Now THAT'S an apple pie! So simple, and so perfect. Tart, crispy, flaky, delicious.
I have such vivid childhood memories of The Pie Queen making apple pie. I used to love to watch her peel the apples. I was impressed and amazed when she was able to peel the apple in one piece. The peel was a special treat for those of us watching. (Why was apple peel a treat? I have no idea, but it was.)
The smell of the tart apples and the cinnamon...smells like home. I remember so clearly what the pie looked like before the top crust went on. It looked an awful lot like this:
Pie Rating--Triple G Apple--KEEP AND SHARE
Notes to self for future Triple G ventures:
- Try different liquids. Maybe 1 T lemon juice and 1 T Grand Marnier?
- Make homemade vanilla ice cream as accompaniment instead of whipped cream.
- Thin out the edges a little more when you do double crusts in general.
So...Thanksgiving is just around the corner...and I'm in a giving mood. I'm going to post my crust recipe (in it's form after my prodding and experimenting) as well as the recipe for Triple G Apple Pie.
Spiker's Pie Pastry (makes 2 1-crust, or 1 2-crust pie--9")
*click here for printable version*
3-3/4 c. flour
1 T sugar
1 t salt*
1-1/2 c. fats**
Mix together with pastry cutter, fork, or fingers until crumbly.
1/2 c. cold water
1 egg white
Pour gradually into crust, mixing as you go. Use only enough to make dough stick together.
On floured surface, roll the crust out to about 1/8 in. thick and transfer to pie pan.
If you need to prebake the crust, poke holes in bottom and sides with a fork, line with foil, and pour in pie weights, making sure they cover bottom all the way to the sides. Bake at 425 for 15 min., then remove foil and weights and bake for another 10 minutes (or until crust has color you prefer). Note: some sources recommend refrigerating the dough in the pan for 20-30 minutes before baking in order to prevent shrinking. I have yet to determine the effectiveness of this.
If making a top crust, cut venting holes (decorative, if you like) before transferring over the filling. Use egg wash (1 egg yolk and 1 T heavy cream whisked together) along edge of bottom crust to help top crust to stick to bottom. For a particularly shiny golden crust, use this same egg wash all over top crust and sprinkle with sanding sugar.
* Re: salt--if you are using this crust for a savory pie or a pie that has any salty ingredients (i.e., using gruyere in the crust), don't use any additional salt.
**Re: fats--for a particularly flaky crust (and if you're not vegetarian), use lard for 1/4 c. of your fats. The other 1-1/4 c. of fats can be a combination of salted and unsalted butter. For fruit pies that have no salty ingredients, I use 1 c. salted butter and 1/4 c. unsalted. For savory pies, I use 3/4 c. unsalted butter and 1/2 c. salted. The fats should be somewhere between refrigerator temperature and room temperature. Straight out of the refrigerator and I find it's too difficult to cut them in completely. Too warm and the dough comes together too quickly, but will never get past crumbly. A lot of pastry recipes specify using cold fats and chilling the dough before rolling it out. I find this to be counter-productive to maintaining the flexibility of the dough.
Triple G Apple Pie *click here for printable version*
~4 pounds peeled Granny Smith apples (8 or 9 large apples)
2 T water (or lemon juice for extra tartness)
1/4 c. white sugar
1 T cold butter
9" unbaked pie shell and top crust
Slice apples unevenly (some thin, some thick, will result in filling that is not too mushy and has some bite and texture) directly into unbaked pie crust. Let the apples mound up well over the top of pie pan.
Sprinkle liquid, then sugar over apples.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg.
Cut butter into 8 equal pats and scatter over filling.
Top with vented crust and cook at 350 degrees for 55 min. or until top is golden brown.
Whipped cream topping:
2 c. heavy cream
2 T powdered sugar
1 t. pure vanilla extract
Whip until soft peaks.
Enjoy! And please let me know how these recipes work out for you.
Next up: I think now that I have this basic crust recipe figured out, I'll tweak it by adding ground almonds. And a French Silk filling. Still pondering that one.