There was a mini apple festival of sorts in my own kitchen last weekend, too, when I brought home a large bag of Stayman apples that had been picked at a local orchard. I had never used Stayman apples for baking, always preferring Granny Smiths as my tried-and-true favorite.
After hearing good things from locals about the Staymans, I figured it was time I given them a try.
My plan was to make an apple crisp, which I tend to favor over pies, not just because they’re faster and easier to make, but, compared to a double crust pie, they seem almost healthy with their nearly virtuous oat and nut topping. But Jon wanted a “real” pie (I think the crust is his favorite part of a pie).
We finally agreed on a compromise pie: it would have a regular crust on the bottom and a “crisp” topping on top (recipe below). Served warm with a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream, it was apple pie heaven and really didn’t feel like much of a compromise to either of us. As the photo shows, there was enough ingredients left to make a little “taster” tart in addition to the pie.
As for the Stayman apples, they worked out just fine, but I plan to stick with my Granny Smiths — I think they have more flavor and a better texture. Sorry, Staymans!
Apple Compromise Pie
1 (9-inch) pie shell, unbaked
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons vegan margarine
2/3 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
5 or 6 Stayman (or Granny Smith!) apples
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cover the rim of the pie crust with foil and prebake the crust for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, take the foil off the crust and set aside.
2. For the topping: in a bowl, combine the flour and brown sugar. Cut in the margarine until crumbly. Add the oats and walnuts and mix well. Set aside.
3. Peel and core the apples. Cut them into very thin slices and place them in a bowl. Add the sugar and cinnamon and toss to coat.
4. Spread the apple mixture evenly into the crust. Sprinkle the topping mixture on top of the apples. Bake until the apples are tender, about 45 minutes.
5. If the crust edges start to get too brown before the pie is done baking, cover the edges with foil.