Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Puttin' On The Ritz: Top-Hat Apple Pie

Yesterday's recipes from Good Housekeeping's Quick 'n' Easy Cook Book still have me a little rattled. Let's go for something a little less...creative...than a stovetop celery quiche or a curry with next to no curry in it. Since it's starting to feel like a proper autumn here in DC, let's turn our thoughts to apple pie... 1958 style.
Top-Hat Apple Pie

Heat 1, 2, or more frozen apple pies as label directs; or heat bakers' apple pie in 425°F. oven for 15 min. Serve warm, cut into wedges, with one of these toppings:

Sharp-Cheese Spread: Use a dab, before or after heating.

Pineapple Topping: Use a spoonful of drained canned crushed pineapple.

Sour-Cream Topping: Use just a little. Sprinkle with nutmeg, cinnamon, or allspice.

Cottage-Cheese Topping: Use a spoonful of cheese; then top with a little jelly.

Cranberry Topping: Use canned whole-cranberry sauce.

Whipped Cream: Use a generous dab; top with grated American cheese.

Marshmallow Topping: Use a little marshmallow cream; then sprinkle with cinnamon.

Coco-Nut Topping: Last 5 min. of heating, top with coconut or chopped nuts.

I can't really take a cheflier-than-thou attitude with these. I mean, I loves me some pie, no matter from whence it came, and though I think it's just as easy to make your own damn pie as to do one from the freezer, I'm still going to say "frozen pie beats no pie at all." Moreover, I can't turn up my nose at the idea of adding less-than-refined things to said pie: I love Cool Whip, for example, and will slather it on anything I can. Just ask.

That being said, I think any time they talk about American cheese or Sharp-Cheese Spread, you should replace it with Cheddar. Or Brie. Or, for the love of God, anything not processed into a gelatinous orange plastic state.

I can sort of imagine the sour cream topping, but the cottage cheese leaves me a bit cold -- the only lumpy texture I want with my apple pie is, well, apple. And I love cottage cheese! With apples! This lumpy topping objection stays with me for the pineapple and cranberry suggestions.

The marshmallow topping has promise. We never stocked marshmallow cream when I was growing up, so I'll admit to an unholy fascination with the stuff.

My favorite additions to hot apple pie, for the record: Tillamook cheddar; vanilla ice cream; whipped cream; Cool Whip; cream; ginger ice cream.

I am kind of sad that, so far, I haven't found the Ritz cracker mock apple pie recipe in any of the cookbooks...

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