Thursday, March 5, 2009

Apple Pie

This was another pie I made to send with Josh on his canoe trip. I used the Basic Pie Dough recipe I just posted, and found this apple pie recipe on the Joy of Baking site. It looked simple and straightforward, and I liked the idea of letting the apples sit and later using the juices to help the pie from getting too runny in the oven.
Apple Pie

1 recipe basic pie dough, or 2 pie crusts from the recipe of your liking
2 1/2 lbs apples peeled, cored and sliced 1/4 in thick - about 8 cups sliced (I used 1.5 lbs granny smith, and 1 lb McIntosh)
1/4 c. granulated white sugar
1/4 c. light brown sugar
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch
1 egg (I used an eggwash on the top crust, but you don't have to)

1. In a bowl combine the sliced apples, sugars, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Let the apples macerate (let sit) at room temperature for about 2 hours.

2. Place the apples and the juice in a strainer over a large bowl to capture the juices. Let strain for 15-30 minutes; you want at least a 1/2 cup of juices.

3. Boil the juices and the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 6-7 minutes, until the liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup and is syrupy and lightly caramelized. (Watch yours - I think I let mine go a little too far.)

4. Meanwhile, roll out your pie crusts. The may need to sit out for about 10 min (do this while draining your apples) if they were in the fridge overnight. Place the bottom crust in the pie plate and set it back in the fridge, and have your top crust rolled out and ready to go on the counter top.

5. Transfer the drained apple slices to a large bowl and mix with the cornstarch. Then pour the reduced syrup over the apples and toss to combine (my syrup kind of caramelized at this stage and didn't combine very well... I hope it distributed a bit better when it was heated while baking.)

6. Pour the apples and syrup into the pie crust (mine didn't all fit, so I just had to eat the ones that got left out). Moisten the edges of the pie crust, and roll the second crust over top.

7. Crimp the edges of the pie with your fingers or a fork and trim off any excess dough. Cut 4 2-inch slits in the top of the pie to let steam escape. (I still need to practice my crimping skills :/)

8. Beat an egg in a bowl and lightly brush the top of the pie with the egg wash. You can also sprinkle some sugar on top, but I forgot. Place the pie back in the fridge to chill the pastry while you preheat the oven (I skipped this part and preheated while I was working.)

9. Turn the oven on to 425 deg. Place the oven rack on the lowest level, and place a foil-lined (trust me on this one, you don't want to clean caramelized apple goo off of anything) baking sheet in the oven to preheat.

10. Set the pie on the stone and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the juices are bubbling though the slits and the apples feel tender when pierced through the slits with a toothpick or fork. I covered the edges with a pie guard for the first 30 minutes, and then removed to let the edges finish browning, without burning.

11. Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool 3-4 hours before cutting. I highly recommend serving warm with some vanilla ice cream!

Great, easy recipe to follow. I need to work on my pie-crust-skills, but the pie looks really good. I'll get a review from the guys when they get back :)
Update: Josh didn't go canoeing.... so my family got to eat this instead. It was very yummy, but I think I still need to perfect the crust.

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