Pies are generally the flavor of the the season these days, and being as versatile as they are, it is no surprise that Pies are a preferred holiday dessert on most occasions. But today, we drift away from the Pumpkin flavor a bit and focus on earthy apples instead. Homemade Apple Pie has always been a family favorite since generations, but few would have visualized how great apples would work with blackberries! Yes, this not-so-popular combination comes together beautifully, as you can see in this recipe courtesy of Woman’s Day magazine [photo by Con Poulos]. The sweetness of the apples is nicely balanced with the tartness of the berries, giving you a lovely blend of flavor in every bite. The only change I made was adding a teeny-tiny bit of lavender to the dish. I think lavender goes well with both the fruits, but you could even try rosemary instead. Sometimes, ingredients that seem out of place in a recipe are often the ones that infuse all the flavor, especially when using herbs. So give it a try and find it for yourself.
However, the best part about this recipe is that you actually bake the pie entirely in a Skillet! Yes, you heard it right. Take our your cherished cast-iron skillet and put it to good use. Besides being an ideal heat conductor, cast iron cookwareheats evenly and consistently, it is inexpensive and will last a lifetime with proper care, and it is an old-fashioned way to cook fat free. Saute the fruit in this skillet, then cover it with a ready-made pie crust, and put it in the oven to bake. Out comes a bubbly, delicious pie that you can serve just like that, and let your family dig in, sharing from the pan, the true family-style dessert!
Apple & Blackberry Skillet Pie
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 1/2 lb apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch thick wedges
2 tbsp + 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 10-oz pkg frozen blackberries, thawed
1 qty refrigerated rolled pie crust (make your own pie-crust)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh lavender (or you can use essence)
In a large bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, salt and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Add the apples and toss to coat. Set aside so the apples become soft.
Melt the butter in a large (10-12-inch) cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the ginger and cook, stirring gingerly until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the blackberries and lavender and stir to combine.
Remove the pan from heat and add the apples to the skillet, mixing until all fruit is combined. Lay the pre-made pie crust over the fruit, brush lightly with 1/2 tbsp melted butter, and sprinkle with the cinnamon and remaining 2 tbsp sugar.
Transfer the skillet to the oven pre-heated at 400 F and bake until the crust is golden brown and the fruit starts bubbling, about 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve right out of the skillet, family-style. Top it with some whipped cream or ice cream, if you like.
There is a reason people still prefer old-fashioned methods of cooking, like slow-cooking, or using cast iron cookware. Your food will taste better, it will be virtually fat-free, and you’ll have a lot less clean-up to do if you can use just one skillet to make your whole pie. So give this a try, using your choice of fruits and see if a cast-iron skillet still stands the test of time!