Sep 11, 2008
Alice Apple Pie
Back in college I used to make a lot of apple pies. I forgot about them for about twenty years but now they're back. Two weeks ago I kicked off the re-start with a pie for my young friend Alice, for whom I put a nicely cut "A" on the crust.
Having been out of the baking world for a while, I had to look up some basic recipes online for both crust and filling. I got two good ones from allrecipes.com, and then tweaked to my tastes. Here's what I've been cooking with reasonably consistent success:
Alice Apple Pies (recipe for two):
Apple Filling Ingredients
3.5 to 4 lbs. Granny Smith apples
1/3 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. white sugar
1/3 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. nutmeg
Pie Crust Ingredients
4 c. all purpose flour
2 tbs. sugar
12 tbs. butter
10 tbs. vegetable shortening
2 tsp. salt
12-16 tbs. ice water
In one big bowl, blend all ingredients except the water with a pastry knife. Add water bit by bit, stirring until you've got everything nicely mixed. Finally blend all together by hand into a ball of even consistency. Remove ball from big bowl and place in refrigerator to chill.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Peel, core, and slice apples. Blend with remaining filling ingredients in the big bowl (you know, the one that you just did the pie crust dough in).
Remove dough from refrigerator, cut into quarters, roll two bottom crusts, fill pies, and roll top crusts, reserving a little bit of dough for decorations. Pinch edges appropriately. Use the reserved dough to make a nice initial for the person you love most at that moment, or maybe some hearts or whatever. Wet with a bit of the filling juice (still in the bottom of the big bowl, of course) before laying onto the top crust. Punch many fork holes in an attractive pattern. Ring the edge of your pie crust with a bit of tin foil.
Place on center rack (or on a tray on the center rack -- I'm told that different trays yield different results for the bottom crust, but I don't know what they are) and bake for ~50-55 minutes, removing the tin foil edging ten minutes before it's done.
If you like, throw on a quick glaze with five minutes to go: a 50/50 wash of corn syrup and hot water, dusted with coarse sugar.
Serve with a bit of cheddar or Wensleydale and a bit of whiskey if you'd like to be from Yorkshire. Else tea. I think that ice cream with pie is overkill.
Confession: tonight's pie was a bit more moist than I had expected. I realized while typing this recipe that I had forgotten to poke holes in the crust. D'oh!
What you didn't warn people about, Phil, is that the second pie may turn out to be smaller than the first if people in the kitchen can't help but eat the yummy apples basking in cinnamon filling straight out of the bowl.... mmmmm! Who needs the oven, who needs crust!
Posted by: Lisa | Sep 12, 2008 4:19:10 PM
Tweakage: In California I'm using some deep and lipless pans. Today I tried bumping all things up by a rough 20%. I definitely bumped the cinnamon and nutmeg too much. Along with the cooking time (no, not 20%, bt still a minute or two). Oh well. Pie still good, but not as good. Vent holes did not do much for reducing the moisture.
Posted by: Phil | Sep 18, 2008 3:10:15 AM
In Portland I made this pie with Cox Orange Pippen apples bought at the awesome Wednesday downtown farmer's market. The guy who sold it said that some university tested many apples for cooking and pronounced the Cox Orange Pippen as champion.
Posted by: Phil | Oct 21, 2008 12:22:56 AM