Cooking inspiration can come from the most unexpected places. I have found dinner ideas on walks, rocking babies in the middle of the night, and while eavesdropping on other people’s conversations in line at the gas station, but I have often found moments of great insight in children’s books.
We pass many hours in our house reading books and it turns out a common theme is food. One of our favorites is an adorable book by Lisa Wheeler about a big ‘ol bear with a hankerin’ for pie called Ugly Pie.
I honestly don’t know why it is called Ugly Pie, I guess the idea is that it has sour apples, wrinkly walnuts and raisins and bittersweet molasses. Whatever the reason that is one smart bear because molasses in your pie is goooooooooooood.
So, just in case you missed what I said. This pie not only has apples but also toasty walnuts and golden raisins and molasses.
Plus an oaty streusel topping that gets crispy and crunchy in the oven.
Which basically equals deliciousness. If you are like me and are already thinking about what you will be making for Thanksgiving, I highly suggest you put this on the menu. Take the bear’s advice people, Ugly Pie is good.Print
Sweet Molasses Apple Pie aka Ugly Pie
- Yield: 1 (9-inch) Pie 1x
For the Crust:
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup cold lard or vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
- 4–6 tablespoons ice water
For the Topping:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cold lard or butter, cut into small pieces
For the Filling:
- 2 1/2 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 3/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup robust molasses
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- To make the crust, combine flour, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Add lard and toss to coat in flour, then using a pastry cutter or your fingers, cut the lard into the flour until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.
- Add the water one tablespoon at a time, tossing the water into the flour mixture until the dough holds together when you squeeze a handful. Gather into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 hour.
- Once dough is chilled, roll out on a lightly floured work surface to about an 11-inch circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Line a 9 1/2-inch pie plate with the dough and press down into the bottom and sides. Trim any excess dough and pinch into a decorative edge. Return to the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Heat oven to 425°F and place a baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven to heat. To make the topping combine the flour, oats, spice, salt, and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Add lard or butter and toss to coat in the mixture. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Set in the fridge until ready to use.
- To make the filling, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss until apples are coated and the sugars and flour have been incorporated.
- Pour filling into the pie dish. Evenly sprinkle topping over the filling and place pie on top of the hot baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Continue baking for 45-55 minutes or until topping is dark golden and filling is bubbling. Let cool 1 hour before serving.