Sunday, March 14, 2010

German Apple Pie for Pi Day

Pie is great any day, but especially when you can eat it in celebration of Pi Day! If you remember your math, the first digits in the number Pi are 3.14, and that's today: March 14! To mark this auspicious occasion, I'm featuring German Apple Pie, a family favorite around here, and a very easy way to enjoy delicious apple pie goodness.

n.o.e.'s notes:

- I found the recipe in the High Museum of Art Recipe Collection years ago, and it has become a cornerstone of my pie repertory. The recipe is at the end of this post, below. Here's a description of the nearly-30-year-old-cookbook:
"The High Museum of Art Recipe Collection, published by an art museum in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1981, contains four-color plates of museum paintings and features chapter headings such as "Dinner at Eight: Recipes for Seated Dinners at Home," which reveal a cosmopolitan community where gracious living and entertaining is the norm."
- "Community Cookbooks" topic on
- I've served this pie at dinner parties, and it's perfect because the filling - including the apples - can be prepared in advance and kept it in your fridge. Then you can bring it to room temp, pour it in your pie shell and bake the afternoon of your party.

- My favorite pie crust is the vodka one from Cook's Illustrated, but in a pinch I've used the pie dough from the refrigerator case in the grocery store (Shhhh, don't tell!)

- I've used plain yogurt in place of the sour cream; both make a delicious pie.

- This time I subbed 1/3 brown sugar in filling, and 1/2 brown sugar in topping.

- I used toasted pecans in topping this time, but I often use rolled oats.

- Usually my pie comes out of the oven with a nicely browned crumb topping, but this time it looked a bit anemic, so I decided to run it under the broiler to brown the topping at the end, almost burning it in the process.

the verdict:

I can't pretend to be very objective about this pie, which I've baked dozens of times over the past 20 or so years. It will satisfy that apple-dessert-lover in your life but not keep you buried in apple peels. If you have some pie crust hanging around in your fridge or freezer you can toss this pie together in minutes and have a warm, streusel-y pie an hour or so later.

The pie pictured above is not the prettiest version of this pie that I've ever made, but it is a great - and easy - apple pie, and I highly recommend it.

Happy Pi Day!

the recipe:

German Apple Pie

2 T flour
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 c sugar
1 egg
1 cup sour cream or full fat plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups sliced, peeled apples (about 2 medium apples)
1 deep dish pie shell, or deep baking dish for crustless pie

1/4 c sugar
1/4 c flour
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 c chopped nuts or oatmeal
1/4 c butter

1. Combine flour, salt, sugar, egg, sour cream, vanilla and nutmeg; beat well with spoon or fork - do not use blender.

2. Fold in apples. Pour into a pie shell or deep dish of equal volume.

3. Mix all ingredients for topping until crumbly; set aside.

4. Bake in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes, then lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake 35 minutes longer.

5. Remove from oven, sprinkle with topping, then return to oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Recipe contributed to cookbook by Ms. Jane Stanaland


Di said...

Yum! My favorite apple pie has crumbs on it, too. I've been wanting to make something for Pi Day, but I'm still trying to decide what. =)

Audrey said...

This recipe must be wonderful, since it has such a good pi-digree! (OK, that was very lame.) It's great to hear about all the new recipes people are trying, but I love it when you and others describe your old favorites.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Happy pi day!!

Unknown said...

Apple pie is my favorite - it's the epitome of comfort food to me! Your pie sounds awesome and since it comes so highly recommended I'll definitely be giving it a shot. Happy Pi Day :)

mike said...

Pie = sunday dessert. There are still so many great varieties of apples in the stores, and still cheap too. I will have to py this. I mean try this - along with the fridge crust - I'm sure my tarts/pies would be better with a professional crust!

NKP said...

Mmm, apple pie is the king of pie! May I please have a slab for breakfast?

Eliana said...

Awesome lookin pie Nancy :)

Julie said...

I totally missed having any pie for pi day! Wish I had had some of this :)

Jessica said...

Pie isn't my favorite dessert, but I do enjoy apple pie, and this version looks absolutely spectacular! I'm so intrigued by the sour cream/yogurt in the apple filling -- it seems like a delicious addition. I'm definitely bookmarking this recipe. Thanks for sharing it, Nancy!

Anonymous said...

I've never had a German apple pie. It sounds great. Happy Pi Day!

TeaLady said...

UUUMMMM!!!!!! Perfect.

Kayte said...

Mark's favorite, hands down, dessert is apple pie. I will give this one a try for him. Love brown sugar and apples together, they just seem so rich and tasty together. Probably that caramel type taste factor. Beautiful pie!

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