Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Pie To Remember

Alas! The apple pie recipe. Read through the recipe and assemble all your ingredients before starting. This sounds harder than it is and it is real easy if you do it over two days. Try before doing this for Thanksgiving. Eating it will convince you it is worth the effort. I am afraid I can't take credit for this recipe. I found it in one of my favorite magazines that I get from Canada. However I have tweaked it to make it a little easier to read and added my own tips to make it easier to make. Especially for the novice pie maker. Hope you try this. It gets easier each time you do it and it is well worth it.  

2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. white sugar
1 cup shortening
1 Tbsp. butter
1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup very cold water

Filling (a two step process)
1/4 cup butter
1 cup real maple syrup
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. water

3 lbs. apples peeled cored and sliced.  (recommended apples: Braeburn)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (I use a little more spice)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt

Pastry wash
1 egg yolk
1 Tbsp milk, cream, or half & half

Chill your shortening the night before or just leave it in the frig all the time to be ready at the drop of a hat. 
You can make the pastry a day ahead and keep in the fridge. (Tip: Keeping your shortening refrigerated keeps it from going rancid and it is ready for making any pie crust at any time.)

Make the pastry
Combine the flour, salt and sugar in a large two quart bowl. Stir until combined. Using a pastry blender blend the shortening and butter into the flour mixture until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Do not over blend. 

Mix the lemon juice and egg yolk in a measuring cup. Add the cold water and mix well. Pour over the flour mixture and blend with a fork until the dough holds together well. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour. (Tip: Over night is better.)

Make the filling
Place the butter and maple syrup together in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Place the cornstarch in a small bowl and add the water stirring to make a paste. Add it to the maple syrup mixture. Stirring constantly slowly bring the mixture to a boil. Stirring occasionally, reduce heat and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Cool to lukewarm. (Tip:You can do the pastry and this part of the filling a day ahead but if you put the syrup in the frig over night set it out in the morning to bring to room temp).

While mixture is cooling (or next day) peel core and slice the apples and place in a large bowl with the lemon juice and toss to coat. Mix the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the apples and toss until the apples are coated with the mixture. Pour the cooled syrup mixture over the apples and toss well to coat.

Take out your pastry and place on a well floured counter top. Dust the pastry with flour and roll out into approximately a 20 inch disk using more flour as needed to keep from sticking. Transfer to a waiting 9 or 10 inch deep dish pie pan allowing the pastry to hang over the edges. (I use a heavy pottery type but glass works too). Don't worry too much if the pastry comes apart a little when moving it. Just get it into the pan and stick it back together again. Don't be too fussy. It's a rustic apple pie.  (Another tip: Roll the pastry up onto the rolling pin like a roller shade to move it.)

Spoon the apple mixture into the dough and fold the overhanging pastry up and over the apples (kind of like a diaper). Mix egg yolk and milk/cream/half&half in a small bowl and brush the pastry all over. Sprinkle with a course sugar. (One packet of raw sugar from your favorite restaurant is perfect) Place in an unheated oven and turn oven on to 375 degrees.(Tip: Putting the pie on a metal pizza pan or cookie sheet keeps it from dripping into your oven) Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set. Approximately 75 minutes. If the crust browns too fast place a little tin foil loosely over the pie. Cool before serving.

Serves 10
Prep time 45 minutes (once you have it down)
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes

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