I made the best apple pie this weekend. The best. Oh my god it was so good I wish I could send you the taste via letters.
Because I have a habit of starting kitchen projects without seeing if I have all the ingredients, I was missing a few things. Obviously it was ok because it came out SO GOOD. I thank my good sense in tastes and flavors! So unless you have a good feel for ingredient substitutes, I don’t suggest throwing in new ingredients because you will be wasting your time.
The above recipe is for about 3 pies worth of crusts, I decided that I would just make a little more than a 1/3 of the recipe. I opted out of the oatmeal topping since I didn’t have any oats (plus I wanted to try a crust topping. The oats topper is great, though. I’ve made it before and won 3rd place with it in a pie contest.)
I also didn’t have apple cider (or apple juice), nor, unfortunately, did I have bourbon. Oops.
So I needed to improvise. What I did have was unbelievable amounts of whiskey in the cabinet but I thought it would taste too smoky in lieu of bourbon or rum (which also works). Then a beam of afternoon sunlight fell upon a hidden (m and d call it “protected”) bottle of Armenian cognac. Bingo.
Instead of apple juice, I used lemon juice. Yes, lemon juice. I rationalized it by thinking it had natural sugars and was a juice. Psst: it worked perfectly.
I mixed the sugar, cognac and lemon juice and butter together and believe me when I tell you it smelled like bakeshop heaven. I followed the sugar and butter amounts from the recipe, but I eyeballed the cognac and lemon juice. I didn’t use more than a 1/2 cup of either and it turned out to be a great syrup.
I did end up needing more than the four apples I used, since mine were not as crisp as they could have been and fell into a applesauce-like consistency. But like good mush. I wish there were more so that there would be more mush! I suggest about 5-6 apples. Or more! The world is your oyster! Remember, this is just an apple pie, don’t sweat it.