Sunday, September 17, 2006

A pie from Pie

Washington State Granny Smith Apple Pie
Pie Copyright 2004

1 recipe Basic Flaky Pie Pastry, Single Crust, refrigerated I used a Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust

1/3 cup sugar
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
7 cups peeled, cored, and sliced Granny Smith apples I used Rambos
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Crumb Topping:
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1. If you haven’t already, prepare the pastry and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.
2. On a sheet of lightly floured wax paper, roll the pastry into a 13-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Invert the pastry over a 9 ½-inch deep-dish pie pan, center, and peel off the paper. Tuck the pastry into the pan, without stretching it, and sculpt the edge into an upstanding ridge. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes. I didn't freeze my crust because I was using a glass pie dish. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
3. Mix the sugar, cornstarch, and salt together in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine the apples and lemon juice in a large bowl. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the sugar mixture evenly over the chilled pie shell. Arrange a single, compact layer of apples, flat side down, in the shell. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the sugar mixture. Arrange a second layer of apples over the first and sprinkle with another tablespoon of the sugar mixture. Continue until all the apples and sugar mixture have been used. Place the pie on the center oven rack and bake for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, make the crumb topping. In a medium-size saucepan, melt the butter over very low heat. As it melts, combine the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon in a medium-size bowl. Pour the melted butter over the flour mixture and mix well with a fork, Using your fingertips, rub the mixture gently until it forms more or less even, damp crumbles. Set aside.
5. Remove the pie from the oven and reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F. Carefully dump the crumb topping in the center of the pie and spread evenly over the surface with your hands. Tamp the crumbs down lightly. Return the pie to the oven, placing it so that the part that faced the back of the oven now faces forward. To catch any spills, slide a large aluminum-foil lined baking sheet onto the rack below. Bake until you see the juices bubbling thickly at the edge, about 35 minutes. If the top starts to get too brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil for the last 15 minutes.
6. Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least one hour before serving.

First of all, I don't make my own pie crusts. I just don't have the knack. I will probably tackle it someday, but not the day I have to peel and slice a bunch of apples too.

Last time I went to the auction, pickings were slim. There were lots of apples but they were mostly eating apples. The Rambos were marked as good for baking so I bought those with an apple pie in mind.

Since they looked like Granny Smiths, I gravitated towards this recipe. I knew I wanted a crumb topping. This turned out pretty well. The apples were tart and soft and I prefer my apples in apple pie a bit tart and a bit soft. I'd say though that these were slightly too tart and slightly too soft, but it was still a very good pie. Not as good as my sister makes. I'll have to get her recipe before I tackle another apple pie. Although, I'll probably just leave the apple pie making to her. I think she has one of those apple peeler and slicer thingies. I couldn't even find the apple corer I know I owned at one point.

A Blast From The Past: Sugar-Top Coffee Cake from September 2005. I'd like to take the base of that cake and top it with the crumb topping from this pie. I think that would be a match made in heaven.

Question of the Day: Do you make your own pie crusts?


Rebel In Ontario said...

Make my own crust...why go thru the hassle! My MIL makes WONDERFUL crust and we have a running joke that all we want for our birthday/anniversary/christmas is pie crusts! And the funny thing is that she actually makes them and then I stick them in my freezer for when I needed them! So, sadly I wasn't given the pie crust gene either.

MommyProf said...

I can, but I don't usually. When I bother, I have a completely fabulous, solid maple rolling pin that I inherited from my great-grandmother and I always put ice cubes in the water so it is really cold, which makes a big difference. But I hate cleaning up the flour that gets everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Love apple pie!!

I used to make my own pie crusts but I had a series of crust disasters (during Thanksgiving, no less!) and so I stopped making them - except for simple nut or cookie crumb crusts. :)

Unknown said...

I do make my own crust. In fact, I made a pie this summer with a pre-made crust and didn't like it as much. I'm trying to perfect it. My mom is a pro at it and I need to build up to her abilities! This looks really good. I want to do an apple pie at Thanksgiving because my brother recently let us know that he likes apple pie.

DancesInGarden said...

Oh, I CAN make crust. But let's just say that it is "sturdy" and....okay I am lying. My piecrust could hurt somebody. No matter how little I touch it, what recipe I use, lard or butter. It doesn't matter. I think you could stand on one of my two crust pies and it wouldn't crush.

So I tried cake and pastry flour the last time. And it was tender and flakey and fragile and.....gritty. Just can't win LOL. I am not an anomaly. My crusts look beautiful like those of my maternal grandmother, but are inedible like those of my paternal grandmother. A mixed curse ;).

A few times a year I drag out the rolling pin and my wonderful husband and daughter humour me and try to eat the bulletproof pie and smile and smack their lips like they love it, while secretly wishing for a serrated knife to at least get a bite started.

Anonymous said...

For a long time after I got married, I made my own crust and it was good. But, after years of that, I thought I had proven myself and went on to pre-made crusts. I tend to do things that way - prove that I can cook something the original way, then take the easy route. Why not, for heaven's sake, is my motto.
Enjoyed the humorous comments!

Anonymous said...

Sorry! Forgot to sign my name to the above comment.


Anonymous said...

I make these apple crisp things every year for Passover and always hated dealing with the apples. Then last year I discovered the apple peeler/corer/slicer thing--it saved me SO much time. I love it so.

And I gave up on making pie crust. The store bought stuff tastes just as good. (Okay, shoot me now.)

Red Dirt Mummy said...

I must admit that I haven't tried. I know that home-made pastry/pie-crusts/etc taste so much better but I just haven't tackled them yet. Now that it is really heating up here I think I'll be waiting until next April or so before I even think about trying it.