Focus in on the delights of the kitchen and the table with ...

Janice Cole's 20-minute apple pie is gorgeously good, and so beautiful coming out of the oven in my cast-iron skillet.

My friend Janice Cole writes a delightful and unique blog, one you will want to visit often. Here is where you’ll find it:

Not only will you find excellent recipes from a superb food writer and great smart cook, you will also be able to befriend and follow the Three Swingin’ Chicks. I’ll let you discover Janice and her girls by clicking over to her blog for a visit. I’m here today to talk about Janice’s wonderful, simple, rewarding apple pie recently posted there. Had I only read the headline “20-Minute Apple Pie” out in the world, I’d have passed it by with a snort and a “yeah, right!”. But it was from Janice and it came with a most tempting photograph; and this being pie month, I knew I had a job to do…

Serve this apple in bowls, for breakfast as well as for dessert. Warm is nice, with ice cream, whipped cream or a generous pour of cream or evaporated milk.

I picked up a few Granny Smith apples and a box of frozen puff pastry from the grocery store, and the following night, I turned on the oven, set out the puff pastry to thaw, peeled and sliced the apples, mixed up the spice-sugar mixture, and put it all into my trusty cast iron skillet. Twenty minutes was all the prep time needed, indeed, and cooking time was only 35 or 40 minutes, the last few minutes perfumed by that fine fall fragrance of baking apples and cinnamon. It browned handsomely, even in my gas-fired oven, which doesn’t always provide for me in that department, and the pie came out juicy and divinely delicious. If you know or read Janice Cole, you won’t be surprised that her recipes are excellent, but you’ll be grateful, as am I, and you will stock up on frozen puff pastry and keep a bowl of tart apples on the dining room table, both as centerpiece and as ticket to a busy-night, easy-as, A-is-for-apple pie. And while it cools down just a little bit, you can click over to check up on the girls, those three swingin’ chicks at Janice’s place on the web.

Autumn pleasure in a bowl.

Janice Cole’s 20-Minute Apple Pie

from “Three Swingin’ Chicks”

Janice writes: “This pie is topped with a puff pastry crust over an apple crisp-style filling made with tart apples, raisins, brown sugar, and spices. Serve it topped with cinnamon ice cream or with plain yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon.

4 medium to large tart apples, peeled, sliced
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus additional for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 sheet puff pastry (from 17.3 oz. pkg.) thawed according to package directions
milk to brush over crust
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Heat oven to 425ºF. Spray a 9×2-inch deep dish casserole or pie plate with nonstick cooking spray. Toss the apples, raisins, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl. Pile the apple mixture into the casserole.

Lay the puff pastry over the top of the casserole and trim away the excess pastry with a small knife or scissors. Brush the pastry with milk, sprinkle with granulated sugar and lightly dust with cinnamon. Lightly score pastry with knife to decorate, if desired, and make a small vent hole in the center.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the apples are tender. Cool 30 minutes on wire rack to serve warm, or cool completely.

Serves 6  ”

This recipe comes from Janice Cole’s blog,  “Three Swingin’ Chicks” . Used with permission. Copyright Janice Cole 2010, all rights reserved.

About the Author
Nancie McDermott is a food writer and cooking teacher, and the author of ten cookbooks. Her passion is researching and celebrating traditional food in its cultural context, and her beloved subjects are two seemingly different places with much in common: the cuisines of Asia and of the American South. Nancie gained her Southern kitchen wisdom as a Piedmont North Carolina native,and her Asian culinary research commenced soon after college, when she was sent to northeastern Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer.

Leave a Reply