Print Story Meh Pie
By Gedvondur (Mon Nov 06, 2017 at 05:54:42 PM EST) food, pie, pie die pie, meh (all tags)
In this episode, I make a pie and it's...meh 

Four and Twenty Blackbirds Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Serves eight to ten people
1 cup and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
1/4 cup of water
1/4 pound (1 stick) of unsalted butter
1/2 cup of heavy cream
2 lemons
6 to 7 baking apples (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 to 3 dashes Angostura bitters
1/3 cup of raw sugar
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 grind of fresh black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon flake sea salt, plus more for finishing
Egg wash (1 large egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water and a pinch of salt)
Demerara sugar, for finishing

*You should have a refrigerated pastry-lined 9-inch pie pan ready, along with lattice strips to top off the pie.


1. Whisk together 1 cup of the granulated sugar and the water in a medium saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat until the sugar is just dissolved.
2. Add the butter and bring to a slow boil. Continue cooking over medium heat until the mixture turns a deep golden brown, almost copper.
3. Remove from the heat and immediately but slowly add the heavy cream — be careful, the mixture will bubble rapidly and steam. Whisk the final mixture together well and set aside to cool while you prepare the apple filling.
4. Juice the lemons into a large mixing bowl, removing any seeds. Prepare the apples using an apple-peeling machine; or core, peel, and thinly slice them with a sharp knife or on a mandoline. Dredge the apple slices in the lemon juice. Sprinkle lightly with the remaining 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Set aside to soften slightly and release some of the juices, 20 to 30 minutes.
5. In a small bowl, sprinkle the Angostura bitters over the raw sugar. Add the cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, black pepper, kosher salt, and flour, and mix well. Add the prepared apples to the sugar-spice mixture, leaving behind any excess liquids. Gently turn the apples to evenly distribute the spice mix.
6. Tightly layer the apples in the prepared pie shell so that there are minimal gaps, mounding the apples slightly higher in the center. Pour a generous 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of the caramel sauce evenly over the apples (use the larger quantity of sauce if you’d like a sweeter pie). Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the flake sea salt. Assemble the lattice on top of the pie and crimp the edges as desired.
7. Chill the pie in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to set the pastry.
8. Meanwhile, position the oven racks in the bottom and center positions, place a rimmed baking sheet on the bottom rack and preheat the oven to 400°F.
9. Brush the pastry with the egg wash to coat, being careful not to drag the caramel onto the pastry (it will burn), and sprinkle with the desired amount of demerara sugar and flake sea salt.
10. Place the pie on the rimmed baking sheet on the lowest rack of the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the pastry is set and beginning to brown.
11. Lower the oven temperature to 375°F, move the pie to the center oven rack, and continue to bake until the pastry is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 30 to 35 minutes longer.
12. Test the apples for doneness with a skewer or sharp knife; they should be tender and should offer just the slightest resistance.
13. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack, two to three hours. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The pie will keep for three days if refrigerated, or for two days at room temperature.


Sunday November 5 2017 - Made this. It’s been on this list FOREVER and I finally broke down and made it. It was a shit-ton of work and I have to say not really worth it. On the plus side, I got to make caramel for the first time and it was crazy good. On the bad side...well I don’t know, maybe it was the “baking apples” that left this a bit mushy. Other versions of this recipe recommend all Granny Smith or a mixture to offset the sweetness. Maybe I didn’t drain them enough after the maceration, because the resulting pie had a *lot* more liquid than it should have had. It tasted good, but the apple flavor, weak already from baking apples instead of something tarter/firmer, was lost to the caramel and sea salt. Online comments came to the same conclusion, that the pie was watery and while it was good, even with some granny smith apples in the mix it was too sweet and too much work for a pie that was only *okay* at best. Wife liked it. It was good, but honestly I wouldn’t go through all that work for a pie that was just *ok*. So this one gets rated “meh” and fuck me.
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Meh Pie | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden)
WIPO by miserere (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Nov 07, 2017 at 09:25:47 AM EST
Pie is always better than cake.

I always have that problem with apple pies - they're fine, but not great, mostly due to mushiness, wateriness, or my ineptitude as a baker (or some combination of the three). Still, the idea of that sounds awesome, and it seems like with tweaking, you could have a great pie.

It's possible by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Nov 07, 2017 at 12:36:12 PM EST
I've come up with a few ideas to fix the liquid problem and using tart apples might help...but I think at the end of the day it would be easier to make a *good* apple pie and add home-made caramel and sea salt on top of it, rather than integrating it into the pie.  So now on to the quest for a good apple pie......

[ Parent ]
Do you have Bramley apples in the US? by ambrosen (4.00 / 2) #3 Tue Nov 07, 2017 at 02:02:33 PM EST
They're undoubtedly the best apples for pies, in UK tradition.

[ Parent ]
Pie is... by dark nowhere (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed Nov 08, 2017 at 03:17:37 AM EST
well hold up. There is some debate about whether cheesecake is really a pie. And then there's pizza pies, are they really pies? I mean, papers please. Am I right?

What I am saying is cheesecake muy├╝ber pizza. Sorry for being weird, but this is important.

See you, space cowboy.

[ Parent ]
In Chicago, pizzas are pies by lm (4.00 / 1) #9 Sat Nov 11, 2017 at 10:48:12 AM EST
Other places they're just called pies.

I was unaware of the cheese cake/pie argument. I'm going to troll all my relatives this holiday season.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Not a fight for the lay-peeps by dark nowhere (2.00 / 0) #10 Sat Nov 11, 2017 at 12:34:12 PM EST
but if you get into food theory, cheesecake doesn't fit in the cake slot. I mean between lemon, lime, and cream pies, cheesecake is either pie or the missing link. But I think quiche is the missing link.

I wouldn't pick that fight though, it makes you a prescriptivist, which is a moral evil.

See you, space cowboy.

[ Parent ]
Only a prescriptivist would say that ... by lm (4.00 / 1) #11 Sat Nov 11, 2017 at 05:02:02 PM EST
... picking that fight makes you a prescriptivist.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
That's the joke by dark nowhere (2.00 / 0) #12 Sat Nov 11, 2017 at 07:18:01 PM EST
And not getting it says something about you :p

See you, space cowboy.

[ Parent ]
You have a weird sense of `not getting the joke' by lm (2.00 / 0) #13 Sat Nov 11, 2017 at 08:49:41 PM EST
But, as I'm not a prescriptivist, I won't say that's a bad thing.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Did you think by dark nowhere (2.00 / 0) #14 Sat Nov 11, 2017 at 09:32:13 PM EST
I was calling you a prescriptivist? Because I was calling you a troll. And you know it's true.

See you, space cowboy.

[ Parent ]
er, some pizzas are pies by wumpus (4.00 / 1) #15 Sun Nov 12, 2017 at 12:43:50 PM EST
There are also thin crust Chicago pizza. Often round and cut into squares. Another place made what I insist is Wisconsin pizza: fill the deep dish largely with cheese.

The only constant difference between Chicago and New York pizza is the lack of excessive grease.


Chicago pizza is a bit different, but still pizza. Nothing like the bizarre mutation that is Cincinnati chili (which is oddly good, but certainly not chili).

[ Parent ]
You lost me at "oddly good" by lm (4.00 / 1) #16 Sun Nov 12, 2017 at 03:14:44 PM EST
Although if we exclude Skyline and Gold Star, I'd probably agree. Well, except for the whole "certainly not chili" thing.

Anyway, it's just language games at this point. Just because botanically speaking all grains are fruits and all fruits are vegetables, that doesn't mean that we can't say that most fruits are not vegetables if we're speaking in a culinary context.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
Wouldn't four and twenty blackbirds be a meat pie? by lm (4.00 / 1) #4 Tue Nov 07, 2017 at 10:25:13 PM EST
Just saying.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
I.......I.... by Gedvondur (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Nov 08, 2017 at 11:16:52 AM EST
Can't argue with that. :-)

[ Parent ]
The best apple pies by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri Nov 10, 2017 at 08:39:40 PM EST
The rule I was taught is that you need ot mix your apples up. Generally, 1/3 sour apples (Granny Smiths), 1/3 sugary apples (Honey Crisps) and 1/3 tougher apples. (Fujis?)> 

An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
My best apple pie recipe... by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri Nov 10, 2017 at 08:41:41 PM EST
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"Whole cranberry sauce and brown sugar, combined with nutmeg and cinnamon, go into this great holiday apple pie."



6 apples

1 (16 ounce) can whole cranberry sauce

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a pie plate with pastry.

2. Peel, core, and slice the apples.

3. Combine apples and cranberry sauce in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg; add to the apple mixture. Mix thoroughly. Turn filling into the pastry lined pan. Cover with top crust. Crimp edges. Cut slits in top crust.

4. Bake for 1 hour, or until the crust is golden brown and the filling bubbly.


An Angry and Flatulent Pig, Trying to Tie Balloon Animals
[ Parent ]
Meh Pie | 16 comments (16 topical, 0 hidden)