Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Homemade Apple Pie

Let me tell you, there is nothing like making your own apple pie all the way down to the crust.  It makes you feel so much more appreciative of the pie and really just tastes a whole lot more amazing all together when its homemade.  I have to say though, this recipe was a really great one.  We loved the flavor that the hint of brandy gave the apple filling.  I also added some lemon zest to the crust after making this peach tart with the lemon zest crust.  It just adds a freshness, but not a too lemony flavor.  Try it, you will feel very accomplished!

Old Fashioned Apple Pie
via Simply Recipes

Crust Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
1/2 cup finely ground blanched almonds or almond flour (can substitute 1/2 cup flour if you don't have almonds)
16 Tbsp (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, chilled in freezer for at least 15 minutes
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaping teaspoon brown sugar
3 to 6 Tbsp water, very cold
1 or 2 teaspoons lemon zest (optional)
Filling Ingredients
2/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 pounds of 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices of peeled and cored good cooking apples such as Granny Smith,
Pippin, Golden Delicious
1 1/2 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Egg Wash
1 large egg yolk
1 Tbsp cream

1 In a food processor, combine flour, almonds, salt and brown sugar, pulse to mix. Add butter and pulse 6 to 8 times, until mixture resembles coarse meal, with pea size pieces of butter. Add water 1 Tablespoon at a time, pulsing until mixture just begins to clump together. If you pinch some of the crumbly dough and it holds together, it's ready, if not, add a little more water and pulse again.
Remove dough from machine and place on a clean surface. Carefully shape into 2 discs. Do not over-knead the dough! You should still be able to see little bits of butter in the dough. These bits of butter are what will allow the result crust to be flaky. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

2 Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 375°F.

3 Combine sugar, flour and spices in large bowl. Use your hands and mix in the apples so they are well coated, then add brandy and vanilla extract.

4 Remove one crust disk from the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle some lemon zest then flour on top of the disk. Roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to a 12 inch circle; about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, use a metal spatula to check if the dough is sticking to the surface below. Add a few sprinkles of flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking. Gently fold in half. Place on to a 9-inch pie plate, lining up the fold with the center of the pan. Gently unfold and press down to line the pie dish with the dough.

5 Spoon in apple filling, mounding slightly in center.

6 Roll out second disk of dough, as before. Gently turn over onto the top of the apples in the pie. Pinch top and bottom of dough rounds firmly together. Trim excess dough with kitchen shears, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang. Fold dough under itself so that the edge of the fold is flush with the edge of the pan. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with a fork.

7 Stir yolk and cream in small bowl to blend. Brush over top of pie. Cut slits in top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake pie until crust begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F. Tent the rims with aluminum foil or a pie protector if the edges are browning too quickly. Bake until crust is golden and juices are bubbling, anywhere from an additional 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the type of apples you are using. Transfer to rack; let stand 1 hour. Serve pie warm or at room temperature.

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