Sunday, July 5, 2009

Joy of Baking Apple Pie

For our 4th of July BBQ, a friend brought over an amazing apple pie. Sadly, this was the only picture I got of it, which isn't very good... if you look in the corner, you can see my dog, looking crazy. Anyways, I didn't make this, but it was amazing. However, my friend said that it was a pain to make. It does take a long time, according to the recipe, but I think it is worth it, because it was amazing. Good luck!

Apple Pie (from

Pate Brisee (Short Crust Pastry):
2 1/2 cups ap flour
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. granulated white sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/4 cup water ina a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.
Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Divide the dough in half, flattening each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour.
After the dough has chilled sufficiently, remove one portion of the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12 inch (30 cm) circle. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards).) Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and trim the edges of the pastry to fit the pie pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
Then remove the second round of pastry and roll it into a 12 inch (30 cm) circle. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator.

Make the Apple Filling:
2 1/2 pounds apples (about 6 large), peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 thick (about 8 cups sliced)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

In a large bowl combine the sliced apples, sugars, lemon juice, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and sal. Let the apples macerate at room temperature for about two hours. Then, place the apples and their juices in a strainer that is placed over a large bowl (to capture the juices). Let the apples drain for about 15-30 minutes or until you have at least 1/2 cup of juice. Spray a 4 cup heatproof measuring cup with a nonstick vegetable spray, and then pour in the collected juices and the 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Place in the microwave and boil the liquid, on high, 6 to 7 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to about 1/3 cup and is syrupy and lightly caramelized. (Alternatively, you could place the juices and butter in a small saucepan and boil over medium high heat on the stove.)
Meanwhile, remove the top pastry crust from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes so it has time to soften and become pliable. Transfer the drained apple slices to a large bowl and mix them with the cornstarch. Then pour the reduced syrup over the apples and toss to combine. Pour the apples and their syrup into the chilled pie crust. Moisten the edges of the pie shell with a little water and then place the top crust over the apples. Tuck any excess pastry under the bottom crust and then crimp the edges using your fingers or a fork. Using a sharp knife, make five 2-inch (5 cm) slits from the center of the pie out towards the edge of the pie to allow the steam to escape. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill the pastry while you preheat the oven.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place the oven rack at the lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on the rack before preheating the oven. Place a piece of aluminum foil on the stone (or pan) to catch any apple juices.
Set the pie on the stone or pan and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes or until the juices start to bubble through the slits and the apples feel tender (not mushy) when a toothpick or sharp knife is inserted through one of the slits. Make sure to cover the edges of the pie with a foil ring to prevent over browning after about 30 minutes.
Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 3-4 hours before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream. Store at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
Makes one 9 inch (23 cm) pie.

What can I say, but... good luck?

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