what should you do with those all those gorgeous apples you picked during your trip to the local apple orchard (or the local trader joes)? make apple pie of course! an even more rustic and adorable version is apple pie in a cast iron skillet. everyone should own a great cast iron skillet. if you can find one for fifteen dollars at a minnesota antique market, even better. if you buy an antique, follow these instructions on how to properly season your pan prior to using it. also remember not to clean your cast iron with soap or you will alter the flavor it provides. i use mine for everything, browning meat, sauteing vegetables, and making sauces. this was the first time i ever tried baking in cast iron, and it turned out extra yummy and pretty. it’s also the easiest and most fool proof apple pie i’ve ever made. also, i am not afraid to admit that i use a store bought pie crust because we just don’t have time for homemade dough making around here!
start with a few pounds of mixed apples. i like to choose tart apples like braeburn and granny smith, these also retain great texture while baking.
peel, core and slice your apples. this is the most time consuming and annoying part of any apple dessert. i found my self constantly dreaming of one day owning this amazing peeler/corer.
in a large mixing bowl sprinkle apple slices with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and juice from one half of a lemon. toss and set aside. melt one stick of butter over medium heat in your skillet. add one cup of brown sugar and stir until sugar has dissolved and started to foam slightly. carefully mix in vanilla (mixture will bubble). you are essentially making a caramel sauce that will bake underneath the pie. amazing right?
carefully remove the skillet from the stove top. remember at this point it will be hot! roll out one packaged pie crust and gently place it over the sauce. do not worry about pressing it into the pan as the pan is too hot and the apples will weigh it down. pour in the apples.
make sure your kids are happy and occupied while you work.
gently roll the second crust over the top, pressing it onto the edges of the pan. do not worry about sealing it with the lower crust. cut five or six slits across the top to allow steam to vent. using a fork quickly scramble an egg with a splash of water and brush a thin layer across the top of the crust. if you don’t have a basting brush you can use a paper towel. sprinkle a spoonful of sugar evenly across the surface. place pie in a 350 degree oven for about an hour. be prepared, it’s super heavy at this point!
after 45 or 50 minutes watch for the top to be golden brown but not too dark. if necessary, cover with foil for the remaining bake time to prevent over browning. test the apples by placing a sharp knife into one of the slits. the apples should feel soft but not mushy. allow to cool and set for 10 minutes before serving with your favorite ice cream. i chose salted caramel because why not??
cast iron skillet apple pie
3-4 pounds of mixed apples
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
juice of half of a lemon
1 beaten egg for egg wash
1 box of packaged pie crusts (i used pillsbury)
preheat oven to 350 degrees. peel, core, and slice apples into quarter inch slices. toss with white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice. set aside. melt butter in the skillet over medium heat. add brown sugar and stir until sugar dissolves and the mixture bubbles. slowly pour in vanilla. remove from heat. gently roll first pie crust over the mixture and add apples. roll second crust over the top, gently sealing along the edge of the pan. caution – the pan is hot. cut 5-6 slits to allow steam to escape. brush a thin layer of egg wash all over the top crust and sprinkle evenly with a small spoonful of sugar. bake for one hour. check the color of the crust in the last 10 minutes, if necessary cover with foil to prevent over browning. when apples are soft but not mushy, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. top with ice cream.