Norwegian Apple Pie

Norwegian Apple Pie (1 of 1)

The first time I made this, R and I were having a Norwegian Apple Cake competition in our kitchen. There were two teams, Team A and Team R and we were both trying to approximate his mother's Norwegian Apple Cake. I'd never actually had it, so he was at an advantage. And since by default he was the only judge, he also won. Funny how that works.

Norwegian Apple Pie 2 (1 of 1)

So this was the losing cake because, well, it's not really a cake, and it's nothing like his mother's. But when, faced with multiple apple cakes in one tiny apartment, I started trying to unload slices on our neighbors, one couple called this Norwegian Crack. In that it's addicting, not that it will ruin your life. The thing is, our neighbors spent more time begging for extra slices than I probably did making the thing in the first place. And as far as indulgences go, this one is pretty tame. The crust is just a pressed-in mixture of chopped almonds, oatmeal, sugar, cinnamon, flour and an egg. Beatrice Ojakangas, whose recipe this is (I'm becoming obsessed with Ms. Ojakangas, let me tell you), wants you to toss chunks of apple with the almond mixture and produce a single layer. But I slice the apples up and put them on top. They do dry out a bit, but they also leak their juices into the crust.

Norwegian Apple Pie or Eplepai
Adapted from Beatrice Ojakangas's The Great Scandinavian Baking Book

1 large egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped almonds (don't bother peeling)
2 medium-sized tart apples, pared, cored and sliced (use 3 apples if you want to chop them up and put them into the batter. You can peel if you want, but I don't because I'm lazy)

Oven preheated to 350F. Grease a 9-inch pie pan. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except the apple (or include the apple, if that's the route you're taking). If you layering the apple sliced on top, press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan, then layer the apple slices over it. Bake for about 30 minutes until browned, and the apples are cooked through. Serve with sweetened whipped cream on the side if you want.

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