Friday, November 23, 2007

Apple Pie #1

I made two apple pies for Thanksgiving dessert this year - this one with a pastry bottom and top and one with a pastry bottom and cobbler-style top. Here is the pastry one. It was very tasty :) Apple pie is best if you leave it until the next day to eat it (and it makes great leftovers!) I served this with home-made vanilla ice-cream as a Thanksgiving dessert.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chilled, cut up
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup to 1/2 cup ice water

1. Place all ingredients (except water) in a large bowl. Crumble together with your fingers until you have some pea-sized pieces of dough along with coarse crumbs. Add 1/3 cup water; knead just until dough begins to form, adding additional water 1 tsp. at a time if necessary.

2. Divide dough in half; shape each half into a flat round. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 20-30 minutes.

3. Lightly flour a work surface and roll one piece of dough into a 13-inch round (I can never made perfect circles..!) Gently line a 9-inch pie pan with the dough. Trim dough along the edge of the pan. Leave the second piece of dough in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
3 large Granny Smith apples
3 large McIntosh apples
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
3/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. granulated sugar (I wonder if light brown sugar would taste good as a substitute...?)
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1. Peel, core, and quarter the apples. Cut the quarters into bite-sized pieces and toss apple pieces with the lemon juice and zest. In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup of the sugar, the flour, spices, and salt. Toss the dry ingredients with the apples. Turn the fruit mixture, including juices, into the pie shell and mound the fruit slightly in the center.

2. Roll out the second piece of dough to a 12-inch circle; place it over the filling. Trim the edges of the top and bottom dough layers to 1/2 inch beyond the pan lip. Flute the edge or press with the tines of a fork to seal. Cut 4 slits in the dough top. Brush the pastry with a little milk and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tbsp. sugar.

3. Place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake until the top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Rotate the pie from front to back and continue baking until the juices bubble and the crust is a deep golden brown.

4. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.

The filling recipe is the "Classic Apple Pie" recipe from Baking Illustrated. The pastry recipe is "Perfect Pie Pastry" from the October/November 2007 issue of Cooking Pleasures magazine.

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