With fall coming and the apple season approaching, I’d like to share an apple pie recipe from the Chopping Block on Chicago’s near north side. Owner Shelly Young, who runs the busiest cooking school in Chicago, demonstrated how to make her mouth-watering apple pie in a cast iron skillet, which she said cooks the bottom crust evenly. Then she gave us all a generous serving of her delicious pie, which was full of thick apple slices, not the goo often found in store-bought pies.
Outside the Chopping Block in Chicago.
. “Pies have two purposes – dessert and breakfast the next day,” she said with a chuckle and offered to give us her recipe.
For more information go to http://www.thechoppingblock.net.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 1 – 1 1/2 hours
Makes: One 9” pie.
3½ pounds Apples (Granny Smith or Pippin), peeled, cored and cut into 1/2” wedges
1/3 cup All-purpose flour
1 – 1 1/2 cups Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Fine sea salt
1 recipe Pie or tart dough
1 1/2 tablespoons Unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
Shelly puts the apple mixture into a skillit
As needed Heavy whipping cream, for garnish
As needed Sugar, for garnish
1. Prepare ingredients:
-Toss apples, flour, sugar (vary amount depending upon taste of apples), cinnamon and salt in a large bowl to mix.
-Let sit while rolling dough.
2. Roll out pie dough:
-Divide chilled dough into two unequal parts (about 2/3rds for bottom crust and 1/3rd for the top)
-Place the smaller portion of dough in the refrigerator.
-Lightly dust a clean surface with flour and roll out bottom crust to ~1/8” thick, being
certain to lift and turn the dough occasionally to ensure it does not stick.
-Roll dough onto rolling pin, lift, and place into 9” cast iron pan.
-Gently push the dough to fit the pie dish, allowing excess to hang.
3. Assemble the pie:
-Add filling to the pie.
-Sprinkle pieces of butter on top of the filling.
-Remove smaller portion of dough from the refrigerator and roll into a 1/8” circle.
-Insert a knife in several places through the top crust to create vents.
-Place top potion of dough over filling and trim excess crust, leaving about 1” excess.
-Close crust by folding over and pinching excess or using a fork to crimp.
-Brush top of pie with heavy cream and sprinkle generously with sugar.
4. Bake the pie:
-Place pie on a baking sheet covered in parchment and bake until filling is bubbly in the center,
apples are tender and top crust is golden brown, about 1 – 1 1/2 hours.
Staff writer, Lillie Suburban newspapers
Member, Midwest Travel Writers Association
I’ve been a writer for over 20 years at Lillie Suburban Newspapers in St. Paul. I’ve also done free-lance writing – for 3M business and health publications and for a running club and a speech therapy group. My special interest and focus for over a decade has been travel writing – about my trips and those of others in the United States and abroad, and I am a 10-year member of Midwest Travel Writers Association. I have a bachelor’s degree in English from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in comparative literature from the University of Michigan. I was an English teacher for almost three years before having kids. Life is good!
Writing awards for Pam O’Meara
2015 Minnesota Newspaper Association -- Second place for columns on Selfridge’s in London, Missouri prison, mother’s death
2014 Midwest Travel writers Mark Twain – honorable mention for story on Hemingway in Pamplona, Spain
2013 MTWA – first place – recent travel sites – Fort Bragg and father
2008 MTWA – third place – newspaper story on Hawaii: the Big Island
2006—MTWA – second place – recent sites – South Korea – DMZ