Thursday, December 29, 2011

Apple Pie the apple of my eye


So I wanted to talk about Apple pie sometime before Thanksgiving or even Christmas at the latest, but it didn't happen.  I won't make excuses for myself I will just finish up what I started months ago and tell you everything I know about Apple pie.  




I've been working on my apple pie recipe for well over a decade (yes I'm that old) so I'm pretty happy with it by now.  The crust is buttery and flaky and holds it's shape nicely.  The filling is sweet and tart and doesn't run all over the plate when you slice it.  The color is golden and even and not too brown.  It's good, really good.  So good that I love to eat the leftovers cold for breakfast.  But you don't have to tell too many people that. 

Pie making can be a pretty intimidating task.  My first attempts were less than stellar.  It took me quite a few tries before I figured out how to make something presentable.  Then it took countless tries after that to figure out how to make it exactly how I wanted it to taste, look and feel. I take my apple pie very seriously. 

If there is even a small bit of information here that makes your pie making easier or better in anyway then it will make my heart happy. 

My favorite apples for baking are Granny Smith and Breaburn.  For pie I like to mix them, the Breaburn are tart and sweet and soft and the Granny Smith are very tart and firm.  It gives the pie a nice texture and the perfect tartness to sweetness ratio.  

Here's what you'll need...

Ingredients:

Pastry for a 2 crust pie

2/3 cup sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Dash of salt

8 cups thinly sliced and peeled tart apples(8 medium)

2 Tablespoons butter

2 Tablespoons sugar for dusting 

This serves 8 to 12 depending on how you slice it.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees and make the pastry for a two crust pie

Mix the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a large bowl.  Next peel and thinly slice the apples then place them in the bowl with the sugar mixture. Then mix them together.  I like to use my hands here becuase it is easier to fully incorporate the sugar into the apples that way.  It takes much longer with a spoon, but it still works. Next Poor the apples into a pastry lined pie plate.  Lastly place four to five slices of butter on top of the apples.  This will melt and mix with the apple juices and the flour and sugar and help create the wonderful gooey filling that holds the apples together.  It's like magic.  

  
The next step is to cover the apples with the other sheet of pastry.  I like to leave 1 to 1 1/2 inch of pastry over the edge to make the crust.  To make it easier I trim the uneven bits off with my kitchen scissors (the single most used kitchen tool in my house).  I also use the trimmed pieces to fill in any gaps that I might have on the edge of the crust. 

 Once the crust is trimmed fold under the crust edge and pinch it seal it.  Using your thumb and index finger (sorry I don't have a pic of this)  crimp the edges of the crust to form a ruffled or flutted edge.  Next cut 4-6 slits into the top of the crust.  This will let out the steam while the pie bakes.  Then finally brush the crust with about 2 Tablespoons of cold water and sprinkle the extra 2 Tablespoons of sugar onto the top of the pie, giving it a nice crackly sugary crust. 




Before puting the pie in the oven place 3inch wide strips of aluminum foil around the edges of the crust.  This will prevent it from burning or getting too brown.  Leave the foil on until the last 15 to 20 minutes of baking and then remove it so the crust can brown up to match the rest of the pie. 



Bake the pie for 40 to 50 minutes until the crust is golden brown and you can see the juices bubbling through the slits.  Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack. 



You can serve this warm with icecream or whipped cream or room temperature which is just as good or you can eat it cold for breakfast like I do.  Enjoy!

If you have any questions about Apple pie or any other recipe please feel free to ask me.  I'd be happy to answer them in the comments section or you can email me directly.

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Click here to print the recipe card.