13 March 2011

Naked Apple Pie

Warning: If you're a person that likes visually stunning desserts that you can serve precisely and cleanly then this recipe is not for you. If you're a person that wants something quick, easy and hits the flavour profile of apple pie without all the work, then read on.

Right now you must be asking yourself one question, "why is this called Naked Apple Pie?" Well when I finally added the apples into the mix, I had a vision of the apples frantically trying to cover their naked flesh with a blanket of batter. Each piece of apple fighting for just a little more. Yeah, doesn't make sense to me either and I suppose this explanation could be wrong. Maybe you can come up with a better one. Though, let us never forget what Shakespeare said, for “What's in a name? That which we call a pie by any other name would taste as sweet” or something like that :).

I was actually debating between two different recipes for yesterday, a King Cake and Irish Cream Cake, but when I saw Susan's post on The Cookie Scoop I knew my plans had been derailed. Perhaps it was the ease it would come together (I baked a few things yesterday), or because I wanted to bake something with apples, and it could even have been that there were no unnecessary ingredients in the recipe (i.e. Butter, oil etc). Whatever the reason I ended up with a dessert that was super quick, super easy, and tasted great. Honestly, if you're looking for a relatively guilt free dessert that you can whip up in no time, this is it.

I did make a few changes to the original recipe. I reduced the sugars and switched light brown for dark brown, which I always like to use with apples. I also doubled the cinnamon added by Susan because like her I believe that apples need cinnamon, however I also feel that along with cinnamon they cry for nutmeg. My only concern during the entire processes was the bake time. I pulled the pie out of the oven a bit earlier than listed based entirely on the colour of the crust. I tried searching for an alternative bake time but it seems that all recipes are the same. It came out perfect though, so just keep an eye on the brownness of the “crust” and remove it when you're comfortable.

What was quite surprising was how sweet the pie turned out and even after reducing the sugar. However, the nuts that I omitted would have likely lessened the intensity of the sweetness. I have a habit of removing nuts from recipes (which is odd) but in this case they would have definitely added a nice crunch to the dessert. Not that I'm complaining, if you want a soft warm and comforting pie (I did), remove them; if you want something with a little more texture, that's more crumble like, add them. It's one of those things you just have to play by ear. When I make this again, should I omit the nuts, I will likely reduce the sugar some more. Otherwise the flavour was that of apple pie: the warming notes of cinnamon and nutmeg and the sweet and tart flavours of tender apples. All with no added butter or fats. Sound good? It is :).

I cannot gush enough about how simple this recipe is, how quickly it comes together, and how pie like it seems. Making desserts that taste indulgent but aren't should not be this simple or taste this good. So next time you feel like apple pie, light a few candles, turn on some romantic music, pour yourself a drink, stare deeply at your pie, and softly whisper “let's get you naked.” :)


Naked Apple Pie

Adapted from The Cookie Scoop

1/2 cup all purpose flour (65g)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar (80g)
1/4 cup sugar (50g)
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
2 medium baking apples, skinned, cored, and diced into 1/2 inch pieces -- I used Granny Smith,
1/2 cup of your favourite nuts – optional, I omitted them

Preheat oven to 350F and grease and lightly flour a 9” round cake pan.

In a small bowl add flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, and whisk to combine.

In a large bowl add sugars, egg, and vanilla and stir until completely combined.

Add dry ingredients to wet stirring until completely combined.

Fold in apples until they are sufficiently coated -- the less batter sticking to the bowl the better (if you are using nuts, fold them in next).

Add mixture to prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until you can pierce the apples with a toothpick and the crust is a deep golden brown (this took me 24 minutes).

Allow to sit in pan on rack for 15 to 20 minutes to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature (and if you've got vanilla ice cream on hand, start scooping :)).


  1. Hey Adam,
    I love your variation! I do agree with you on the sweetness. So glad you decided to give it a try. The nuts...just a matter of taste really. I love anything crunchy but not everyone agrees!

  2. It's strange, for some reason when it comes to cakes and pies I have a tendency to remove nuts unless it's something that is layered. One of the reasons is I can't stand uneven distribution in things (chocolate chips in cookies drive me especially crazy :)). Since you agree on the sweetness is it possible the original recipe did not "pack" the brown sugar?

  3. I love this kind of recipe. There are times when a showpiece is nice but most of the time flavor rules supreme. I'd love a slice of this. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  4. Naked apples - that sounds kind of racy. But delicious!