This could also be called “Skillet Apple Pie.”
Or “Grandma’s Apple Pie.”
I couldn’t decide… but “Cast Iron Apple Pie” seemed to work for me.
Earlier this week I wanted dessert, but I’m not eating any sugar. This brings me to muffins, scones and cobblers all made with fruit, fresh flour, and sweetened with maple syrup.
Wait a minute… Isn’t maple syrup sugar? Well, not really.
Maple syrup is basically tree juice that is boiled down until it’s thick. It is not processed and is a natural sweetener. Your body recognizes it as a food that can be properly used. Real maple syrup even contains nutrients that are good for you. For more on why maple syrup is not the same as sugar go here. For how we tap trees & make maple syrup go here.
I have to say, of all the desserts I have made “sugar free” this one wins. You would be hard pressed to figure out there was no sugar in it. The filling is sweet, creamy and bursting with apple. The crust is flaky, buttery and crisp on top. If I handed you a slice of this with a scoop of homemade, vanilla ice cream I’m pretty sure you’d be happy.
I found this cool recipe in a giant cookbook that I checked out from the library. It is “The America’s Test Kitchen- Cooking School Cookbook.”
I read recipe books like novels. When I take my kids to the library to get thier literature fix I always check out a few cookbooks.
I usually grab really old, cook books, but this one caught my attention. It doesn’t contain one can of cream soup. It uses whole foods. It is over 800 pages long. It has gorgeous pictures and is full of great recipes. I’ve been experimenting with several techniques and recipes from this book lately and all the trials have been roaring successes.
My most recent pick from this massive book was their Skillet Apple Pie. It caught my attention because the apple filling was sweetened with maple syrup instead of sugar. Yes! I LOOOOOVE cooking with maple syrup. Their recipe did include some sugar in addition to the maple syrup, so I took out the sugar and tweaked it a bit. It won a huge thumbs up from everyone in my house – and I assembled this in just a few minutes.
It’s super fast. All you’re going to do is:
- Make the dough
- Make the filling (in the cast iron skillet)
- Roll out the dough & place it over the filling (in the cast iron skillet)
- Shove it in the oven
If you like apple pie, you will love this. Serve it with some vanilla ice cream and you’ll be flabbergasted.
#1 MAKE THE DOUGH (FOR CRUST)
First, make the crust dough. This will be the top crust of the pie.
Add room temperature butter (not cold, you want to be able to smash it with a fork) to a mixing bowl. Add flour & salt & cut into the butter with pastry cutter, fork or food processor. You want pea sized bits of butter covered with flour. Add maple syrup and egg and stir. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough comes together. Wrap dough disk and refrigerate.
If you are new to making pie go here for a great tutorial with tons of pictures.
Once the crust is made, it’s time for the filling.
#2 MAKE FILLING (IN CAST IRON SKILLET)
First, peel and slice 5-6 apples. I used Gala because that’s all I had in the house. Granny Smith would probably be even better.
Toss the apple slices, butter, maple syrup, salt and cinnamon into the cast iron skillet.
Let cook on medium until the apples are getting soft.
Add the flour. I am using whole-wheat, fresh milled flour.
Stir in the flour. The sauce will thicken. Remove the apple filling from heat and set aside. You are going to place your crust right on top of this filling & bake it. There is no bottom crust.
#3 ROLL OUT CRUST & PLACE IN SKILLET (on top of filling)
Next, grab your dough from the refrigerator.
Placing a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap under the dough disk will make it easy to move after it’s rolled.
Lightly flour the surface, place your dough, flour the top of the disk & roll out with your rolling pin. Start from the center and roll out toward the edges. To move pie crust, roll crust loosely over a rolling pin & unroll into the cast iron skillet. Trim any excess crust off.
Again, If you are new to making pie crust go here for details on the whole process.
Cut slits in the crust to vent. Brush with butter. Dust with cinnamon. If you are not avoiding sugar, a cinnamon/sugar sprinkle on top would be wonderful. 🙂
Bake at 350 until it’s done (about 30 minutes).
Serve warm with fresh whipped cream, a scoop of raw ice cream or by itself. You’ll never miss the sugar, promise.
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Cast Iron Apple Pie
Maple syrup is used to sweeten this rustic, cast-iron apple pie. But you won't miss the sugar. Sweet, buttery, flakey crust - this is a great pie. What makes it even more fun is the simplicity. You won't have to spend hours in the kitchen to eat this apple pie.
First make the crust dough.
Add room temperature butter (not cold, you want to be able to smash it with a fork) to a mixing bowl. Add flour & salt & cut the butter into the flour with a pastry cutter, fork or food processor. You want pea sized bits of butter covered with flour. Add maple syrup and egg and stir. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough comes together. Form into a disk, wrap and refrigerate.
To make filling:
First, peel and slice 5-6 large apples. I used Gala because that's all I had in the house. Toss the apple slices, butter, maple syrup, salt and cinnamon into the cast iron skillet. Let cook on medium until the apples are soft.
Stir in the flour. The sauce will thicken. Remove from heat and set aside.
Next, grab your dough from the refrigerator.
Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface (it helps if you do this on a sheet of parchment or plastic). Flour the surface, place your dough, flour the top of the dough disk & roll out with your rolling pin. Start from the center and roll out toward the edges. To move pie crust, roll crust loosely over a rolling pin & unroll into the cast iron skillet. Trim any excess crust off.
Cut slits in the crust to vent. Brush with butter. Dust with cinnamon or a cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Bake at 350 until it's done (about 30 mintues).