Since we are now going strong in mid-holiday season, I thought you might all enjoy a special bonus recipe! This apple pie is pretty yummy, and who doesn't like warm apple pie with some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on the side. I must say making crust from scratch really will make you feel like a super chef, and it's actually easy, but no judgement if you buy it in the store! As far as apple varieties to use, some types do make better pie than others. I would suggest Macintosh, Granny Smith, Cortland, Jonagold, Honey Crisp, and Braeburn, or a mix of these. These all are nice and crisp with a good balance of sweet and tart that really makes a pie tasty. I was fortunate to have some local apples from my friends who have a tree, so I think my version was made with a Macintosh like variety. Recipe adapted from Food and Wine.
Enjoy and Happy Holidaying!!
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more for rolling)
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/4 cup ice water
3 pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small dice
1 large egg, beaten
Sugar for sprinkling on top (turbinado would be a fancy option)
Make the crust first. Using a food processor, combine the flour and salt, then add the cubed butter and pulse until a coarse meal is created. Slowly pour in the ice water, and pulse. (Only use as much as needed to get the dough to come together, less water and processing is the key to a flakey crust, but not enough water and your crust could be a pain to roll out. This is the "art" of the pie crust as they say!) Divide your dough in half and pat it into two discs, wrap them in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes. You can also make dough ahead of time and it can be in the freezer for a few weeks to a few months.
Now on to making the pie. Peel, slice and core your apples, mixing them with the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and lemon juice. Mix well. this can stand while you roll out your dough.
Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. On a floured work surface roll out one of your discs to a 12 inch round, about 1/4 inch thick. Ease it into a 9-10 inch deep dish pie plate. Roll out the second disc of dough also to about a 12 inch round. If you want you can use some holiday specific cookie cutters to add decoration to this top crust.
Scrape the apples and all their juices into the pie plate and dot with the butter. Cover with the second crust. Gently press hte edges together, trim overhang slightly. You want to be able to pinch it to seal and then turn this excess under, crimping it decoratively. Then brush the pie with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sugar. You will want some venting on the top, so if you have used cookie cutters, this will work, or you will want to make a few small gashes on the top.
Bake the pie on the lowest shelf in the oven for 30 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 365 degrees and bake for 45-50 more minutes. The fruit juices should be bubbling through the vents and the crust should be golden brown on the top and bottom. If your crust is looking dark too early, you can loosely cover it halfway through with foil. Transfer the pie to a rack and let it cool for up to 2 hours before serving.