Saturday, January 3, 2009

Apple Pie


My mom was craving apple pie, so I decided to make her one.. plus, I could brush up on my pie pastry skills. The first time I ever made a pie crust, it was better than I anticipated. This time, however, it didn't turn out so well because the crust was hard and tough. I guess I must have overprocessed the dough in the food processor. That sure feels like a waste because anything with that much fat in it should taste good, right?! The purpose of this apple pie recipe was to let the apple flavour come out without going crazy with the cinnamon and nutmeg. I'll admit that this was a very clean tasting pie, but next time I'll add a touch more cinnamon. Normally, I'm don't post progress pictures because the counter is way too cluttered when I'm baking and I don't really want to ruin my camera. Plus, if I wait too long, I'm scared the baking powder and baking soda will wear off when I bake cakes! I'm so impresssed by people are able to get shots of caramel, considering how quickly to turns from clear to amber to burnt. Anyway, I just had to take a picture of the apples I peeled and sliced because it felt like an eternity! A little embarassing, but I didn't even really know how to use a knife until my grade 10 food and nutrition class when we made vegatable soup. I still remember when I was singled out because apparently I was being a little too dangerous when chopping up celery. On the right, I used the CI recommended Granny Smith apples and on the left was a bunch random ones I found.

pieapple (2)

I'm still not a crazy crust person so next time I'm definitely trying out a crumb/streusal topping. It would probably help prevent that huge gap I had under the crust. Don't let the height of the pie fool you because underneath it all, the layer of apple was pretty small. It was still really yummy with a huge scoop of vanilla icecream!

Pie Crust
Cook's Illustrated

One double-crust 9 inch or 10 inch pie

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 cup (a stick and a half) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup of all-vegetable shortening (8 Tbsp)
6-8 Tablespoons ice water

1 Process flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined. Add shortening and process untl the mixture has the texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; cut the butter pices over the flour until the mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about 10 1 second pulses. Turn the mixture into a mixing bowl.

2 Sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water over flour mixture. With a rubber spatula, press down on the dough, using a folding motion, until the dough sticks together. Add up to 2 more tablespoons of ice water if the dough will not come together. Divide the dough into 2 balls and flatten each into 4 inch wide disks. Dust the disks lightly with flour, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 2 days before rolling out.

Apple Pie
Cook's Illustrated

1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples (about 3 medium)
2 pounds McIntosh apples (about 4 large)
1 tablespoon juice and 1 teaspoon zest from 1 lemon
3/4 cups (5.25 ounces) plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg white, beaten lightly

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat rimmed baking sheet and oven to 500 degrees. Remove one piece of dough from refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable).

2. Roll dough on lightly floured work surface or between two large sheets of parchment or plastic wrap to 12-inch disk. Transfer dough to pie plate by rolling dough around rolling pin and unrolling over 9 1/2-inch pie plate. Working around circumference of pie plate, ease dough into pan corners by gently lifting dough edges with one hand while pressing around pan bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs lip of plate in place; refrigerate dough-lined pie plate.

3. Peel, core and cut apples in half, and in half again width-wise; cut quarters into 1/4-inch slices and toss with lemon juice and zest. In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup sugar, flour, salt and spices. Toss dry ingredients with apples. Turn fruit mixture, including juices, into chilled pie shell and mound slightly in center.

4. Roll out second piece of dough to 12-inch disk and place over filling. Trim top and bottom edges to 1/2-inch beyond pan lip. Tuck this rim of dough underneath itself so that folded edge is flush with pan lip. Flute edging or press with fork tines to seal. Cut four slits on dough top. If pie dough is very soft, place in freezer for 10 minutes. Brush egg white onto top of crust and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.

5. Place pie on baking sheet and lower oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake until top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Rotate pie and reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees; continue baking until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30-35 minutes longer.

6. Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours.


  1. Your pie looks so fab for a winter day - I can see why your mom was craving it! I've tried a method where you briefly simmer the apple mixture on the stovetop before putting it in the crust. That prevents the deflation-during-baking and also helps avoid overbrowning of the crust. Crumb toppings are yummy too!
    Great job.

  2. for me it looks good :) feel like a warm slice right now :) i m hopeless with knives. in fact i just cut my finger :(

  3. Oh my goodness! That apple pie looks divine! I'm the only one in my family who enjoys apple pie... whenever the time for pie comes around my family always asks for pumpkin pie (which I don't mind, but sometimes you need a little variety!!)

  4. I recently read a recipe that calls for cooking the apples to a specific temperature that helps them keep their shape in the pie. If you want that recipe, I'd be happy to scan it for you! ;D

  5. The pie looks yummy! I always have trouble with pie crust. Usually I can't roll it out the correct size or it's slightly tough. Rome apples are good for pies too.

    You've never heard of corn muffins? I wonder if it's a USA thing because whenever I was in Ireland, my roommate couldn't find cornmeal anywhere. I made the plain corn muffins (I believe the page right before it), so I'm not sure if I'm going to do the pepper one as well. Only my dad and I like corn muffins, and I don't know how to cut 1 egg yolk in half haha

  6. I never liked apple pie until I made one from scratch this past fall. I wish I had sooner. Love the picture!

  7. It looks stupendous, Steph! And everything is better with a little vanilla ice cream. I'm sure your mom appreciated it. :o)

    By the way, thanks for all of the great and supportive comments you always leave for me!! It means a lot to me.

  8. Happy new year Steph! Good holidays?

    I've been oogling your Chocolate Marshmallow Bars and I swear I've already put on some. Lord, they're decadent!!

    I love apple pie (with loads of spice!) too but my husband is the official crust maker because he does it so much better than I do. This year, I'm going to finally settle on a signature crust... wish me luck!

  9. Mmm a yummy looking classic - I love pies!!

  10. Your pie looks wonderful. I'm sorry you had so much trouble with the crust. I've gotten caught up with your blog and your Chocolate Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars looks fantastic!

  11. Wow, the pie looks perfect! Nice job!

  12. it looks great though... the crust doesn't look tough... :) happy new year!!! :)



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