Apple pie is easily one of my favorite desserts. Soft, sweet-tart apples under a sugary, crunchy shell, with a scoop of ice cream and maybe a puff of whipped cream -- spectacular. Add in how deceptively easy it is to make and apple pie is the perfect First Post. (Also, I just bought like five pounds of locally grown Ginger Golds and I need to use them up.)
When selecting apples for a pie you want the crispest, tartest you can find -- this usually means something like Granny Smith or Fuji. They don't need to be sweet because the recipe calls for a bucket of sugar already, and soft apples will just turn mushy. So, no Red Delicious. (You shouldn't be eating Red Delicious anyway, what's wrong with you? It's nasty. Put it down.)
The apple slices don't need to be really small -- eighths is usually enough. I use the pie pan as a measure-er to see exactly how many apples I'll need.
The crust is really harder to make than the pie part, but it is so, so worth it. The warm butter/cold butter combo help make the crust both flaky and tender. Make sure your dough is completely chilled before rolling it, or it'll be a sticky, difficult mess and you'll be all upset and no one will have any fun.
There's a trick to transferring pie crust where you roll it around your rolling pin and then just unroll it into the pan. I can't do this. I don't know why, but it just never works for me. So you can do it, great; if you can't, just do what I do: start rolling it around the pin, curse as it sticks to the counter and tears, manage to flop in a piece the shape of Florida and patch up the holes with extra dough until it looks like some awful Frankensteinian concoction and thank goodness rustic is in right now. Just kidding. Haha.
Really, though, as long as you don't mash it up to much it'll be good.
|Ignore any burned bits. Remember: rustic.|
2 cups flour
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
12 tbsp butter, chilled
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2-4 tsp cold milk
Chop up 12 tablespoons of butter into, say, marble size pieces and toss them in the freezer.
Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Rub the 6 tablespoons of room-temp butter into the flour mix until the butter is entirely incorporated. The mix should just hold together when you squeeze it.
Add the frozen butter and sort of pinch it into the flour until the pieces are about pea sized, then start gently smooshing the mix. Begin to add the milk, one teaspoon at a time. The goal is dough that will hold itself together, not be too crumbly (but not sticky!) and still have lumps of butter throughout.
Separate the dough into two halves and pop ‘em in the fridge to chill, at least an hour or it won’t roll out properly (this is a good time to peel and chop your apples).
Set your oven to 350 and get out one of the halves. Roll it out on a floured counter and place it in a buttered pie pan, patching any holes. Stick it in the freezer (this will keep it from puddling on the bottom when it gets cooked).
When it’s good and frozen put it in the oven for about ten minutes. Don’t put any beans or anything in the bottom, you don’t need them and it’ll keep it from cooking all the way through. Take it out when it’s done, let it cool before putting anything in it. Use the other half of dough for the top crust.
Set your oven to 400.
August 11, 2011
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c. butter
2 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Set your oven to 400.
Peel and chop your apples (make sure to get all the hard middle parts out). Pile them in your finished bottom crust, heaping them slightly higher then the pan walls (but not too high or they’ll be dry). Roll on your top crust however you like, lattice or little hearts or whatever. I like lattice.
Put the sugar, butter, water, vanilla, and spices in a small pot and set it on a burner medium-low. Wait for it to melt, swirling the pot occasionally. Don’t stir it or you’ll mess it up.
Pour the sugar mix into the pan over the crust. You can use a brush to make sure all the crust gets some sugar on it.
Put the pie in the 400 oven for 15 minutes, then turn it down to 350 for another 35-45.
Pull it out in front of your family and watch them make a big hullabaloo. Let it sit for a while (like a few hours) then eat with ice cream.
August 11, 2011