May 24, 2010

Revised Recipe: Apple Pie

Revising the apple pie recipe... I've replaced the crust with a half recipe vodka crust that's entirely done in the food processor. Jen's been baking up a storm with her new food processor and wanted a more coherent recipe. I've replaced the crust and adjusted the temperatures.

Read on for the recipe (pastry and filling)...


Pastry (1 double pie crust)

In a food processor, pulse a few times:

  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour (you'll need more flour later)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Add:


  • 1/2 cup of chilled vegetable shortening, cubed in large chunks

Process for 15 seconds until It looks like coarse sand.

Add:


  • 1.5 sticks (3/4 cups) of chilled unsalted butter , sliced into 1/4" slices (mine are usually slightly frozen)
  • 1 cup of flour (yes, another one)

and pulse in 1 second bursts until the butter is in pea size, or slightly larger pieces. Hopefully, it'll look like the second picture, but don't stress it if it doesn't. The pic is from the last recipe. If it's all clumped up, break it up a bit with a spatula.

Finally, with the food processor pulsing rapidly, pour the liquid slowly through the feed tube:


  • 1/4 cup of freezing water, mixed with
  • 1/4 cup of vodka from the freezer

Don't stress it, you can't really screw it up.

Pour it out into a large bowl, split into two piles and press into 2 pieces.
This dough will be very wet, and pretty sticky compared to traditional dough. Feel free to flour your hands thoroughly to handle it. And don't worry, the flour will absorb the extra water as it chills.
Form into discs, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least an hour, preferably 2 or more.

Likely, you'll end up with non-equal pieces.
Use the bigger ones for the bottom crust and the smaller ones for the top.

Apple Mix
In a large bowl, mix:

  • 3 lbs (small bag) of Spartan apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used demerara, cortlands or granny smiths and golden delicious are also fine)
  • 3/4 cups of brown sugar
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon (if you have it, sometimes I don't)
  • grated nutmeg to taste
  • cinnamon to taste (I used about 1 1/2 tablespoons)

Eat a couple pieces of apple to test the seasoning and adjust as necessary. The apples will taste pretty good - don't eat too many! There's a generous amount of apples here - if you're using a smaller pie plate, set some apples aside before the next step. If you need them, you can always add them back on top of the pie before covering. Once you're satisfied with the taste, sprinkle and toss with:

  • 3 tablespoons flour

Assembly
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F with the rack on the middle bottom row and a rack on the bottom row.

Take the larger balls of pastry and roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper, flouring liberally and flipping to roll on both sides. Rotate the entire package as you're rolling, and roll in a circular motion. The idea is to not overwork any one part of the dough. Keep adding flour as you turn/flip. If it's too hard, wait a couple of minutes for it to warm slightly.
If it splits around the edges, just fix it with your fingers.

It should be about 3 inches bigger than the diameter of the pie pan.
I used a 9 inch pan.

Wrap the pastry over the rolling pin and unroll it into the pie pan, or use the parchment paper to flip it into place. Once you arrange it in the pan (try not to stretch it into place) it should overlap the edge by about 1/2 inch or more.

Roll the top piece of pastry to about 1 inch larger than the diameter of the pan.

Fill the bottom crust with apple mixture.

Use the roller or parchment to transfer the top crust onto the pie.

Fold the top crust under the bottom crust and firmly crimp/flute the edges together with your thumbs.
Trim the edge of the pan with a knife if you want to (I didn't bother).

Brush the top with a bit of

  • beaten egg
  • 1 tablespoon of milk
  • sprinkle with sugar

Cut vents in the top crust with a knife to let out steam, or prick many times with a fork.

Reduce the oven temperature to 400F and put the pie on the upper rack (on the bottom middle)
Bake for about 45 minutes. This is to really set and puff the pastry. If you're using a glass pan, you should see the bottom of the crust start to turn golden.

Then reduce the oven temperature to 375F and put a tray on the bottom rack to catch any overflow. Bake for another half an hour, or until the juices from the pie are bubbling stickily through the vents.

If the edges of the crust start to darken too fast, cover them with a ring of aluminum foil.

Let cool on a rack for 1 hour before eating. It'll still be warm, but the natural pectin and flour need some time to set..

Posted by JAY at 11:54 PM