Upside Down Apple Pie

In my kitchen, this little "binder" is a staple. Any time I know I need to make something impressive, nostalgic, or just down right delicious I pull it out and open it up. 

My mom's side of the family, the O'Connor side, is LARGE. My mom is one of six and second of four girls. When the O'Connor side gets together it is always fun, crazy, entertaining, so worthy of a reality show it is not even funny! 3 years ago we lost my Grandma. She was the heart of our family. It was and still is a tough loss for us to swallow, no get together really ever feels complete. My Papa is now referred to as "Papa Gone Wild".. A Marty-less Mike is one we never wanted to know! We realize now more than ever just how much she helped each of us become who we are today, and I miss her (especially this past year) so much. 

The first Christmas without Grandma, my mom and her sisters put together this cook book. It is full of our family pictures and recipes special to us! These are the famous recipes we always beg our moms to make, that remind us of home, of growing up, of Grandma! 

The note on the first page from "the Aunties"
Some of the recipes are even scanned from my Grandma's collection -
in her hand writing and everything :)

One of the BEST recipes (in my opinion) from the book is Upside Down Apple Pie. It is honestly the best thing EVER (way better than normal apple pie). So when I decided to cook for John for the first time, I decided that this HAD to be on the menu (along with Mostaccioli, but that's a recipe for a different day). Upon telling my mom of my menu plans, her response was, "Wow, you must really like this guy! Are you sure you want to break out the big guns so soon? He's going to fall in love with you." Yes, this pie is THAT good. And to this day, I really think that that meal really did tip John over the edge of love with me :) 

The Recipe:

3T melted butter
1/2c brown sugar
2/3c chopped nuts (walnut or pecan)
1T sugar
1t vanilla
8oz of cream cheese
4c peeled, cored, & sliced granny smith apples
2T lemon juice 
2t cinnamon
1/4t ginger
4T flour 
1/2c shredded cheddar cheese
3T butter
2 pie crusts

Combine melted butter, brown sugar, and chopped nuts

Spread in the bottom of a 9-inch cake pan

Place a piecrust over the nuts 

Mix sugar, vanilla and cream cheese

Spread over piecrust

Combine apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger, & flour

Layer over the cream cheese mixture

Sprinkle with cheddar cheese (I don't do this step)

Dot with butter

Cover with second crust

Pinch two crusts together to seal and slit top crust

Bake on a cookie sheet for 30 min at 350 degrees (I always end up having to bake it longer.. about 45 min)

Let cool for 3 min, and then tip upside down onto serving plate 
(If nut/brown sugar mixture sticks to pan scoop it out and sprinkle over the pie)

I haven't gotten this pie "perfect" yet. It never tastes quite like how my mom makes it. BUT, regardless, it is DELICIOUS. John loves it. I love it. You eat it for EVERY meal until it is gone. And honestly, the best part? Every time I make this pie I think about the first time... my roommates helping me peal the apples, freaking out when it wasn't done after 30 min, our JANK oven making the whole house smell like gas, flipping over the cake pan and having the pie come out PERFECT, John's face when he took the first bite... it's obviously a very special pie! 

On an unrelated note. This blog has been missing this cute face lately:
Practicing sitting up! He's getting good!
Rolling around everywhere!
Bubba's first tomato! 

He also is REALLY wanting to crawl. He craves being mobile so bad, he has now decided to attempt to crawl with his head

Tonight or tomorrow morning (whichever we decide) we are heading to my parents house for the weekend. We haven't been back to Grand Rapids since the holidays so I am really excited. My parents are even forcing letting us go on a date night on Saturday! 


Erin K. said...

You have to add the cheddar, it's the best part. I do a slightly healthier version of this as a baked apple and the cheddar really makes it. We're having friends for dessert next week and I may have to attempt this bad boy for the first time.

Erin K. said...

Also, love this post. What a great homage to Grandma.