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I wish I could take credit for everything that I create, but many of my tried and true recipes aren't originals. Built up over the years, they include magazine clippings, newspapers, family recipes, and cookbook recipes that have been penned with a big inky star (I write "no" next to the unfortunates that don't pass). One of my all time favorites is a recipe that I've made for years from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine. They named it Apple Pie-Cake, but it's really a mammoth deep dish cinnamon apple pie baked in a shell of buttery brown sugar with crumbles of crunchy streusel on top. A springform pan holds it all together until it cools, and then you remove the sides to unleash it in all its glory: tall slices that are packed with thin slices of perfectly cooked, juicy apples. It's the prettiest pie around, except it looks more like a cake. Or does it?
Either way, it's delicious, and is always a great way for me to use up about 5 pounds of fruit in one flash. The best part of this recipe, however, is how simple it is (if you can ignore the peeling of a boat load of apples). Just one mixture is used for both the crust and the top crumble, which saves time. So get your kids on the job with the apples and you'll be all set for some completely stress-free baking. For my recipe here, I used a combination of Granny Smith apples and blueberries. Because the apples were quite tart and very juicy, I tossed in a small amount of sugar and cornstarch.
The hardest part is waiting. This pie-cake takes about 90 minutes to bake because of the densely packed apples. And you need to wait for it to cool substantially before cutting or a pile of warm juicy fruit will spill out instead of coming out in a perfect slice. I personally think apple pie is best at room temperature or chilled down to cold anyway.
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About the Author: Yvonne Ruperti is a food writer, recipe developer, former bakery owner, and author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To Easy Artisan Bread. You can also watch her culinary stylings on the America's Test Kitchen television show. She presently lives in Singapore working on her new baking cookbook, and as a recipe developer for HungryGoWhere Singapore. Check out her blog: shophousecook.com . Follow Yvonne on Twitter.