In college I lived in a house with nine other women. Sometimes I wonder if this was God preparing this sister to brothers only for a daughter only household. One thing I did find was what it is like to have sisters in a very communal living environment. We would all put money into groceries and share meals every Monday through Thursday night. Two people would sign up at the beginning of the quarter to cook one dinner, while two others would sign up for the clean up.
Needless to say, I ALWAYS signed up for cooking. I lived in a grand ole, late 1800s house for two years. In my final quarter, I signed up for Thursday dinner. In Bellingham, there is a whispering of magic in the Spring...it speaks of hope. The days grow longer, and the wind more gentle. So, when I proposed to my cooking partner to make Thursday nights "Pie Night," her midwestern spirit came unglued with praise.
Apple pie was my first ever pie to make. I would make it over and over and over again. Mounds of cinnamon and fresh nutmeg mixed with sugar over tart sliced apples. Is anything else as wholesome and comforting as this? Well, maybe a hot toddy alongside.
I realized how I haven't made an apple pie in ions, which quickly needed to be rectified seeing as Gravenstein apples sang to me at Joe's Garden. They are in my humble and very correct opinion, the best apple to use for an apple pie. They are tart, but not sour. They hold up well through the baking process leaving you with a slightly resistance. The only negative is their small window of availability. I also understand that outside of the PNW, some have never heard of them.
Don't let the lack of Gravensteins detour you from making this tart. Simply purchase some Granny Smiths. But, wherever you are, know this. Homemade, warm apple pie counts for ultimate soul food & is definitive in how to 'share the table.'
What would you say is your favorite pie to share during Autumn season? How come something as simple as pie can create such warmth within a person's soul?
Don't miss on the 31 days to Share the Table (you can find all the days here), and subscribe to Redeeming the Table here. Join in over at RTT Facebook page as we share ideas and create the conversation of sharing the table. Finally, you can follow along via my Instagram. Be sure to tag your photos with #sharethetable
Apple Crumb Tart (printable recipe)
Confession, I made two little tartlettes and an apple turnover and this tart with the amount of apples I have in this recipe. However, I did that because I was wanting to make more, and I feel like the tart could use all of these apples. So there is the disclaimer.
5-6 Gravenstein apples, peeled & sliced about 1/8 in
1 Tb ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp vanilla
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup real maple syrup
2 Tb coconut oil
1/2 cup coconut sugar
2 Tb ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup almond flour
Put your peeled, sliced apples into a large bowl. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, vanilla, juice of 1/2 lemon, maple syrup & coconut oil. Stir to combine. Allow for the apples to sit in this lovely mixture from 30 minutes to 6 hours if need be. Thirty minutes is just fine though.
While the apples are soaking up the spices, make the pie crust and crumb topping. For the crumb topping, it's relatively easy and you can add more or less cinnamon if you'd like. Using a medium bowl, put all of the crumb ingredients inside. Using a fork, mix and mash a little to combine. Taste to see if it's to your liking.
Preheat your oven to 425.
With the dough you can either roll it out, or simply press it into the tart pan. If you opt to make this into a pie, I suggest rolling it out. Once your pan is nicely lined with the crust, pour all those glorious apples inside. It will be chock full, so eating a couple isn't the end of the world (wink).
Then, take your crumb mixture and sprinkle it over the entire apple surface.
Place your tart into the oven and bake at 425 for 10 minutes. Once 10 minutes is done, lower your temperature to 350 and make for an additional 22-25 minutes. Check on it around the 20 minute mark to ensure it's coming along just fine. I always rely on touch and smell at this point.
Allow it to cool for about 10-15 minutes, and serve slightly warm.