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Apple Pie

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Recipe slightly adapted from Betty Crocker's Cookbook.  [Recipe makes (1) 9-inch pie].

For the holidays or large family gatherings, there is usually one dish that is expected from certain relatives to bring.  In my immediate family, this dish is homemade apple pies from my dad.  Over the past few years, I've tried recipes other than the one I grew up on, but to this day, it's still my go-to.  This recipe isn't over sweet or over-saturated with caramel sauce.  Rather, it lets the apples shine with just enough cinnamon sugar filling to bind everything together.  In my mind, Betty Crocker wins when it comes to apple pies.

Now with that, I have altered one thing: the crust (sorry Betty).  Although the flavor and texture has always been great, I've found that the workability tends to be an issue more often than not.  As I've discussed in a recent culinary lesson, my new recipe still has the flavor and flakiness that we all love, but it's impossible for the dough to crumble or come out tough due to the magical ingredient of vodka.

The only variable left for you to play with is the type of apple used.  Unlike many people, I like a good amount of bite when the apples are cooked down, so I went with a combination of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp apples.  If you like a different texture to the filling or want to play with different flavor combinations, there's a whole arsenal of varieties to choose from.  Whatever you decide on, I ensure you that the combination of expertise from Betty Crocker and America's Test Kitchen will result in the perfect apple pie.

INGREDIENTS:

Pie dough

5 1/4 ounces (~3/4 cup) sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
6 medium apples
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

DIRECTIONS:

Prepare the pie dough and have ready to fill.  [Side note:  As the link suggests, the dough can be made 2 days in advance and stored in the refrigerator, or 1 month in advance if frozen and then thawed the day before].

Adjust  an oven rack to the lower-middle position, place a cookie sheet on the rack, and preheat the oven to 425° F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir to combine and reserve.  Core, peel, half, and thinly slice apples.  Add the apples to the spice mixture and toss until equally coated.  Tightly but gently add the mixture to the pie crust.  Cut the butter into 8 (or so) pieces and equally space on top of the apple filling.  Finish assembling the pie as instructed in the previous link.  Brush the top with the egg wash used to seal the top and bottom crusts together.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the top and bottom crusts are golden brown.  [Side note:  If the top and/or outer edge are cooking faster than the rest of the pie, use a sheet of aluminum foil and/or pie crust shield to slow down the browning].  Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for at least 3 hours before slicing and serving.

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