Friday, February 19, 2016

CLASSIC APPLE PIE

My favorite apple for baking and eating is the Honey Crisp, but it is only available in the autumn. McIntosh, Jonagold, Pink Lady, Fuji, Gala, Braeburn, and Granny Smith are much easier to find year round and are also great baking apples. Use a combination of two or three of the above baking apples for a more complex and interesting apple pie.



Double 9-Inch Crust
¼ cups cake & pastry flour or all-purpose flour
1 T granulated sugar                           
1 t salt
12 T (1 ½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut up and placed in freezer for 10 minutes
1 t apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
½ cup ice-cold water                          

Pulse flour, sugar, and salt together in a food processor fitted with a steel blade until combined.
Add butter and pulse until butter pieces are the size of peas.
Pour vinegar or lemon juice into water and through shoot, slowly add it and process briefly until mixture comes together.
Alternatively, you can do this in a bowl with a pastry cutter.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. 
Divide dough in half (one slightly larger than the other) and wrap each piece in plastic wrap, trying not to touch dough with your hands, by gathering up in the plastic wrap.  
Press each piece into a disc and refrigerate at least 30 minutes before rolling out. 

Apple Filling
9 apples, peeled, cored and cut into thin slices
Zest and juice of ½ lemon
½ cup granulated sugar  
¼ cup brown sugar
3 T all-purpose flour                                                 
1 t ground cinnamon                                                              
¼ t ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of ground allspice                                                                     
½ t salt
3 T unsalted butter, cubed
1 egg mixed with 2 T water

In a large bowl toss apples with zest and lemon juice.
Add sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, and salt and toss with a large spoon  to combine.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough into 2 circles of 12 and 13 inches.    
Rotate dough not rolling pin and loosen from work surface with an offset spatula.
Place one into a 9-inch pie plate and place one layer of filling on bottom of crust making sure to fill all areas. 
Spoon the rest of the filling into shell, pushing down lightly with a spoon to fill in any holes.
Dot with butter.  
Roll top dough carefully over apples, tuck edges under bottom dough to seal.
Crimp edges or make marks with a fork.
Using a paring knife, cut several vents in top of dough to allow steam to escape.
Brush surface with eggs wash and sprinkle with sugar.

Place pie on a baking sheet or pizza pan.

Bake 30 minutes at 400 degrees F.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and continue to bake another 40 minutes.

Let cool 3 to 4 hours before serving.

Serve plain or with vanilla ice cream or a piece of cheddar cheese.