Old Fashioned Apple Pie … With a twist
Now here is quite a recipe for you! An old fashioned, traditional American pie with a secret ingredient which gives it a wonderful depth of flavor. With the still cool nightime temperatures I was craving a tasty treat from home. Make this in winter, spring, summer or fall its good all year long. I’ve been baking this pie for about five years now so I can say the experience backs me up.
Because local is always a good idea I bought some apples which were as local as possible. These are Mexican grown apples from Chihuahua. Grown in the old fashioned way, no pesticides, chemical fertilizers from small family owned farms. As everything should be grown, I think.
Speaking about local food, here’s my butter. This is butter from farms just minutes away from my house and locally produced. It’s nothing like most commercial butter, not a single preservative, no additives, and not watered down in any way!! Make sure it’s really chilled and straight from the fridge. This ensures a flaky crust.
Ok so for the crust. Which is a traditional pate brisee pie crust, my fave from years of baking,
I start by mixing in a medium bowl; all purpose flour, sugar, salt, and a little secret, baking powder. I find it adds more air to the already flaky and crunchy crust.
Ok so I add my butter, cut into little squares
and starting with a large fork and finishing with my hands I cut in the butter until pieces form about a quarter of an inch across, don’t worry about larger pieces of butter in there. They add surprise pieces of extra crunchiness to the crust!
Next I add ice water and loosely mix with the fork just until the dough starts to clump together. Make sure you don’t over mix or knead, you’ll get a bland and chewy crust, and no one likes a pie with a boring crust.
Once the dough is in a large ball you cut it in half and store both pieces well wrapped in the fridge. You can do this and keep the dough chilled for up to a week but the minimum to roll it well is an hour. At this point you can start working on your apples.
So now you want to peel, core and slice the apples into slices about a quarter of an inch thick.
Next I’ll add flour, sugar, and your traditional apple spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. Next is a bit of a secret ingredient, brandy. Any good brandy you’d drink is good. And some good mexican vanilla extract, the one I use is grown in the rainforests of Veracruz.
Mix until all is well combined. Now you can put this mixtures off to the side while you roll out your crust.
Pull your dough out of the fridge, since its chilled it should be pretty easy to roll out. To get started you can hit the dough a couple of times with a rolling pin just to get the dough on the right shape. Next with the pin, roll the dough out using even movements and always rolling in one direction. Roll until the dough is about an 1/8 of an inch thick and bigger than your pie pan.
To get the crust onto the pan without making a mess I roll the whole pastry onto my rolling pin and put the pin on the pan and unroll. I then tuck in the dough so it fits snugly in the pan.
Using a fork poke some holes in the bottom to let steam out. Don’t go crazy though, from experience, let’s just say it ruins the pie.
Pour your apple filling in the center mounding it in the middle. Dot your apples with butter. Roll out your other ball of pastry and slice it in inch wide strips for the top lattice crust. Don’t be overwhelmed by a lattice crust though, it’s not that hard to make but you’ll get better with time.
Lay five of the strips spacing them an inch apart.
Starting on one edge fold over every other strip and lay a strip perpendicularly.
Unfold the strips and fold over every other one that is alternate. Lay another strip across. Work your way across the pie like this until you cover it all.
Now i fold over the excess crust from the bottom to the top and using my thumb and index fingers from my left hand and my index finger from my right hand to crimp the edge.
Once I’ve done this I’ll brush the pie with melted butter and dust it with coarse sugar for both a sweet crunch and sparkle.
Bake your pie in an oven about 350 f. for about an hour until the crust is golden brown.
And with patience an hour later you will have yourself a good old fashioned American apple pie. Notice how since its just pulled out of the oven the filling is bubbling and oozing out.
After a long wait of SIX hours you can slice your pie and serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!!
Traditional Apple Pie
Yields a 9 inch pie
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut in pieces
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
- 2 pounds apples, peeled and cored
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 cup brandy or cognac
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon butter
- To prepare the crust combine in a medium bowl all purpose flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
- Dice your cold butter into small cubes and using a pastry blender or a large fork cut in the butter until the butter is in small pieces about 1/8 inch across. Don’t worry if there’s a few larger pieces, they add extra crunch to the pastry.
- Add your ice water and mix just until the dough begins to hold together.
- Turn the dough out onto a cleaned and floured surface and using your hands press the dough into a ball.
- Cut the dough in two equal pieces, wrap them and refrigerate them to make the dough firm. You cam store the dough for up to a week in the fridge.
- For the filling, peel and core your apples. Slice them into inches a quarter of an inch across and put the slices into a large bowl.
- Add the flour, sugar, spices, brandy and vanilla. Mix to thoroughly combine.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and pull your chilled pastry out of the fridge.
- Grease a glass pie pan using butter and roll out your pastry by dusting a surface with flour and rolling in one direction until the pastry is 1/8 inch thick.
- Roll the dough unto the rolling pin and unroll on top of the pie pan
- Add your filling to the shell, dot the filling with the tablespoon of butter, diced, and make the lattice crust as explained above. Fold over the edge of the shell pastry and crimp for a decorative edge.
- Brush the pie with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place the pie in the middle rack of the oven and lower the temperature to 325 degrees.
- The pie will bake for about an hour or until the crust is golden brown.
- Place the pie on a cooking rack and let cool about an hour to serve warm or for up to six hours for firmer slices.