kewl apple pot pies with honey oat streusel
For the crust:
• 3 (9-inch) premade, store-bought individual pie crusts – KewlTip: When purchasing pie crusts, low fat or wholegrain varieties pack the flavor and some nutrition, too! Each piecrust should contain enough dough to fill two 7-oz. ovenproof ramekins.
• 1 egg white, lightly beaten
• canola oil spray or nonstick cooking spray (for lightly coating the ramekins in order to prevent the crust from sticking during the baking and serving processes)
what to do:
1. Lightly coat the interior bases and sides of six 7-oz. ovenproof ramekins with canola oil spray or nonstick cooking spray; also spray a large baking sheet or six individual baking dishes. Set the baking sheet or baking dishes aside.
2. Place enough piecrust in each ramekin so that approximately a ½ inch of crust hangs around the edges of the exterior of the ramekins. Use kitchen shears to carefully remove excess piecrust around the edges. Fit the crust into the ramekins well so that the crusts take on the shape of the ramekins in which they are sitting.
3. Using the tines of a fork, crimp around the edge of the piecrust where it meets the top of the ramekin. – KewlTip: Crimping is a great way to ensure that the piecrust holds to the ramekin nicely! It simply means to press lightly into the crust with the tines of a fork in order to make a light indentation into the crust. Crimp around the entire circular edge of the ramekin and the piecrust. Do so for all six ramekins and piecrusts.
4. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the piecrusts within the ramekins with the egg white.
5. Set the ramekins aside.
MAKE THE APPLE-PIE FILLING.
For the apple-pie filling:
• 8 cups of sweet red apple chunks (approximately 6 large, firm apples) – KewlTip: Cut each chunk into approximately ½ inch wedges! The smaller size allows for better cooking in the even, resulting in a tender product that has great texture and is easy to eat (the most important part!)!
• 1 ½ cups of unsweetened applesauce
• ¾ cup of raw sugar
• 1 tbsp of ground cinnamon
• 1 tsp of ground allspice
• ½ tsp of ground cloves
• ½ tsp of freshly grated or ground nutmeg
• ¼ tsp of sea salt
• 1 tbsp of all-purpose flour
• 1 tbsp of whole-wheat pastry flour
what to do:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place the chopped apple chunks in a large heatproof mixing bowl.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine the applesauce, raw sugar, cinnamon, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and sea salt. Whisk to thoroughly combine the ingredients and set the saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop to make a syrupy sauce. Cook, uncovered, and whisk often, for 20 minutes, or until the sugar has dissolved into the applesauce, the liquid has boiled and deepened in color, thickened, and become very fragrant. The amount of liquid should have lessened slightly in the pan (it is easy to estimate by eye if the liquid has “reduced” in volume, meaning that there is less than there was originally because some of it has evaporated along with the steam rising from the liquid during the heating process, thus thickening the sauce). KewlTip: The texture of the liquid should resemble a cross between gooey caramel and rich peanut butter!
3. Remove the saucepan from the heat, turn off the stovetop burner, and allow the sauce to cool for roughly five minutes, whisking frequently.
4. Pour the sauce over the apple chunks in the large heatproof mixing bowl. Use a flexible, heatproof silicone spatula to scrape the sauce out of the saucepan and right over the apple chunks.
5. Use a large flexible, heatproof silicone spatula or spoon to toss the apple chunks in the sauce. Stir in both the all-purpose and whole-wheat pastry flours. Coat each apple chunk in the sauce and allow the flours to be evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Toss thoroughly and well.
6. Using a large spoon, evenly distribute the apple mixture among the six prepared 7-oz. ramekins (see above). Each ramekin should contain a small mound of apple chunks. Use the back of the spoon to lightly pack down the apple chunks.
7. Set aside the ramekins.
MAKE THE STREUSEL TOPPING.
for the streusel topping:
• 1 ½ cups of oats
• 1 cup + 2 tbsp of all-purpose flour
• ¼ cup + 2 tbsp of whole-wheat pastry flour
• ¾ cup of packed light brown sugar
• 1 ½ tsp of ground cinnamon
• ¼ cup + 2 tbsp of canola oil
• ¼ cup + 2 tbsp of honey
what to do:
1. In a medium bowl, use a spoon or fork to thoroughly combine all dry ingredients—the oats, all-purpose and whole-wheat pastry flours, sugar, and cinnamon.
2. Use fingertips to work both wet ingredients—the oil and honey—into the dry ingredients in the medium bowl. Work until the mixture becomes crumbly but clumpy, and small chunks of streusel crumb topping have form. When the mixture becomes pliable, use hands to compact it into a tight, well-formed sphere.
3. Use fingertips to break up the sphere of compacted streusel crumb topping into randomly sized chunks. Some chunks may be small, others larger.
4. Place the filled ramekins onto the prepared baking sheet or individual baking dishes. – KewlTip: If any of the juices run over the sides of the ramekin during the baking process (this is natural and may occur), the baking sheet of individual baking dishes coated with canola oil spray or nonstick cooking spray will contain the juices and prevent the ramekins from sticking to the bottom of the baking sheet or individual baking dishes after baking, as the juices are sticky.
5. Sprinkle the streusel crumb topping thoroughly over the apple-pie filling in the ramekins, distributing it evenly among the six ramekins. Ensure that a significant layer of streusel crumb topping is present for each ramekin. Lightly press the streusel crumbs onto the pie when adding them, but do not pack the crumbs together. If any streusel falls off the ramekins and onto the baking sheet or individual baking dishes, place it atop the ramekins again.
6. Place the baking sheet or individual baking dishes containing the ramekins into the oven. Bake for 1 hour, 10 minutes.
7. Remove the ramekins from the oven and allow to cool for approximately 10 minutes. Lift off the baking sheet or individual baking dishes.
8. Serve and enjoy!
Makes 6 Kewl Apple Pot Pies with Spiced Honey Oat Streusel.