December 28, 2011

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

This year I was given the task of making dessert for Christmas dinner. It didn't take me long to figure out what I wanted to make! We had apples from a local orchard in our refrigerator leftover from the fall, and if they were not put to use soon, they were going to go to waste. My dad and I will always have a place in our hearts for a good piece of pie. Nothing beats finishing dinner with family and friends more than sharing apple pie and ice cream. Despite my mother's concerns about this being my first attempt at making a pie from scratch, I am pleased to report this pie turned out PERFECTLY! The entire family enjoyed it and it looked like a work of art.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 sticks cold butter
3 tbsp. ice water

4 lbs. of apples (mine were all gala)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Egg Wash (whisk one egg to make)
Sugar for sprinkling

To make the crust: In a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar for the pie crust. Pulse a few times, then add the butter. Continue to pulse until the dough becomes crumb-like. Add 3tbsp. water, or enough that it comes together, but is not sticky to the touch. Divide the completed dough in half, wrap each disk in plastic wrap to chill for two hours or overnight.

Take pie crust out of refrigerator to come to room temperature before trying to roll out. Roll one round into 12 inch circle. Line the bottom of a 9 inch pie dish and trim any excess at the edges. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

To make the filling: slice the apples into 1/4 inch pieces. in a medium saucepan over medium heat combine apples, sugar, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and cornstarch. Cover and cook until apples become tender, but not mushy, anywhere from 10-20 minutes depending on the composition of the apple. Remove the cover and allow to cook for a few addition minutes, stirring occasionally, until a thick, shiny syrup develops. Remove from heat and add lemon juice. Allow to cool.

Roll out the other pie crust into 12 inch circle. Use a cookie cutter to make a design for the top of the pie. Reserve the cutouts for decorations.

Pour the cooled apple filling into the pie dish. Cover with pie crust top and remaining cutouts. Whisk an egg and brush onto top of pie. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake for 50-60 minutes at 400 degrees making sure the top of the pie does not start to burn. Remove from oven, sprinkle top with more granulated sugar, and allow to cool for at least 90 minutes before serving.

Enjoy with ice cream (look for my vanilla bean salty caramel ice cream coming soon)!

Recipe Inspiration from Williams-Sonoma