Favorite Apple Pie Recipe

November 26, 2012

One of my favorite things to do in the Fall is to bake with fresh, organic apples. I love baking cakes, pies, and breads with apples I get from our nearby farmer’s market. One of my favorite recipes for apple pie is one I stumbled upon almost 10 years ago in a recipe book at my local library. The recipe is called “Favorite Deep-Dish Apple Pie” and has definitely become a favorite in my family with it’s not-to-sweet apple filling and flaky, buttery crust. It comes from The All-American Dessert Book (which I highly recommend & can be bought here) written by Nancy Baggett.

10 1/2 cups peeled, cored, and thinly sliced apples (8-11 medium baking apples; choose at least 3 kinds, such as Stayman, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Braeburn, Smokehouse, Sunrise, Granny Smith, Grimes Golden, York, and Gala)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
Scant 2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light brown suage
3 1/2 – 4 1/2 tbsp cornstarch (use larger amount if apples are very juicy)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into buts
1 tbsp milk for brushing on dough top
1 1/2 granulated sugar for sprinkling on dough top

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. In a very large, heavy nonreactive saucepan, toss the apples with the lemon juice. In a medium bowl, stir together the granulated suagr, brown sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon , and salt until well blended. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring and scraping the pan bottom, for about 3 minutes, or until the apples cook down slighlty; be careful not to burn. Remove from the burner. Tast and add moe lemon juice if desired.

Turn out the apple mixture into the bot­tom crust, mounding it in the center. Gently peel off the top sheet of paper from the second pastry round. Center the round, dough side down, over the filling. Peel off and discard the remaining paper. Trim the over­hang to 3/4 inch. Fold the overhang under the bottom pastry to form an edge that rests on the lip of the plate. Press the layers together firmly, then flute with your fingers or press the tines of a fork all the way around. Brush the dough top (not the edges) with the milk, then sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Cut generous slashes in the top for steam vents, using a sharp, lightly greased paring knife.

Set the pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. Spray the under­side of an extra-wide sheet of aluminum foil with nonstick spray (or use nonstick foil). Make a foil tent over the pie top so the entire crust is cov­ered. Continue baking for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and the filling is bubbly. Transfer the pie to a wire rack. Let cool for at least 1 1/2 hours and preferably 4 hours or more before serving.

The pie will keep covered, at room temperature for up to 2 days or re­frigerated for up to 2 days longer. Let come to room temperature before serving.

All-Purpose Pie Pastry Dough (Double Crust)
8 tbsp (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/3-inch cubes
7 tbsp solid white shortening, cut or spooned into 14 pieces
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup cake flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
6-9 tbsp ice water
Freeze the butter cubes and shortening pieces for 20 minutes.
In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together the all-­purpose flour, cake flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Sprinkle the chilled butter and shortening over the flour mixture. Using a pastry blender, forks, or your fingertips, cut in the fat until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs with a few bits the size of small peas remaining. Be sure to scrape up the flour mixture on the bottom of the bowl.

In a small bowl, measure out 6 tablespoons of ice water. Using a fork, lightly combine the water mixture with the flour mixture, tossing until the water is evenly incorporated and the mixture just be­gins to form clumps, about 15 to 20 strokes. Check the consistency by pinching a small amount of dough between your fingertips; it should hold together smoothly and be moist but not soggy. If it is crumbly or dry, sprinkle over more ice water, 2 teaspoons at a time, tossing briefly with a fork. When the water is evenly incorporated and the dough is suf­ficiently moistened to hold together when pinched, gather it up and firmly press it together with your fingertips into a smooth, dense mass. Divide the dough in half, and flatten the portions into 6-inch disks. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 45 minutes and preferably 1 hour. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or wrapped airtight and frozen for up to a month; thaw in the refrigerator before using. Roll and bake as directed in the individual recipes.

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