Saturday, November 20, 2010

Recipe Remix: Apple Pie

I love apples and just about any dessert that involves apples, luckily the boy does too and happily deals with my constantly experimenting with apple desserts.   I posted my apple pie recipe over 2 years ago but since I did a pie crust tutorial a few weeks ago and with Thanksgiving coming, it seemed the right time to revisit the recipe to see if I could make it better.  I couldn't be happier that I did because just a bit of tweaking on my part and a bit of inspiration from my sister-in-law really improved upon it and has turned it into my go to apple pie.  

One of the most important thing when discussing the holidays and pies, is what you like on top your slice of pie.  Obviously we are specifically talking about apple pie here.  There are a few schools of thought on this controversial topic.  There are the traditionalists who swear by ice cream.  In Northern New England apple pie is often topped with cheddar cheese.  There are some people who even like it with whipped cream, blasphemy in my opinion.  Being someone who will eat cheese all day, everyday and also growing up in New England, I think the perfect topping is a nice slice of aged Vermont white cheddar.  The boy is adamantly an ice cream kind of guy and despite this difference of opinion, we are able to make it work by agreeing not to force our views on each other when it comes to the all-important topic of apple pie accoutrements.  All this being said, and begrudgingly putting my love of cheese aside, I think the cinnamon sugar topping on this pie would make for a good pairing with a scoop of cinnamon ice cream or even fresh ginger ice cream.  What's your favorite topping for a slice of apple pie, does it cause disagreements amongst loved ones in your house?

Apple Pie
makes 1 9" pie

6-8 Granny Smith Apples
juice from 1 lemon
3 Tbsps unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsps unsalted butter

1 Tbsp heavy cream
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp or more ground cinnamon

1 pie crust for a double-crusted pie - To see how I make mine click here

1.  Mix your pie crust and let chill for at least 1 hour.  After crust is chilled, preheat oven to 425F.  
2.  Peel and slice your apples.  I like good size chunks of apples so I usually get about 8-10 pieces from an average sized apple.  Place sliced apples into a large bowl and toss with lemon juice. 
3.  Toss apples with flour, sugar and spices.  Let sit for 10-15 minutes while oven heats and you roll out the pie crust.
4.  Remove chilled pie dough from the fridge and pull off 1/3 of the dough for the bottom crust and return the rest of the dough to the fridge.  For the chunk of crust into a flat disc.  Tear off two rectangles of waxed paper, make sure they are bigger that your pie plate.  
5.  Place one piece of waxed paper on the counter, place the disc of dough in the center and place the other piece of waxed paper on top.  Roll out the crust between the waxed paper, rotating a 1/4 turn after each roll, until the crust is big enough to nest in the pie plate with about 1/2" of overhang. 
6.  Carefully peel back the top piece of waxed paper and pick the crust up with the bottom piece of waxed paper and carefully peel it off as you lay the crust in the pie plate.
7.  Mound the apple mixture into the center of the crust-lined pie plate.  Dot with butter.
8.  Pull half of the remaining pie crust out and return the last piece to the fridge for a single crust pie or quiche.  Repeat steps 4, 5 & 6 to get the top crust rolled out and carefully placed on top of the pie. Fold the crust under itself and pinch together to get a scalloped effect or press with a fork. 
9.  Cut 3 slits in the top of the crust at a steam vent.  Mix the cinnamon and sugar topping together.  Brush the crust with heavy cream and sprinkle liberally with cinnamon sugar.  
10.  Place on a foil-line baking sheet and into the heated oven.  Bake at 425F for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 375F and bake for another 30-40 minutes, until golden brown and the filling is bubbling.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 2 hours before serving.  

Apple pie is a classic and definitely a pie that is expected at Thanksgiving, at least at my parents house.  I'm in charge of pies this year, I'll be making pumpkin pie and this apple pie.  I hope my family likes it as much as I do.   I do want to give credit where it's due as the idea for the cinnamon sugar on the crust was courtesy of my sister-in-law.  I was teaching her how to make a pie and she suggested it and I loved it so much that it became a permanent fixture on this pie.

I went into a bit more detail on how I roll out my pie crust, because I am in no way an expert, but  a friend who watched my pie dough tutorial asked about rolling it out.  My method for rolling out and transferring crust is something I tried because no matter how much flour I used my crust always stuck to the counter or fell apart in the transfer to the pie plate.  Using waxed paper has yet to fail me and I think is a great alternative for those of us who aren't hard-core bakers.  If you try it, I'd love to hear if it works as well for you.  Let me know.


No comments: