Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ooo La La Apple Pie

First of all, forgive me because all of my pictures are taken with my phone because months ago I dropped my semi nice Sony point and shoot and now the lens won't extend to open :( If you know how to fix it, let me know?

Anyway, on to the pie!

So, pie is not normally something that jumps to my mind when I think of yummy delicious things. I work at Hey Cupcake and even before that cupcakes have taken the cake in terms of best dessert (tee hee). Or any form of chocolate. Or cheesecake.

But because I have awesome coworkers who gladly take on extra work when I can't, I thought I should say thank you somehow. And of course they've had enough cupcakes on the job, so apple pie was requested. I'd never actually made one, but it didn't sound too complicated so I thought I'd give it a shot.

A couple of things I learned in the process-

1. Be sure if you're preheating your oven and it's one of those digital ones that you hit start. So that the oven actually starts heating. Otherwise you just waste time.

2. Made from scratch crust trumps store bought crust every time. Unless you burn the homemade crust; then it's not so good.

3. Peeling apples takes a long time. Enlist a friend, student, slave for this job.

4. There are lots of ways to make the top of the pie pretty. You can use cookie cutters to cut out shapes and lay it across it (like stars for New Years' Day or the 4th of July or leaves for an autumn celebration). Or you can do some complicated lattice work. Or you can do what I did and just lay the whole dang crust over the top. Because honestly, the crust is the best part of the pie so why skimp on it?

5. Although I'd really love one, you don't NEED a stand mixer to bake. My crust recipe calls for you to use a paddle attachment on the stand mixer. I used my hands. It probably worked better that way and now my hands are all soft from their butter bath. :)

6. If you don't have something... like say nutmeg, just go with it. I sprinkled in some of my roommate's apple pie spice even though it also contained cinnamon and I'd already put in cinnamon. It worked.

7. I was concerned that taking my glass pie plate from the freezer to the oven would cause it to crack and spill delicious pie all over my oven. But it didn't! Whew.

On the the recipe!

First, prepare your crust because it needs to chill for at least half an hour.

Basic Pie Crust

1¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3 tbsp. very cold water
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix briefly to blend (Or use your hands or a fork or a pastry blender). Add in the butter pieces and mix on medium-low speed to cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse sand and the largest butter pieces are not much bigger than peas. Mix in the cold water on low speed just until the dough comes together.
Shape the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (This dough can be frozen for up to 2 months.)
Ooo La La Apple Pie

5-6 medium/large Granny Smith apples (about 2½ lbs.), peeled, cored and sliced
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. grated nutmeg
1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water (for egg wash)

On a lightly floured surface, roll out half of the pie dough into approximately a 12-inch round. (Keep the other half of the pie dough chilled for now.) Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate, trimming the excess and crimping the edges. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Position an oven rack in the upper-middle position. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sliced apples, sugars, flour, spices and lemon juice. Toss well to combine. When the bottom crust is finished chilling, pour the apple mixture and accumulated juices into the bottom pie crust and use a spatula to even the top out slightly. Dot the surface of the apples with the pieces of cold butter. Roll out the remaining pie dough on a floured work surface. Arrange over the top of the pie dish and trim the edges, using a fork to seal the two crusts together. Cut small incisions for the pie to vent (I forgot to do this part). Brush the top and edges of the crust with the egg wash.
Place a baking sheet on the lower oven rack (because your pie is going to bubble over!). Place the pie on the upper rack and bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, about 50-60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nom nom nom.

Adapted from Annie's Eats, originally adapted from Martha Stewart and Williams Sonoma

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