Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fast Times and Apple Pie

Last weekend, Kat and I decided to take a stab at the typical American Apple Pie Recipe, but also make it our own by blending a few recipes we had found, one at Annies Eats and from the William's Sonoma Baking Cookbook (a recommended book for anything to bake!) This is truly our first attempt at customizing a recipe... and really my first time baking anything like this, but the results were amazing. A truly classic apple pie!

Apple Pie
For the crust:
3 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
6 oz. butter (1 ½ sticks), chilled and diced
6-8 Tbs. cold water
For the filling:
2 lbs. peeled, cored and thinly sliced cooking apples (I used Gala)
1/4 cups brown sugar
2 Tbs. butter (melted)
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. all spice
For the topping:
1 egg beaten
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the butter. Cut the butter into the flour or rub it in with your fingertips until the mixture is crumb-like. Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of water over the mixture. With a fork, toss gently to mix and moisten it. Press the dough into a ball. If it is too dry to form a dough, add the remaining water. Wrap the ball of dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes.
At this point you can start to make the filling. To make the filling, add the peeled and apples to a mixing bowl. Mix the spices (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, & all spice) with the brown sugar in a separate bowl. Toss the apples in the melted butter. Add the spice/sugar mix and coat evenly.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let warm up a bit if necessary. Preheat oven to 375°.
Cut the dough in half. On a floured surface, roll out one half into a 12-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick. Try to keep the dough as round as possible. Transfer the rolled-out pastry to a 9-inch pie dish. Put in the filling and smooth so the top is level. Roll out the pastry for the top crust and cut it into strips about 1/2 inch wide. This will be used to create the typical lattice top of the classic apple pie.

Use the longer pastry strips near the center of the pie and the shorter ones near the edges. Cross the two longest strips over the center of the filled pie. Place a second long strip over the top cross strip. Fold back every other strip onto itself and lay a cross strip in place, then return folded-back strips to their original position.Continue weaving in this fashion, working from the center of the pie toward the edges. Trim and flute the edges decoratively with your thumb or with a fork.
At this point, beat an egg to create an egg wash and brush it evenly over the entire pie. This will give it that nice shimmering finish once it is done. Also, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon to create a sprinkle to put over the top. You can add other spices here to create your own unique flavor...
Place this exquisite creation into the oven. Bake for 45 minutes or until pastry is golden brown and the fruit is tender. Cool on a rack. Serves 8. Garnish with some ice cream or whipped cream!

While the pie was baking, we watched Fast Times at Ridgemont High in the continuation of our dinner and a movie tradition. I had seen segments of the film before, but had never really seen the whole thing. It just seemed like the right thing to watch, a classic movie paired with a classic recipe! With that being said, both the pie and the movie were the ultimate treat. I couldn't stop laughing at the crudeness of the comedy. Being a huge fan of Sean Penn and seeing him in a early break-through role was awesome as well... I can say that I recommend this to anyone who grew up in the 1980s!

Katrina Says...
I was surprised when Brad called me and asked if I would make a homemade apple pie! I said I would, even though I had just been to the grocery. So off I went to the Coop to get some organic apples and then to Kroger for some butter (butter is so much more expensive in KY than WI! probably a good thing...), which turned into a disaster...( I was harassed in the parking lot, and then I accidently got the 1lb block of butter instead of sticks!) But....everything turned out just fine...including this pie!

The apples were mixed with some butter and spices. Definitely not what you get when you open a can of apple pie filling! There is a lot less sugar and a lot more apple. I even used my garage sale find of the day...a neat handmade glazed bowl.

The lattice isn't perfect, but what else would you want with a homemade pie!

I used pink lady apples, which gave the pie a little more tartness than sweetness. I think next time I'll use a bit more sugar and spice

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