Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Homemade Apple Pie

Apple season is upon us, so it is that time of year for me to share my secret (no-longer) to making the perfect Apple pie. It is 100% made from scratch, which means heads up - a two day process, but it makes for a masterpiece of which you can be truly proud to serve to those deserving guests. Evolving in my kitchen over the past few years with some trial and error involved, and working in bits from other recipes, this recipe calls for a little bit of extra time, work, and dedication, but the end result is truly worth the extra steps. I hope you will agree...

Starting with the Dough (Day 1):
2 cups of Flour
1 Tablespoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 stick of butter
1/4 cup of water

Mix together the flour, salt and sugar.
 Cut up the butter into small square chunks. 
Add the butter to the flour mix.
Using your hands, work the butter into the flour mixture, squeezing and releasing to combine all the ingredients.  The mixture will start to get clumpy and form together when you clench it in your fist.
Add water, just a little bit at a time, until the mixture sticks together and forms a small dough ball.
Split the dough into two small rounds, cover with plastic, and place in the refrigerator overnight.

Onto the Apple Pie (Day 2):
5 Apples
1/4 cup of Sugar (can use sugar + sugar substitute blend)
2 Tablespoons of Flour
1/8 cup of Water
1 teaspoon of Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of Nutmeg
Two balls of dough (see above)
1 Tablespoon of Milk (optional)
2 Tablespoons of Sugar (optional)
Peel the apples removing all the skin. 
 Cut apples into chunks.
Toss the apple chunks in the flour and place in a medium sized saucepan on the stove top over medium heat.
Pour water into saucepan and sprinkle the 1/4 cup of sugar on top of the apples.
Stir around and let the apples cook for about 15 - 20 minutes.
The apples will become soft and a slight syrup will form.
Add the cinnamon and nutmeg, stir together, then set the apple mixture aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. On a well-floured surface, with a well-floured rolling pin, begin to roll out one of the dough balls (it's easier to roll it out if it has had a little bit of time to get to room temperature ~15 mins.).
Roll out the dough, turning occasionally to ensure a nice, flat circle.
Once the dough is flattened, a little bit larger than the circumference of the pie dish, pick up the dough and place it in the dish.
You want the dough to be resting over the sides of the pie dish.
Place the apple mixture into the pie.
Grab the other dough ball and roll it out as you did with the first one.  Using a butter knife, slice the dough into 1/2 inch wide strips.
Place the strips atop the apple mixture, one strip at a time, with the end hanging over the edge.  Continue to place the strips atop the pie, layering one over the other.
Continue layering until the pie creates a mosaic top layer.
Finally, fold over the outer edges of the pie.
Push down the edges to compact the pie.
Optionally:  Brush the top strips of dough with milk and then sprinkle over the milk with sugar.  This doesn't have much of an impact on the flavor, but does provide for a nice crystallized look atop the pie.
Place the pie in the oven for about 45 minutes, checking periodically.
It's okay if some of the apple mixture pokes through.  That way your guests will surely know that this is truly a homemade pie.
Serve each slice on its own...
... or a la mode!