Apple Pie (with crust) (July 10, 2009)

David is taking one of his exams tomorrow, so I asked what delicious dessert he would like post-exam. He requested an apple pie. I made this pie this past May after the end of school for another gathering. I was going to attempt the lattice crust this time, but the author of the blog warns that the crust fell as soon as she cut into the pie. This was also true of the pie when I made it in May (without the lattice crust). But it’s pie, so even bad pie is good.

Here is the crust. I used the double crust recipe  I like that it uses a mix of shortening and butter:

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (2 1/2 cups, non-lattice)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
7 tablespoons all-vegetable shortening, chilled (8 tablespoons, non-lattice)
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (12 tablespoons, non-lattice)
10 tablespoons ice water (6 to 8 tablespoons, non-lattice)

1. Pulse flour, salt and sugar in a food processor fitted with steel bald until combined. Add shortening and process until mixture has texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture; cut butter into flour until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about ten 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle 8 tablespoons ice water over mixture. With blade of rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 2 tablespoons more ice water if it will not come together. Divide dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. (If possible, weigh pieces. They should register 16 ounces and 14 ounces.) Flatten larger piece into a rough 5-inch square and smaller piece into a 4-inch disk; (If for a non-lattice, double crust pie, these pieces should be even in weight and both round) wrap separately in plastic and refrigerator at least 1 hour or up to 2 days before rolling.

Here is the pie. I have a hard time finding Macintosh, so I use Granny Smith exclusively. I also follow some suggestions from the comments and use heaping amounts of the spices. I used lemon juice from a plastic looking lemon not an actual lemon.  I also use a whole egg for the wash because I am simply too lazy to just do the white. I like it this way as well.

1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 3 medium)
2 pounds McIntosh apples (about 4 large)
1 tablespoon juice and 1 teaspoon zest from 1 lemon
3/4 cups (5.25 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg white, beaten lightly

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat rimmed baking sheet and oven to 500°F. Remove one piece of dough from refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable).

2. Roll dough on lightly floured work surface or between two large sheets of plastic wrap to 12-inch disk. Transfer dough to pie plate by rolling dough around rolling pin and unrolling over 9 1/2-inch pie plate or by folding dough in quarters, then placing dough point in center of pie plate and unfolding. Working around circumference of pie plate, ease dough into pan corners by gently lifting dough edges with one hand while pressing around pan bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs lip of plate in place; refrigerate dough-lined pie plate.

3. Peel, core and cut apples in half, and in half again width-wise; cut quarters into 1/4-inch slices and toss with lemon juice and zest. In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup sugar, flour, salt and spices. Toss dry ingredients with apples. Turn fruit mixture, including juices, into chilled pie shell and mound slightly in center.

4. Roll out second piece of dough to 12-inch disk and place over filling. Trim top and bottom edges to 1/2-inch beyond pan lip. Tuck this rim of dough underneath itself so that folded edge is flush with pan lip. Flute edging or press with fork tines to seal. Cut four slits on dough top. If pie dough is very soft, place in freezer for 10 minutes. Brush egg white onto top of crust and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

5. Place pie on baking sheet and lower oven temperature to 425°F. Bake until top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Rotate pie and reduce oven temperature to 375°F; continue baking until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30-35 minutes longer.

6. Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours.


Eggnog Pumpkin Pie (November 10, 2008)

from “taste of home” magazine, via my sister.

1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp shortening
3 tbsp cold butter, cubed
3-4 tbsp cold water

2 eggs
1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
1 cup eggnog
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup chopped pecans

in a food processor, combine flour and salt; cover and pulse to blend. add shortening and butter, cover and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. while processing, gradually add water until dough forms a ball. wrap in plastic, refrigerate for 1-1.5 hours, or until easy to handle.

roll out pastry to fit in a 9-in pie plate. transfer pastry to pie plate, trim to 1/2 in beyond edge of plate – flute edges.

in a large bowl, whisk eggs, pumpkin, eggnog, and spices until blended. pour into crust.

in a small bowl, beat brown sugar an butter until crumbly, about 2 min. stir in pecans, sprinkle over filling. (i skipped this step, made it sans topping.)

bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

david – A. the crust is kind of average – carla says that some recipes use more butter. i don’t think i rolled it out very evenly, and so some pieces have a sort of thick, slightly underdone crust. but that’s a small thing – i think the filling is quite delicious, and i’m a man who likes pumpkin pie. it doesn’t really taste like eggnog, i think because the sort of spiced flavor off the nog blends easily into a pumpkin pie setting. either way, i’m loving it.

carla – B+. i wish it tasted more like eggnog. it’s got a good amount of spice though. i should also say that it was really nice to come home to a pie.