Friday, November 27, 2009

Who Can Resist a Fresh-Baked Apple Pie


The first time I baked an apple pie for Brian was on our first Thanksgiving together. He'd expressed some doubt about whether the home-made version would be so much better than a pie from the bakery. That holiday also marked the first time we were introducing our mothers to each other so there was some pressure to demonstrate my pie-making, not to mention other culinary skills. But one taste of my pie and he was a convert and now tells everyone that nothing beats my home-made version.

So here is the rather simple recipe. It differs from most primarily in the crust. Mine is slightly sweeter and uses only butter as the shortening which results in an almost puff pastry texture. Toward the end of summer, Brian brought home a basket of fresh sweet peaches and I used the exact same recipe to make an amazing peach pie as well. Enjoy!

Crust
2 Sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 1/4 Cups all purpose flour
4 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup ice water

Combine butter, flour, baking powder, salt and 3 tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor with a steel blade and pulse just until it resembles course crumbs. Slowly pour in the ice water and pulse just until combined and a dough ball forms. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Filling
3 Golden Delicious apples (or other sweet apples)
3 Granny Smith apples (or other tart apples)
1/2 Cup sugar
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 Teaspoon salt

Peel, core and slice the apples. Combine the apples in a bowl with all the remaining ingredients.

Assembly
After the dough has chilled, cut it in half and roll each half on a well-floured surface into about a 10" circle. Place one circle on the bottom of a 9" pie dish and pour the apple mixture into the dish. Place the remaining dough circle on top of the filling and crimp the edges for a tight seal. With a knife, make a couple of slits on top for steam to vent.

Brush the top of the pie with some milk or cream and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar. Place the pie dish on a sheet pan (to catch drips) and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Allow the pie to cool completely before slicing. Makes 8 servings.

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