I felt the need to post a dessert recipe, it’s not earth shattering or different it’s as American as apple pie, well, it is apple pie. Simple and delicious, a touch of Americana. The recipes I have posted lately have been wholesome and healthful and thats really good, I love that, but my real love is baking and I have not really been doing that lately. Maybe when the weather turns cooler I will feel more inspired to crank up the oven and bake something. To inspire myself I just got the new cookbook from Zoe Nathan, Huckleberry, it’s beautiful, droolworthy and yes, very inspiring. I hope to share some recipes from the book with you, I have already chosen several to make immediately.
Every year when apples hit the green market one of the first things I like to make is apple pie. It’s an American classic and is still one of my all time favorite desserts. Buttery flaky pie crust and sweet/tart apples scented with warm spices, cinnamon and nutmeg. Served warm with a scoop of ice cream I am in heaven. There’s a million and one recipes for apple pie, it a classic dessert and this is probably no different than most but I wanted to post as a tribute or an homage to Fall and apple season. I use several different types of apples in my pie, cortland, honey crisp, winesap,macoun,ginger gold,pink lady and always one granny smith, I don’t use Macintosh or apples with a similar texture they tend to turn mushy. Honestly, I forget what I got this go around but they looked good and I am sure they will make a great pie. Cut the apple slices fairly thin but not so thin that they will turn to mush but I do want them soft and well done. I like to use both granulated and brown sugar, a pinch of sea salt, some flour to thicken and a splash of apple cider. it’s not aggresively spiced just enough for a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. I use 6-7 apples for a deeper pie dish and 4 or 5 apples for a normal size pie dish.
Juilia Childs Pastry Dough
Makes enough dough for a double crust 9 inch pie
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 tsp salt
6 oz cold unsalted butter cut into tbs size pieces
4 tbs shortening or leaf lard cold ( I weighed and used 2 oz of shortening or lard)
1/2 cup ice cold water
You can make this either by hand or in the food processor. To make by hand, put flours, salt, butter, lard or shortening into mixing bowl, use pastry cutter to combine until it resembles pea size crumbs. Add water mix with fork, gather with your hands, divide dough into a 2 discs and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Your dough may be pretty moist, thats ok don’t add more flour.
In Food Processor, add the flours, salt, butter and shortening or lard into the bowl of the processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture resembles pea size crumbs. Add the water and pulse a few times until it becomes a cohesive dough. Divide dough into two discs and wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
6 apples, I like an assortment and always have 1 granny smith in the mix – peel, core and slice
1/3 cup brown sugar firmly packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3-4 tbs flour (You can also use cornstarch or tapioca)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
juice of half a lemon
Note: Try to get the apple slices about the same thickness, doesn’t have to be perfect but if most of them are it cooks more evenly in the pie.
Add everything to a mixing bowl, stir gently to combine and set aside. Add the lemon juice to the apples as you slice, it will keep them from turning brown. You can adjust the amount of sugar to your personal preference.
Making the Pie:
Have your 9 inch pie dish ready, take out one disc of dough and roll out to a thinish round, make sure your work surface is well floured as is your rolling pin. Roll dough onto the rolling pin and gently lay into the pie dish. Add the apples and put a few dots of butter. Roll out top crust following the same procedure and lay on top of the apples. Crimp the edges, cut a few vents, decorate if you like, brush with egg wash or cream and sprinkle with some sugar. Bake in a pre heated 375 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until it’s golden brown and bubbly. Note: leave the overhanging dough on the bottom crust, trim after you lay top ccrust on and fold under then crimp, This will give a good seal so that most of the juices stay in the pie.
The pie was wonderful but I could have added a bit more flour to the filling. The apples were really juicy and the juice was not thickened quite enough. It’s almost impossible to gage really. You could do the Julia Child method and let the apples rest in a bowl and whatever juice comes off drain before baking. I didn’t do that and had quite a bit of excess juice, but I never really do that for apple pies. The flavor was great and the crust was so flaky and tender.