For centuries, cast iron has been a cook’s go-to with its even heating, great heat retention, natural non-stick surface, and its flexibility to go outdoors and cook over an open fire. In Cast Iron Gourmet, Megan Keno, creator of the blog Country Cleaver, goes beyond the basics and shows that you don’t need dozens of dishes or tons of time in order to create gourmet meals. You simply need a trusty cast iron pan and Megan’s creative recipes.
From a perfectly seared steak to decadent desserts and artisanal breads baked in a pan, Megan introduces readers to the true potential of what can be cooked with cast iron. With her diligent instructions and practical tips, readers can comfortably recreate delicious, gourmet comfort dishes like Apple-Thyme Pork Chops with Hard Cider au Jus, Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon, Roasted Fall Squash and Sausage Skillet, Rosemary and Roasted Garlic Focaccia, and a fantastic Bananas Foster for One (or more!).
Half-Assed Apple Pie | Serves 6
I’m not pie proficient by any means. All my crusts come out oddly shaped and lopsided, and that’s if they don’t fall apart in the process of getting them into the pie plate. But I do love pie, and this Half-Assed Apple Pie fills my pie cravings, and I don’t have to get flummoxed by my inability to roll out a pretty crust. There are a few cheats to make this pie easy, and you don’t have to wait hours for it to cook and cool. Sautéing the apples in butter and caramelizing them in sugar speeds up the process and keeps all those cozy flavors you love without spending time waiting around for a pie to cool. When pie is at stake, it is not the time to practice patience. Add caramel sauce, cranberries or pecans to the apple mixture for seasonal changes.
6 large apples, Honeycrisp, Braeburn, Granny Smith
or a mix of others
8 tbsp butter, cubed
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp apple pie spice
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 prepared, packaged 9” pie crust
1 tbsp water
1 pt ice cream
Preheat your oven to 425°F
Cut the apples into quarter-size chunks and set aside in a large mixing bowl.
In your skillet over medium-high heat, add the cubed butter and melt it. When the butter starts to simmer, add the chunked apples. Sauté your apples, turning them over every 2 minutes or so until they are about halfway cooked through, about 6 minutes. While they are cooking, sprinkle the apples with the sugar, apple pie spice and flour. Mix the apples and spices together, continuing to cook the apples. The mixture should thicken. This process will take about 15 minutes total.
While the apples are doing their business, roll out the pie crust, crimp the edges and cut three holes on top, or use small cookie cutters to cut out decorative shapes to top your apple pie.
Place the pie crust over the top of the half-cooked apples. If you are using cutouts, arrange them over the top. Brush the pie crust with a mixture of egg and water. Bake the pie for 30 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before serving. And, naturally, top with ice cream before serving!
NOTE: Cut out shapes with cookie cutters to create a fun design on the top crust.