Sunday, December 1, 2013

Classic Apple Pie

I haven't always been a big pie fan. In fact, it's only been in the last year that I've really changed my tune and started to really like pies, a lot! (Don't worry cake, you will forever be my first love.) I was never a big fan of soft, warm fruit, and while it is still not on my top 10, when it's encased in a flaky and buttery crust, generously sprinkled with sugar, and baked until golden perfection it's difficult for me not to like. Since I've jumped on the pie band wagon I decided it was time that my Thanksgiving dinner included an apple pie, it just seemed right. No doubts here; this pie was tall and handsome, but more importantly the taste was spot on, the perfect blend of sweet and buttery, tender apples and flaky crust. A wonderful start to my holiday season.

First ever double crusted pie! I was a little nervous, but knew it would work. It baked up beautifully with no worries. I did cover it with foil about halfway through baking because I do not at all like over-baked crusts. I like a light golden brown, not dark and hard. The perfect ending for my delicious Thanksgiving meal.

Classic Apple Pie
Crust adapted from Martha Stewart
Pie Adapted from Williams Sonoma
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
  • 5 pounds apples, or about 14 apples (I used Northern Spy)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
For the crust: using a cheese grater, grate the butter into a bowl and place in the freezer for a few minutes to freeze. In a large bowl mix together flour, salt and sugar. Add the frozen butter and quickly mix together. Add in the ice water a little bit at a time just until the dough comes together in a ball. Add as little water as needed, it's okay if the dough is a little shaggy. Split the dough into two pieces and shape into a disc. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 2 hours.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out half of the dough into a 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch deep-dish pie dish and gently press the dough into the bottom and sides of the dish. Trim the edges and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll out the remaining dough disk into a 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling: In a large Dutch oven, stir together the apples, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cornstarch. Set over medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the apples are just tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes. Uncover and cook until the liquid has thickened and become glossy, 5 to 7 minutes more. Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Position a rack in the lower third of an oven, place a baking sheet on the rack and preheat the oven to 400°F.

Transfer the apple filling to the pie shell, and gently invert the top over the pie. Trim the edges flush with the rim of the dish and press the top and bottom crusts together to seal. Brush the entire top crust with egg wash and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Cut a couple of slits in the dough to allow steam to escape.

Place the pie dish on the preheated baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking until the crust is crisp and golden brown, about 40 minutes more, covering the edges with aluminum foil if they become too dark. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 1 1/2 hours before serving.

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