Sunday, March 4, 2012

Apple Pie

Let's simplify things right now. Is that cool?

Turn off your cell phone and put on some music.

Put away fancy mixers and pans shaped like donuts. Push deep fryers and fancy piping bags aside.

Let's simplify things and make pie.

4017. That is the code for granny smith apples at Harris Teeter. I know this because every time I go to the grocery store, I buy one. I don't stock up for the week, I just buy a single apple. I usually start eating it as I am walking to my car. It is just one of those things.

The apples used in this pie are no 4017s, they were acquired from the Raleigh Farmers Market.

Pretty fruits and vegetables.

Making apple pie from scratch is meditative. It requres no special tools apart from a rolling pin, a knife and a pie plate. Peeling and slicing the fruit, making the dough, and eventually assembling the pie takes mindful attention. It is like yoga, if yoga involved melted butter and orange liquor.

Sliced apples are tossed with orange juice and spices and left to macerate for about half an hour. The liquid that pools from the apples is combined with butter and triple sec, cooked to syrupy consistency and then poured over the apples in the pie crust.

I did the flour-sugar-melted butter-crumble thing on top of my pie, but you could also double the 3-2-1 crust recipe and lattice or fully cover your pie. You could also bake the dough separately and eat it by itself with ice cream-

Simplify things. Get your hands dirty. Make this pie and eat it when it is still too hot, fresh from the oven with melty ice cream. Yes, I know patience is a virtue, but impatient people get pie first. Which would you rather be?

Me too.

Apple Pie
3-2-1 pie dough (cut 1 cup <2 sticks> cold butter into 1 1/2 c AP flour; add a dash of salt and 1/2 c ice water; knead to combine and then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour)

For the filling:
2 lbs apples (use any apples you like,) peeled, cores removed and thinly sliced.
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons triple sec
1 tablespoon cornstarch

For the topping:
1 c AP flour
Scant 1/3 c each brown and granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Make pie dough and set in fridge to chill
2. In a large bowl mix sliced apples, cinnamon, salt, sugars, and orange juice; cover and allow to macerate for half an hour
3. Roll out pie dough to fit a 9" pie plate (when you place the pie plate face down on rolled out dough there should be an excess of about 1" all the way around)
4. Mist pie plate with cooking spray and dust with flour before transferring dough to plate; press dough into the plate to fit and crimp edges as you like
5. Return the pie plate (with dough) to the fridge
6. Heat butter in a small sauce pan; drain the liquid from your apples and add this along with the triple sec to the saucepan; let cook down to syrupy consistency
7. Toss apples with cornstarch and transfer to prepared crust
8. Pour butter mixture over apples
9. Make crumble topping: in a small bowl combine flour and sugars together then add melted butter; mix by hand to a crumbly consistency
10. Sprinkle topping evenly over filling
11. Bake at 375 for 50-55 minutes (check pie after about half an hour to see if it needs a foil tenting to prevent the crust from burning)
12. Serve with ice cream

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