Our next stop on the 50 states, 50 recipes tour is;
WEST VIRGINIA: http://www.50states.com/wvirgini.htm
State capital: Charleston
Largest City: Charleston
Admission to the Union: July 20th 1863, 35th state to join the Union
West Virginia is known best for it’s mining, mostly coal, but also salt, saltpeter, limestone and other resources. A common story told about West Virginia is the folktale about how it got the nickname “West, By God, Virginia”. According to the legend, a West Virginia native who was being inducted into the US Army during the First World War (some versions make it as early as the Spanish-American War), was repeatedly asked by his induction officer, “What part of Virginia?” And the soldier, finally getting fed up with the confusion, said “Not Virginia! West Virginia! West, by God, Virginia!”. This story, whether true or not, has entered American folklore.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Virginia)
Here are some great sites about tourism in West Virginia;
I have to be honest in saying that even those of us from places that are considered Redneck heaven, take our hats off to the Rednecks of West Virginia. I do believe that the stereotype of the toothless, dirty from the coal mines, dumber than a box of rocks hillbilly originated in West Virginia. God bless them, they are the butt of a lot of jokes, but they’re a kind, loving and generous people as well. Because the state is mostly mountains, covered by the Appalachians from stem to stern, most folks from West Virginia make their living as miners. Farming isn’t their strong suit- but they did create the Golden Delicious apple. They have also created some of the music I love the most. Appalachian Mountain music is the precursor to today’s country music and helped to inspired the folk music revival of the 1960’s. In the 1920’s musicians from the coal mines of West Virginia began recording their old songs, influenced by old Irish and Scottish ballads for the world to hear. From those songs came Blue Grass music, Old Time Country music, Folk music of the 1960’s and today’s Country music… that mountain music was the seed that grew into a big family tree of music. Here are some examples; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ua0QuXO4wgE or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRlU_lSVluE&feature=related If you love good gospel songs with a fiddle, a mandolin or a banjo… you’ll love Mountain music!
Since West Virginia created the Golden Delicious Apple it seemed fitting that West Virginia’s recipe should be;
Golden Delicious Apple Pie with Oatmeal Crumb Topping
- 1 basic flaky pie pastry ( 9 1/2 inch deep dish uncooked and refrigerated)
- 7 cups peeled cored and thinly sliced golden delicious apples
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 lemons, juice of
- 1 lemons, zest of
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Oatmeal Crumb Topping
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup rolled oats ( old-fashioned or quick-cooking)
- 2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Combine apples, 1/3 cup sugar, lemon juice and zest in a large mixing bowl. Mix well; set aside for 10 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400°.
In a smaller bowl, mix 1 tablespoon sugar, nutmeg, and cornstarch; add to apple mixture and stir well. Turn the filling into the chilled pie shell; smooth filling with your hands to even out. Place pie on the center rack in oven; bake 30 minutes.
Can make the crumb topping while pie is baking: Add flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in the container of a food processor; pulse several times to mix. Scatter the butter over the top; pulse repeatedly until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Empty the crumbs into a large bowl and rub them together between your fingers until you have large, buttery crumbs; store in refrigerator until ready to use. Remove pie from oven and lower temperature to 375°; carefully dump the crumbs in the center of the pie, spreading them over the surface with your hands. Tamp them down lightly; return pie to oven, placing it so the part that faced the back of the oven now faces forward. Place a foil-lined baking sheet onto the rack below to catch any spills. Bake about 30-35 more minutes or until the top is dark golden brown and the juices bubble thickly at the edge. May need to cover the pie with loosely tented foil during the last 15 minutes to prevent over-browning. Place pie of a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 hour before serving.
The most time consuming part of this whole thing was peeling the apples and grating the lemon zest. Otherwise the pre-made pie crust cuts down on your time, which makes it real easy to prepare.
Everything was reasonably priced until I realized I had to replenish my Nutmeg supply… a small bottle of that spice cost over $7.00! I was shocked! But since I rarely use it a supply can last me for several months. So I’m treating the Nutmeg as an investment into Thanksgiving’s pumpkin pies!
Although you do have to bake it for a short time and then add the topping halfway through, the ease of it made me feel as though I was on vacation! I don’t usually use ready-made pie crusts, but after this recipe I might start! I will caution ya’ll to make sure you account for spillage in the oven, I was lucky in that I didn’t catch the oven on fire again, but it was possible! LOL
Review: scale of 1-5 stars; the more stars the better
Ease of preparation: ***** very easy, so easy I’ll make it again and again
Cost of ingredients: *** can be expensive when you run out of spices like yours truly
Taste: ***** the best way to describe this here pie is- “A green Jolly Rancher with a crust”
Nutrition: **** It is a lot of sugar ya’ll, but the apples are so good for ya we’ll call it healthy!
I can’t think of anything more American than apple pie. I was so excited about making this pie, I nearly made two! I will admit I’m not a big fan of Golden Delicious apples, but these cooked firm and with the lemon juice and zest added in, it was so tasty I wanted to slap my granny! Trust me you will too! So until next week when we head to North Carolina may all your journeys be safe and your eats be good!