Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday Yummies: The "Let's bake!" edition.

Fall is apple season and there is no better use for apples than to make apple pie. Other than dipping them in caramel sauce, that is. Or peanut butter. Or just biting into a crisp one for a mid-afternoon snack. Or baking them with maple syrup, cinnamon and chopped pecans. Or . . .

Enough! My point is that now is a perfect time to bake an apple pie. And so, this week, I give you my taste-tested, family-approved recipe for apple pie. It's a combination of many different recipes and a lot of trial and error. Yes, that's right, I've lived through the errors so you don't have to!

Apple Pie

Crust

2-1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. salt
4 tbsps. sugar
2 sticks of unsalted butter, cold and cut into smallish pieces
6 tbsps. water
1 egg yolk

Put flour, salt and sugar in a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add butter. Process for about 10-15 seconds. Pour mixture into a bowl and sprinkle half of the water over it and add egg yolk. Start to mix it together and add more of the water as you need to. I like to use a big wooden spoon to mix the dough. Don't over mix -- once it starts to come together, gather it up with your hands and press it into a ball. Wrap it in plastic and put it in the refrigerator as you prepare the apples.

The apples

1/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. white sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
7-8 apples: Use two kinds, one that holds its shape while baking and one that will break down and turn to applesauce. I typically like to mix 2-3 McIntosh apples with 5-6 Cortland, Empire or Braeburn apples.
2 tbsps. corn starch

Peel, core and slice apples to desired thickness. Put in a bowl and sprinkle sugars, spices and corn starch over them. Mix well so all the apples are covered.

**When I am feeling adventurous, I'll add about a half cup of dried cranberries and some chopped nuts (almonds or pecans) to the apples. Both give the pie a little extra oomph!

Putting it all together

Now that you have the apple mixture ready, preheat the oven to 450.

Take the dough out of the fridge and divide it into two equal balls. Roll one out for the bottom of the pie and place it in a pie dish. Pile the apples on the bottom crust, heaping them in the center.

Roll the other dough ball out for the top of the crust. Carefully place it over the apples, letting some of it hang over the edge of the dish. Cut off any big chunks of extra dough and then go around the dish and pinch the bottom and top crusts together. I like to roll the two together and then crimp the edges.

Cut four slits in the center of the top crust, and then sprinkle a little bit of sugar over the whole pie. Put the pie on a cookie sheet and place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. Then, turn the oven down to 350 and bake for another 4o minutes. If the crust is not yet golden brown, bake for 10 minutes longer. The exact time will depend on your oven. And, if you add extras, like the cranberries or nuts, you will need a little more time

Cool and serve the pie with a dollop of freshly whipped cream. What could be better?

11 comments:

Vava said...

Man, I could live on apple pie alone and be happy. Sounds like a great recipe, and although I've only made apple pie with store bought crust, I may try to make my own with this recipe. Cheers!

The Happy Runner said...

Homemade crust is really not difficult at all -- and SO worth it!

*aron* said...

my friend has apple trees so she has picked HUNDREDS of apples and made pies, jarred applesauce, and so many other things... its nuts! she has holiday presents lined up now though :)

J said...

Yum, i love apple pie! Great recipe i will have to try it after i go apple picking!

Bridget said...

That sounds yummy but a lot of work! Although I did make an apple pie 2 weeks ago and it wasn't as bad as I thought. I cheated and bought store crust.

COTY said...

mmm I can smell it just thinking about it.

carla said...

frick.

you may have weakened my resolve to BUY ALL MY THANKSGIVING STUFF TO SPEND LESS TIME COOKING AND MORE TIME BASKING IN THE GLOW OF THE FAMILY.

MAYBE.

Mark Salinas said...

Looks tasty! Thanks for the recipe

Danica said...

Looks amazing, and now I'm starving! :) Thanks for the recipe!

Gotta Run said...

YUM!! I always bake a few pies this time of year.

You probally have everyone dashing off to a apple farm. :)

Roisin said...

Can you just come to Chicago and make the pie for me?

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