I started to make this pie as a distraction to the news headlines last week. Upset over the terrorist killings in Paris, I wanted to focus on something else, something over which I felt I had control and that would be both sweet and beautiful. Pie making is an exercise in patience. It keeps me in the moment. Even to make a simple cookie crumb crust, the amount of ingredients has to be just right. Overdo it and you have a thick, impenetrable mess. Underdone, your crust will fall apart in an instant. The same is true for any filling, it takes the correct balance of ingredients and you must allow all the elements to come together before cutting the first slice.
While it was baking, this Ginger-Snappy Apple and Lime Pie filled the kitchen with amazing aromas―ginger, apple, lime and creamy custard. I wanted to dig into it as soon as it came out of the oven. But the custard had to set and that would need a few hours in the refrigerator. It was a long few hours. My desire to eat the pie finally beat out my patience, so I cut into it too quickly and the first few slices fell apart. I was horribly disappointed until I tasted a bit of the shapeless pie. The flavors were light and delicious, the crust was still crunchy. Placing the crumbled pieces into large bowls, I remembered the blackberries in our freezer from last summer’s picking. I poured them on top and served pie bowls instead of pie slices for dessert that night. And I learned that something imperfect can be more perfect than I could have ever imagined.
I hope you’ll try this delicious dessert. If you are patient enough to give it the time to set properly, top it with some fresh yogurt or whipped cream for an elegant pie. If it falls apart, enjoy it with your favorite fruit on top and perhaps some ice cream. Decide what is perfect for you and make it happen.
While it will take the world a long time to recover from what happened in Paris, I hope we can move more toward peace than violence.
Peace. Peace. Peace.
I look forward to seeing you in my kitchen, gathering flavors, soon.
GINGER-SNAPPY APPLE PIE
Yield: 1 9-inch pie, 8 Servings
- 2 ½ cups crumbled gingersnaps
- 4 T. sugar
- 4 T. butter, melted
- ¼ t. salt
- 4 large apples, peeled, cored and quartered
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cups sugar
- Zest and juice from ½ lime
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, sour cream or fresh whipped cream
- Zest of one lime
- 1 cup mixed berries or 1 apple, thinly sliced (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- To make the crust: Place the crumbled gingersnaps in the bowl of a food processor. Blend until you have fine crumbs. Add the melted butter, sugar and salt. Blend until combined.
- Pour the crust mixture into a 9-inch pie dish. With your fingers, press the gingersnap mixture into the bottom and sides of the pie dish.
- Bake the crust until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
- To make the filling: Wipe out the bowl of the food processor (no need to wash) and put in the apples, eggs, sugar, lime juice, lime zest. Pulse until everything is thoroughly mixed.
- Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the filling is set but still quivers. Remove from the oven, let cool and refrigerate for at least two hours.
- Remove from the refrigerator and top with Greek yogurt, sour cream or fresh whipped cream. Spread evenly across the pie. Sprinkle with lime zest.
- Serve cold accompanied by fresh mixed berries or apple slices, if you like.
- This recipe is closely adapted from Apples of Uncommon Character by Rowan Jacobsen.
- The original recipe calls for chopped pecans in place of the gingersnap crumbs. Choose this option if you are looking for a gluten-free crust or if you prefer a nutty flavor.
- To serve as a "pie bowl", skip topping with yogurt or cream. Scoop pie into dessert bowls and top with berries or fresh fruit.
- For a hearty dinner, serve this as dessert after a bowl ofSunday Afternoon Chili and Parmesan Cheese Muffins.