Sunday, November 17, 2013

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Two weeks ago, the family and I went apple picking and proceeded to pick approximately 42 pounds of apples in 15 minutes.

42 pounds of apples.

The pluses:
  • We bought them locally.
  • They are my husband's favorite variety. (Pink Lady)
  • They were only $1/lb.
  • They keep well in the fridge, so we'll have yummy apples for several months.
The minuses:
  • Our fridge is full of apples.
This apple pie helped make a dent in about 3 lbs. of them, so by my calculations, I have about 13 more apple pies to go, give or take a couple for eating. 

This is one of my most favorite apple pies. The crust is flaky and tender, and the spices balance the tartness of the apples in a really beautiful way. If the crust is ready to go, the pie can be oven ready in about 15-20 minutes, which is dangerous. Very dangerous, indeed. 

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Ingredients:
Crust:
  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice and chilled
  • 1/4 c. ice water (plus more as needed, added a tablespoon at a time)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar (optional) 
Filling:
  • 3 lbs. of apples, such as Pink Lady, Granny Smith, Cortland, Jonathan, or a combination - peeled, cored and sliced 1/4" thick (about 6-8 medium-sized apples)
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1/3 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small dice
  • 1 lg. egg, beaten
  • 2 Tbsp. turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

For the pie dough:
In a food processor, combine the flour and salt (and sugar, if using). Add the butter and pulse in 1-second bursts until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Drizzle the ice water over the dough and pulse in 1-second bursts until it just comes together. Do not process more than 30 seconds. Test by squeezing a small amount of dough together; if it is still too crumbly, add a bit more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather any crumbs and pat it into 2 disks. Wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, at least an hour.

For the filling:
Preheat the oven to 425°. On a floured work surface, roll out 1 disk of the dough to a 12" round, a scant 1/4" thick. Place the dough into a 9" to 10" deep-dish glass pie plate. Roll out the second dough to a 12" round. Transfer both to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate.

In a bowl, combine the apples with the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add the lemon juice and toss well. Let stand for 10 minutes, until the sugar dissolves slightly.

Scrape the apples and any juices into the pie plate and dot with the butter. Cover with the top crust and gently press the edges together. Trim the overhanging dough to about 1" and pinch to seal. Fold the dough rim under itself and crimp decoratively. Brush the pie with the beaten egg and sprinkle with the turnbinado sugar. Cut three small gashes in the top of the pie to vent the steam.

Bake the pie on the lowest shelf of the oven for 30 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 365° and bake the pie for 45 to 50 minutes longer, until the fruit juices are bubbling through the steam vents and the crust is deeply golden on the top and bottom; cover the pie loosely with foil halfway through baking to keep it from getting too dark. Transfer the pie to a rack and let cool for at least 2 hours before serving.

Source: Slightly adapted from Food & Wine, originally contributed by Sassafras Bakery

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