After I fell in love with the Baked Apple-Cinnamon combination with my Apple Streusel cake, it was time to experiment the ‘King of Apple-recipes’ - the Apple Pie! To be honest, I had not tried an apple pie, being from a South Indian city - Bangalore. Even though we get all sorts of international cuisine in the IT hub Bangalore from a few years now, somehow apple pie had not made to my list. May be I was apprehensive of my taste towards apple-cinnamon in a baked goodie.
After starting to blog, the apple pie featured in many blogs and caught my eye, but never made it to my kitchen for the huge amount of butter that goes in! But now, with a new pie plate and a bag full of farm-fresh apples, I had to make it. And a small get together during the week, was a great excuse to make it - and feel less guilty about the butter - the sin will be shared by many more people, you see!! :)
I have, however, been myself of being stingy with the butter - I did reduce it a bit - but the crust was still flaky and nice, in spite of it.
Merry Christmas, everyone!!!
Preparation time: 40-50 min
Cooking time: 50-55 minutes
Makes: A 9” pie; enough for 8 generous servings
Adapted from: Joy of Baking; making lattice crust from other sources on net
For the Pie Crust:
All-purpose flour - 2 1/2 cups (350 grams)
Salt - 1 tsp
Granulated white sugar - 2 tablespoon (30 grams)
Unsalted butter - 1 cup (226 grams), chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces [i used about 3/4 cup]
Ice water - 1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 - 120 ml)
For apple filling:
Apples - 1.1 kg (about 6 large or 10 small), peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 8 cups (2 l))
Granulated white sugar - 1/4 cup (50 grams)
Light brown sugar - 1/4 cup (55 grams)
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Ground cinnamon - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Unsalted butter - 2 tbsp (28 grams) [I used salted butter and so skipped salt]
Cornstarch (corn flour) - 1 1/2 tbsp (15 grams)
Making the Pie Crust:
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, salt, and sugar. Add chopped, cold butter and mix with a fork till the mixture resembles coarse meal (Or process in a food processor for about 15 seconds).
- Add about 1/4 cup water and continue mixing till the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not over mix.
- Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. 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 (30 cm) circle. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards).)
- Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 9 inch (23 cm) 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 into a 12 inch (30 cm) circle. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator.
Making the Filling:
- In a large bowl combine the sliced apples with the sugars, lemon juice, ground cinnamon, and salt. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to three hours.
- Then, 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 about 1/2 cup (120 ml) of juice.
- Spray a 4 cup (960 ml) heatproof measuring cup with a nonstick vegetable spray, and then pour in the collected juices and the 2 tablespoons (28 grams) of unsalted butter.
- Place in the microwave and boil the liquid, on high, about 5 to 7 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to about 1/3 cup (80 ml) and is syrupy and lightly caramelized. (Alternatively, you could place the juices and butter in a small saucepan and boil over medium high heat on the stove.)
- Transfer the drained apples slices to a large bowl and mix them with the cornstarch (corn flour). Then pour the reduced syrup over the apples and toss to combine.
- Pour the apples and their syrup into the chilled pie crust.
Making the lattice crust for the top:
- 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.
- Moisten the edges of the pie shell with a little water.
- Using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife, cut the top pastry into long strips of about 3/4 - 1 inch width depending on how thick you want your lattice strips.
- Lift the middle two strips and place it on the pie in the middle, one each horizontally and vertically, forming a plus mark at the middle.
- Start lifting the strips next to the middle ones, one from each side and place them next to the first plus mark you made. While doing so, if placing the horizontal one, lift the already placed vertical one up and insert it below, so that the strips are interwoven.
- Repeat the same, vertically and horizontally making sure you lift up the alternating strips in the opposite orientation, leading to a complete inter-woven crust, till you reach the edges.
- Tuck any excess pastry of each strip under the bottom crust and then crimp the edges using your fingers or a fork.
- Cover the pie with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill the pastry while you preheat the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Place the oven rack at the lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on the rack before preheating the oven.
- Place a piece of aluminum foil on the stone (or pan) to catch any apple juices.
- Set the pie on the stone or pan and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes or until the juices start to bubble through the slits and the apples feel tender (not mushy) when a toothpick or sharp knife is inserted through one of the slits.
- Cover the edges of the pie with a foil ring to prevent over browning after about 30 minutes.
- Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 3-4 hours before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream.
- Store at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
- Use slightly toasted nuts. To toast walnuts, place them in microwave for a few seconds and crush them into pieces
- Fresh juicy and crisp apples work the best. If sour, it also adds a nice tang to the cake.
- Making the lattice top is quite easy - much easier than it appears to be - takes about 10 minutes, that’s it! So don’t deter from trying it, thinking it is too complex. You’ll be more than satisfied, once you try it :)