Thursday, February 28, 2013

On Making Apple Pie

I saw giant piles of apples at the grocery store the other day and I decided that what I wanted more than almost anything was apple pie. Not just a regular pie, but a mile high apple pie.

When I make apple pie, I like to get the apples ready first so they can sit for at least 90 minutes gaining flavor.

Here's what I used:
Lemon Juice (I forgot to buy a lemon. The bottle works well, though.)
Ground Cloves

I used three Lady Alice, three Honeycrisp, and  nine Granny Smiths. The variety of apples was to help vary the texture and sweetness within the pie when it finished cookin.

The contraption is an apple peeler/slicer:

Nothing gets apples prepped for pies faster. Setup, peeling/slicing, and cleanup took about twenty minutes. (You can choose if you want the apple peeled, too. Oh, it's perfect if you're going to dehydrate apples because it takes out the core and all the slices are uniform.)

I like to use a bowl with a lid so I can shake the bejesus out of it.

I used a teaspoon of the nutmeg, a teaspoon of ground cloves, a tablespoon of cinnamon (I like cinnamon in my apples, most recipes don't call for this much.), two tablespoons of flour (this helps thicken the juices the apples are going to let go), two tablespoons of lemon juice (which was too much; one would have been better), and one cup of sugar.

After the shake-up, it's time for the dough for the pie crust:

I use the America's Test Kitchen Foolproof Pie Dough, because I need the foolproof part and it's delicious. I'm not going to write the recipe out because they don't give it away for free. It's worth the price, though,

Also, I forgot to take pictures of the mixing process (I'm new to trying to blog cooking), but here are pictures of the only dishes I dirtied and the dough in balls ready to be put in the fridge for at least an hour:

After at least an hour, I pulled out the larger of the two balls, rolled it out, then put it in a 9-inch pie pan, mine is Pyrex.

After filling the bottom, I rolled out the top, laid it over the pie, trimmed and pinched the edges, and cut some slits in the top to let the steam out.

The pie went into a preheated 425 degree (F) oven on a half-sheet on the bottom rack of the oven. The half-sheet went into the oven as it preheated so it was nice and hot. This is to help the bottom of the pie cook a little bit faster so it won't be soggy when the pie is finished.

It cooked for 45 minutes and came out like this:
Usually, I use some melted butter on the top then sprinkle cinnamon/sugar. This time I used an egg wash and then cinnamon/sugar. It's pretty obvious where the wash was too thick and the cinnamon/sugar was too thin.

Here's the first slice, after it rested for an hour:

The dough was amazing. In the past I've rolled this recipe out several times and it's always come out flaky and tender and delicious. The apple had a great texture, but was a little tart; too much lemon juice added to the apples. I like tart, Granny Smiths are my favorite apples, but others would have liked it to be a more sweet.

Still, it was devoured pretty quickly.

After I put the pie into the oven, I collected the scraps of dough, formed them into a new ball, and put it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then I rolled the dough out, smeared melted butter all over it, and sprinkled cinnamon/sugar everywhere.

Then I rolled it up into a log and sliced that log into half inch pieces. After the pie came out, the mini-cinnamon rolls went into the oven for 13 minutes. Which was probably two minutes too long. Some got a little too browned, but they all tasted great.

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