Alison Roman enjoys cult status in her home base in the United States. She writes for the New York Times culinary supplement, has already published two bestsellers – the second of which has now been translated into Dutch – and runs an insanely popular Instagram channel.
My expectations with her cookbook Nothing fancy, or Very simple in Dutch, were thus very high. In terms of look and feel, they have already been fulfilled: beautiful, bright photos and entertaining texts with many tips to easily receive guests at home.
But do the recipes have as much X-factor as what she cooks on Instagram and could the “casual apple pie” also become The Apple Pie? Her “ultimate pie crust” initially turned out to be a lot of flaky, but after two hours in the fridge the dough had miraculously cleared up and I was able to roll a pie crust out anyway.
The rest of the recipe was super simple. However, the place threatened to burn after 40 minutes. Just in time I was able to save the cake, but 35 minutes would have been better.
A striking deviation from the recipe that prescribes 45 to 50 minutes in the oven. The taste of the apple pie was nice and the buttermilk gave a fine caramelized touch, but the whole thing was quite salty due to the flakes on the edge of the dough and then the generous amount in the dough itself. That dough was quite a bit of work for an afternoon snack or dessert without any real wow effect.
Next time I’ll skip making the bottom myself and use dough from the supermarket. That’s really simple and perhaps almost as tasty.
Recipe: Casual apple pie
90 g butter
0.5 tsp cinnamon
ground cardamom and / or ginger powder (of your choice),
pie crust dough
1 kg freshly sour apples unpeeled, cut into 0.5 cm wedges,
6 tbsp sugar
80 ml buttermilk
sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 ° C.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter (shake occasionally) until it starts to foam and brown after 3 to 4 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in spices as desired.
Roll the dough on a lightly floured baking sheet into a piece about 3 mm thick, in the shape of your choice.
Arrange apple wedges in rows in rows or casually on the pastry base, leaving an edge of 5 cm free all around.
Brush the apples with the browned butter and sprinkle 4 tablespoons of sugar on top.
Fold the edges of the dough over the apples, brush the dough with buttermilk and sprinkle the last 2 tablespoons of sugar on top.
Sprinkle the edge with sea salt flakes and black pepper.
Place the cake with paper on a baking tray with a raised edge and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown and the apples are soft and cooked.
Allow to cool and serve with appropriate casualness.