Can you believe it? Season Five of Wingin’ It. Where has the time gone? For any newcomers, here’s the premise. It’s hungry work being a fan of the Buffalo Bills. Every week of the regular and postseason, Buffalo Rumblings brings you a recipe to try out with a “Buffalo” twist.
This has nearly nothing to do with Buffalo specifically, but Western New York is home to many amazing cider mills. This Skarekrow original take on an American classic uses only a few ingredients to turn WNY cider into an intensely flavored dessert. Best of all, you can do the vast majority of the work while you’re doing the rest of your Thanksgiving prep. You might also have noticed there’s zero Detroit inspiration. Perhaps another day...
Active Time: 20 min
Total Time: 90 min or longer
1 cup all purpose flour
1⁄2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1⁄2 tsp cinnamon
1⁄2 cup cold unsalted butter (one stick)
1⁄4 cup cold water
1⁄2 gallon apple cider
1 tsp cinnamon
6 Tbsp brown sugar
You will need: Rubber spatula, aluminum foil, nonstick baking sheet
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
- Add butter in chunks and coat with flour.
- Add cold water and combine mixture, making sure not to overmix. You should have a single ball of pie crust dough, but chunks of butter should still be visible (see below).
- Chill dough while oven is preheating.
- After oven has preheated, spread dough on nonstick baking sheet until it’s a semi-uniform thickness of about 1/4” (it doesn’t need to be perfect).
- Bake dough until golden brown, usually about 25-30 min.
- Remove cooked pie crust and set aside.
- Pour cider, cinnamon, and brown sugar in a large pot on HIGH.
- Put on a movie; every 10 minutes or so scrape the sides down and stir. It’s important to be vigilant at the beginning and toward the end.
- Continue reducing the cider until it forms a jelly-like consistency, about 90 min. You will likely need to reduce heat several times toward the end (see below for the All-22 treatment on cooking)
- Pour the cider jelly onto the pie dough from the center, once you’ve reached the proper consistency.
- Allow jelly to cool, slice, and serve!
Wingin’ It Tips and Prep Gallery
I’m not going to do the usual gallery here, instead taking some time to really focus on each tip. This is a very easy recipe, with a lot of grace on the timing. You can easily make this while you’re doing other Thanksgiving prep. Making pies? Toss in the pie crust with it. Incidentally, you can use this crust recipe for your traditional pies too. The cider jelly mostly takes care of itself until the end and can be on the stovetop with whatever else you’re doing too. Now, on to the tips!
Here’s a look at the ball of dough. I have a chunk of butter front and center in the picture and there are some lighter spots here and there that indicate more butter under the surface.
Here’s the pie crust after cooking. Like I said, it doesn’t need to be perfect. Because it was cooked alone, you can see some separation in spots, and the edges will be more cooked than the center. All of this is fine. If you use this recipe for a traditional pie it’ll go flaky and cohesive thanks to the filling adding to the chemistry.
On to the jelly. If you’re like me and bought an entire gallon of cider, the easiest method to pour half is to let the container rest on its side to check the level (of course while the jug is capped). After I took this picture I had to add a little more to the pot.
You’ll scrape this dark brown gunk off the side and you might think it’s burnt or gross. It is not. It’s very difficult to burn this until the very end.
Cider doesn’t boil like you might expect. It’s tough to get it going. When you see the bubbles appear (like GIF below), you’re likely pretty far along in the process. This type of bubbling is what I call a “pay attention to me” boil for cider. You’re getting close to the point where you need to start watching your heat.
Now compare to these bubbles (GIF below). These are the “start testing every few minutes and watch your heat” bubbles. The sugar and pectin has become concentrated enough where the bubbles are no longer just immediately falling back into the liquid. If left unattended, this will climb the pot and create a major issue. Reduce heat until the bubbles can no longer climb. After a short period, they’ll likely go back to this bubble and you’ll need to continue reducing heat. By the end, it’s possible you may be on MED/LOW or LOW heat.
I’ve talked about the foil test before, and it’s this recipe that led me to it. To check the jelly, spoon a few drops onto a piece of foil and place it in the refrigerator for a minute. Now make the foil vertical. If it moves as slowly as what you see here (GIF below), you’re ready to pour it on the pie crust.
Here is the full sheet of Flapple Pie. If you’re worried about appearances for guests, just eat the stuff on the edges yourself and cut small squares from the inside. You’ll notice in the main picture it’s a very small square. Trust me on this. That’s a good portion.