Friday, January 15, 2021

The Apple Pie Conundrum: Use Your Words


Use Your Words, a multiblogger writing challenge | developed and run by | #MyGraphics
Today’s post is a monthly writing challenge. If you’re new here, this is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once. All of the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the recipient will take them. Until now.

At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
I'm using:  Hallelujah ~ new ~ frozen ~ tender ~ spite
They were submitted by Diane of On the Border.


We all have words we like (don't we?), and conversely words that make us cringe. A favorite word of mine is conundrum. I think it's because many years ago my husband and I did a long weekend in wine country in northern California. One of the vineyards there, Caymus, makes a wine called Conundrum and I loved it. Well, truth be told I loved lots and lots (and lots) of the wines we tasted, and the food was pretty exquisite too. But conundrum stuck with me. The wine and the word.

Each month, when I finalize sorting out all the word assignments for this challenge and know what mine will be, I always look hopefully to see if someone has assigned me "conundrum". Nope, not this month. No reason to feel bad, Diane, this is, after all, the 85th month in a row I didn't get it.

Truth is, these are some great words. I'll use them to tell you about my new apple pie recipe.

It all started with a conundrum (ha, used it anyway). Hubs wanted an apple pie. And with his diet restrictions, it's something he could actually have. But there were other constraints as well. The covid numbers were sky rocketing and I just couldn't go running off to the store, whatever I had in the house is what I'd have to go with.

I knew I didn't have enough apples. And I had 2 different kinds. I prefer a semi-tart, firm apple for a pie. I had some honey crisps (yum), but would have to supplement with some apples that would bake to a more tender consistency than I'd would choose. I also regretted having that apple for lunch yesterday, I could have used one more, I'd have to come up with something to add to the pie. I decided on cranraisins and walnuts. Truth be told, my pantry decided for me. Well, after I ruled out Doritos, Rice Krispies, and linguini. 
And I prefer a certain brand of refrigerator pie crusts (I can see my mom, the master of homemade pie crusts cringing here, but I don't make my own), but all I had in the house was one frozen pie crust I'd been saving for emergencies. Yes, there's such a thing as pie emergencies. Like now. There was only one crust, so I'd have to do a crumble topping. Without the butter though, because of Hubs' restrictions.

Cranapple Pie is an apple pie studded with little tart bursts of cranberry and the crunch of walnuts. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #pie
Cranapple Pie
Cranapple Pie is an apple pie studded with little tart bursts of cranberry and the crunch of walnuts. | Recipe developed by | #recipe #pie

Here's the thing about coming up with an updated version of such a classic dessert: the apple pie is iconic, a symbol of our country. You know, "as American as baseball, hot dogs, mom, and apple pie." But 2020 had been a tough year. Baseball basically didn't happen (although the short season did serve to decrease the time span of pain for this Red Sox fan), I don't like hot dogs (there, I said it), mom makes her own pie crust and will forgive me I'm sure (eventually). And apple pie? Turns out it originated in England (yeah, I googled it). 

So, in spite of its iconic reputation, it was on. I was gonna try it, emergency crust, mixed apples, added ingredients, low fat crumble topping, and all.

And you know what? He loved it! We all did. Hallelujah!

My only regret? As long as I was messing around with an iconic recipe anyway, I should have thought to add some Conundrum. 

Next time.
Here are links to all the other Use Your Words posts:

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Cranapple Pie     


Printable Recipe

1 pie crust, homemade, refrigerated, or frozen
6 apples of your choice
1/4 cup cranraisins
2 TBSP cranberry apple juice 
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 TBSP flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon 
1/2 tsp apple pie spice
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup cold butter (can use a butter substitute for a lower fat option)

*Place a large piece of heavy foil onto the middle rack and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
*Prepare the crust as you normally would.
*Peel, core, and cut each apple into about 16 slices. Put into a large bowl with the cranraisins. Add the juice and mix well, coating all of the fruit. Set aside.
*Place 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup brown sugar in a separate bowl. Using a fork, mash the butter into the dry ingredients to create a crumble. Set aside.
*Mix the apples and cranraisins again, then add 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 TBSP flour, salt, cinnamon and apple pie spice. Mix well, then add the chopped walnuts and mix again. Distribute evenly into the prepared pie crust.
*Using your hands, crumble the topping over the fruit.
*Put the pie onto the tin foil in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Loosely tent with foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.




  1. I have a conundrum. I don't think I can make an apple pie without lots of butter! Actually I'm actually not sure I could make an apple pie at all. I tend to open box, insert in to oven...and then probably forget and burn it up!

  2. Yum! Should I try your recipe or stick to my diet? What a conundrum.

  3. Sounds yummy! I make a cranberry-applesauce from one of Jane Brody's cookbooks for holidays.

    1. Yes, there's something very holiday about apples and cranberries.

  4. Hmmm . . . I wonder if it would work with applesauce? THAT, I have TONS of!
    You know, I'm intrigued. I wonder just what a pie would taste like with Doritos, Rice Krispies, and/or linguini.
    If anyone could do it, you could!
    And great work with the words.
    Now I'm sorely tempted to add 'conundrum' to every list . . .

    1. I'll leave the Doritos, Rice Krispies and/or linguini to you for your next Pi Day.
      And yes, someone needs to add "conundrum" at some point, although I've already used it . . .

  5. Necessity is the mother of invention, or something like that. Your recipe sounds delicious. No conundrum there. Alana

  6. This sounds like one good apple pie - Cranraisins was a new to me ingredients, but I should be able to make those at home ;)
    I like that you turned the words into a recipe.

    1. I always buy the cranraisins but I bet they'd be delicious made at home. Thanks for the thought, I may try that some day too.

  7. Replies
    1. You gotta start somewhere, and this is an easy recipe to start with.

  8. We once named a litter of bottle kittens Anomaly, Perplexity, Enigma, and Conundrum, because i figured that's exactly what cats are.

    Your pie sounds delightful.

    1. What perfect names for kittens. One in particular is my favorite, though.

  9. "Pie Emergency" is definitely a thing. It wouldn't be you though if you didn't come up with a delicious way to save the situation!
    Now have yourself a glass of Conundrum! It's even available in my country on (Translation: "bottle message") an overnight wine delivery service!

    1. Well that means we can have a glass together some time!

  10. Diets are tough. I know a few people who did that gastric bypass and boy are they dieting. We also do a spelling bee in improv and try to 'guess' how to spell long words, and define them. it's real fun.

    1. Fortunately he doesn't have to lose weight. Unfortunately he's had a gallbladder issue and now just isn't the time to need surgery.

  11. This pie sounds so delicious!! Reading this piece of challenge was super-delicious, Karen as always<3 And I loved learning about the word- Conundrum. Such a fancy name, already <3

    You have a wonderful weekend!

    1. The pie is great, hope you try it (and the word is fun, hope you use it).


Warning: Comment at your own risk. I have Comment Moderation, meaning I approve all comments before they show up here. So go ahead, I'm not scared!