Little House On the Prairie: Cast-Iron Skillet Apple Tart
Based on the popular book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the hit show Little House on the Prairie – starring Michael London, Karen Grassle, and Melissa Gilbert – was all about family, faith, and wholesome, home-cooked food. Along with dinner cooking over an open fire, Ma (Karen Grassle) would also have some type of dessert baking in the oven. A family favorite was a rustic apple tart that was baked in a cast-iron skillet.
The beauty of this rustic, old-fashioned version of the classic apple tart is that it doesn’t have to look perfect to taste amazing. An easy dessert recipe for beginners, it’s impossible not to enjoy the incredibly delicious flavors of stewed apples, sugar, butter, and cinnamon.
Fun fact: Linwood Boomer, who played Mary’s husband Adam Kendall, went on to be a writer for the hit show Malcolm in the Middle (2000).
Skill level: Beginner
- Rolling pin
- Two large mixing bowls
- Mixing spoon
- Food processor
- Parchment paper
- Apple corer-peeler
- Paring knife
- 9-inch cast-iron skillet
Homemade pie crust
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 14 tbsp (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 tablespoon kosher salt
- 4-5 tablespoons cold water
- Five medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into small pieces
- Juice of half a lemon
- 6 tablespoons organic granulated sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ nutmeg
- 2 tbsp flour
Homemade pie crust
- In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, and kosher salt.
- Add the small cubes of unsalted butter, then cold water. Pulse in a food processor or with your hands until the mixture resembles small pea-sized crumbles.
- Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F and lightly grease the cast iron skillet with butter.
- Place a large piece of parchment paper on a countertop and lightly dust with flour. Take the dough out of the fridge and set aside for about 10 minutes. Then, roll the dough into a 12-14 inch circle. Transfer to a 9-in skillet, allowing the dough to hang over the edge.
- Place apple slices in a large bowl and add lemon juice.
- Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, and flour until the apples are fully coated.
- Saute apple filling for 5 – 7 minutes.
- Allow to cool, then place the filling in the pie crust and gently fold the overhanging dough towards the center.
- Lightly sprinkle the top with sugar and dot with butter.
- Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Serve warm.
Bonus tip: For apple tart a la mode, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of homemade whipped cream – get the recipe here.