When we headed up to Islay for a week’s holiday recently, I took along a jar of my home-made apple pie filling, canned a few months ago using apples from our allotment trees. The plan was to make a pie for dessert one evening. A fruitless supermarket search for ready-made short crust pastry (and a realistic acknowledgement that none of us were in the mood to make some from scratch) lead to the decision to switch to a crumble instead.
But earlier in the day, we’d made cookies (magnificent 3D safari cookies, as it happens) and had a generous portion of cookie dough leftover.
In a eureka moment I decided that cookie dough would be an even quicker option and set Pete to work on grating it. It’s best to grate the dough when it’s cold and hard out of the fridge. In fact, frozen would probably be even better, as the dough gets warm the longer you hold it, and consequently harder to grate.
Spread in a thick even layer over the pie filling and baked until the filling was piping hot and the topping golden brown, we discovered that the cookie dough made a wonderful, crunchy-chewy lid which worked very well indeed.
The recipe we used for the cookie dough is given below, but I can’t provide exact quantities as I’m not sure exactly how much we used for the cookies… at least half, perhaps two thirds or even more? So you probably only need somewhere between a quarter to a half of the recipe below if you’re using it as pie topping, assuming a similarly sized pie dish.
Or why not make the full amount and make some cookies too? Rolled about half a centimetre thick they take about 10 minutes at 180 C (check after 8 and bake until golden brown) and last well in an airtight book. They make slightly chewy cookies which hold their shape well and are very tasty.
Sugar Cookie Dough for Cookie Dough Crumble
225 grams unsalted butter (at room temperature)
225 grams sugar
2 large eggs
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean, 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
600 grams plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
Cream butter and sugar. If using to make shaped cookies, don’t over beat – too much air incorporated will cause the dough to spread more during baking.
Add eggs and vanilla and mix in.
Mix in dry ingredients – flour, baking powder and salt.
Mix into smooth dough. Again, don’t over work.
Refrigerate for at least half an hour before using.
Have you had any wonderful eureka moments when adapting cooking plans to ingredients at hand and laziness levels? If so, I’d love to hear about them!