Good ol’ Apple Pie

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So today I had the day off and I wanted to do two things…work out and make apple pie.  Pie is something that I have under appreciated until about six months ago.  I don’t know what changed but  I even like it better than cake now. It’s just so homey and good.  (me talking about why I like pie should be another post) So I give you what I spent my entire day creating..looks good doesn’t it?

WARNING this recipe takes several hours to make.  If you don’t have that resource, you can make the dough ahead of time. I made the crust and filling simultaneously.

First, cube the butter. For some reason I think cubed butter is one of the cutest things…I don’t know why. Once cubed, put in the freezer for 15min. A crusty and tender crust require very cold butter and minimal time handling the dough.  This means you want to efficiently incorporate the dough ingredients and not over mix it.  You want to be able to see pieces of butter in the dough.

butter

Next, mix the butter with the flour mixture. Don’t they look like blocks in sand?

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Pour out the mixture on a clean work surface and use a rolling pin to flatten the butter. Don’t over think this just flatten as best as possible.  Then put the mixture back into the bowl and freeze again for about 10min.

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When time has elapsed, create a well in the middle of the mixture and pour in the cold butermilk. Mix the buttermilk with the flour mixture and try to get everything damp.   The dough will be shaggy and will have a hard time staying together.  Form two disks, wrap, and refrigerate for 1hr.

I had a hard time with this part.  My mixture was really dry and still had a lot of flour left over. I added about two more tablespoons of buttermilk to help but still had excess flour so I decided I was just going to form a disk as best I could, wrap it, and hope the moisture would distribute.

Meanwhile, chop and create the apple mixture.

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Next, take one dough disk and roll it out to about  a 12 inch round. You may need to let the dough rest on the counter for 10 min before you try to roll it out.  Press into pie dish, cut off excess, wrap and refrigerate for 30 min. When I took my dough out, it was still pretty crumbly so I kneaded it by folding the dough in half and pressing down. I did this three times until it held together.  I was afraid this would make the dough tough but it had no affect.

Continue with the apple mixture…look at that yummy syrup.

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Roll out the top crust the same way you did the bottom and pour the apple mixture into the bottom crust. Now you are ready to fit the top crust onto the pie.  Make sure to create a vent for steam to come out. You can use cookie cutters or you can make slits using a knife. Refrigerate pie for 1hr before baking.  This recipe taught me that refrigeration helps the dough not shrink while baking. You’ll want to preheat the oven for 20 minutes before baking.

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Now the moment we’ve all been waiting for….actually baking the pie. Make sure to get a deep golden color on the crust for maximum flakiness.   It’s okay if the edges are a little darker. I just realized after reading the directions again that I baked my pie at 400 degrees instead of 425 degrees….*sigh* It still turned out great but I noticed some of the apples weren’t cooked through.

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look at the flaky flaky layers…DSCN2301

Now that I’m done…how about another

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Do you find pie homey?  If not, then what?

………………………………

Good ol’ Apple Pie Recipe

recipe from Joy the Baker, With Love, Apple Pie

Buttermilk Crust

2 sticks cold unsalted butter

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup buttermilk

Cut the butter into ½ inch pieces and place in the freezer to chill for 15 minutes.  You could also place the buttermilk in the refrigerator or freezer to cold.

Sift together the dry ingredients together.  Toss the butter and flour mixture together.

Dump the butter and flour mixture together on to a clean work surface.  With a rolling pin, roll the mixture, and flatten the butter cubes with the flour into thin sheets.  Do this quickly to make sure the butter stays cold.

Place the butter and flour mixture back into the freezer for 10 minutes.  After the butter has chilled, make a small well in the center of the mixture.  Add the cold buttermilk to the bowl.  Use your hand to mix the butter and flour mixture together making sure to dampen the flour with the milk. The dough will be shaggy and hard to come together.  If the dough is still dry use a couple more tablespoons of buttermilk and incorporate into the mixture. Form the dough into two disks, wrap in plastic and place in the refrigerator for an hour to rest.  This will allow the moisture to redistribute throughout the dough.

Apple Pie

2 1/2 lbs baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/4-inch thick.

1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 – 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

Remove one disk of dough for the bottom crust from the refrigerator.  Let it rest for 10 minutes or until it is soft enough to roll.

On a floured surface, roll the bottom crust 1/8 inch thick into a 12 inches round.  Transfer it to a pie pan, trim the excess and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate crust for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 3 hours.

In a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Allow the apples to macerate at room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 3 hours.

Transfer the apples and their juices to a colander suspended over a bowl to separate the liquid.  The mixture will release 1/2 cup of liquid.

In a small saucepan (it’s best if it’s nonstick), over medium high heat, boil down the liquid, with the butter, to about 1/3 cup or until syrupy and lightly caramelized.  Swirl the liquid but do not stir it.  Next, transfer the apples to a bowl and toss them with the cornstarch until all traces of it have disappeared.

Pour the syrup over the apples and toss to coat. Roll out the top crust into a 12 inch round.

Transfer the apple mixture to the pie shell and place the top crust over the fruit.  Trim the excess of the top crust so that there is only 1/2-inch overhang.  Tuck the overhand under the bottom crust boarder and press down to seal it.  Crimp the border using a fork or your fingers and make a steam vent using cookie cutters or make slits in the top crust using a knife. Cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before baking.  This will prevent shrinking.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F at least 20 minutes before baking.  Set oven rack at the lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet before preheating.  Place a large piece of greased foil on top of the sheet to catch any juices.

Set the pie directly on he foil topped baking stone and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until the juices bubble through the steam vents the apples feel tender but not mushy when a take tester or small sharp knife is inserted through a slash.  After 30 minutes, protect the edges from overbrowning with a foil ring.

Cool the pie on a rack at least 4 hours before cutting.

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