambi cries. So sad.

I still like my apple pie I made last year best of all. It is my future apple pie contest winner and will bring me fame and fortune. Yep, it will. Send Bambi over here.

I do love your idea with the peelings. That is such a good, VERY good idea! There are no flies on you, 'Martha' Lynn!
I am going to try out your idea. I love oatmeal with apples.
I totally agree with you on buying organic pesticide free apples, as God intended.

Abby said...

I love this idea! My little one loves apples and eats them every day, and I've been wondering how on earth to reuse the peel and core.

Maria said...

I love oatmeal, I eat it every morning. I will have to try your apple version this week.

Lien said...

No ultimate apple pie this time, but ultimate oatmeal (I love oatmeal!). Great tip for using leftovers.

Anonymous said...

Well at least the leftovers ended up being delicious :)

CookiePie said...

What a perfect solution - and the oatmeal looks yummy!

Dolce said...

Well, this is a good recipe for leftover indeeds.
And I am sure you will make another apple pie for your husband and share the next pics with us!

Debbie said...

The oatmeal is a great idea....I've had similar experiences...many!!!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Aw, I'm so sorry to hear that, Lynn. I have had similar experiences. Notice that's plural. ;) I love the dialogue with you and your husband, btw. Men are masters of subtlety, aren't they?

Barbara said...

Great save!
We all have our fair share of screwups! You turned yours to success.

kickpleat said...

I eat oatmeal almost every morning during the winter. Apple water? Sounds good!

Elle said...

Thats too bad about the pie...but it sounds like it should be a wonderful pie. Love the oatmeal with apples...sounds a lot like what I eat for breakfast.

CaSaundraLeigh said...

I hope I get a husband who begs me for pie--even if he doesn't I will be makin it! :-)

Deborah said...

I'm not usually an oatmeal fan, but that apple water tip is one that has me wanting to make this!