Thursday, June 17, 2010

Famous Apple Pie

I {heart} apple pie.  I mean, really {heart} apple pie.  I am not sure how to visually convey to you how deep my affection is for it.  It is my favorite thing to bake, and I am totally OK with the mention of my name being synonomous with my great love for apple pie.  I am extremely biased, and like my homemade apple pie the best, but if necessary, I will settle for any version of this dessert.  In my pursuit of how to make a perfect food even better, I found a recipe that did just that, and was rewarded by raves all around the table.  Voila!

Apple Pie
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Pie Crust for a 2-Crust Pie

Apple Filling
2 1/2 pounds (about 6 large) apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick (about 8 cups sliced)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tbl. water
1 tbl. sugar

In a large bowl combine the sliced apples, sugars, lemon juice, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Let the apples macerate at room temperature for about two hours.

Prepare pie crust dough.  Divide the dough in half, flattening each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour.

After the dough has chilled sufficiently, remove one portion of the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12-inch circle. Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and trim the edges of the pastry to fit the pie pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

Then remove the second round of pastry and roll it onto a 12-inch circle. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator.

Place the apples and their juices in a strainer that is placed over a large bowl (to capture the juices). Let the apples drain for about 15-30 minutes or until you have at least 1/2 cup of juice. Pour collected juices and the 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 6-7 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to about 1/3 cup and is syrupy and lightly caramelized.

Meanwhile, remove the top pastry crust from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes so it has time to soften and become pliable.

Transfer the drained apples slices to a large bowl and mix them with the cornstarch. Then pour the reduced syrup over the apples and toss to combine. Pour the apples and their syrup into the chilled pie crust. Moisten the edges of the pie shell with a little water and then place the top crust over the apples. Tuck any excess pastry under the bottom crust and then crimp the edges using your fingers or a fork. Using a sharp knife, make five 2-inch slits from the center of the pie out towards the edge of the pie to allow the steam to escape.
Using a pastry brush, lightly brush top of pie with a bit of water.  Sprinkle sugar over moistened pie crust.
Cover the pie with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill the pastry while you preheat the oven.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place metal pie shield around the crust or use a long strip of aluminum foil.  Remove after 25 minutes of baking.

Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes or until the juices start to bubble through the slits and apples feel tender (not mushy) when a toothpick or sharp knife is inserted through one of the slits.

Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 3-4 hours before cutting. Store at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

 (You even get 2 pictures with this recipe!!  That is just how much I {heart} apple pie!  Enjoy!)

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