Monday, May 28, 2012

American as Apple Pie

Happy Memorial Day!  Thanks to all the service men and women who keep us safe.

American as Apple Pie
Makes 8 servings

2-1/4 cups flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
10 Tbsp. butter, cut up
8 Tbsp. butter-flavored shortening
4 to 5 Tbsp. ice water

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
3/4 tsp freshly ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp. salt
8 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (about 8 cups, 3/16" slices)
3 Tbsp. butter, cut up
1 egg, beaten with 1 Tbsp. water
Coarse sanding sugar

Combine flour, sugar and salt in large bowl.  Add butter and shortening; blend into flour mixture with pastry blender or gloved hands until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Sprinkle water over mixture and press with spatula or hands until mixture comes together in a ball.  Knead 1 or 2 times, then wrap in plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in large bowl until combined.  Add apples; toss gently to completely coat apple slices with sugar mixture.  Let stand 15 to 20 minutes.

Divide dough in 2 pieces, one a little more than half and the other slightly less than half.  Roll larger dough into 10-inch circle between 2 sheets of waxed paper that are lightly dusted with flour. Peel back top sheet. Place 9-in. pie plate on top of crust and flip over.  Peel back 2nd sheet of waxed paper, pressing crust gently into dish and allowing extra crust to hang over edges.  Fill crust with softened fruit. Dot with butter. Roll smaller dough portion in same manner, peeling back top layer of waxed paper and flipping over fruit-filled pie before peeling back second layer of waxed paper.  Turn edges under and crimp as desired (bigger is better – see note).  Cut 4 small slits in top of pie for steam to escape. 

Use a soft-bristled pastry brush to brush pie crust gently with egg and water mixture.  Sprinkle liberally with coarse sugar and lightly grate nutmeg over top, if desired.

Place pie on foil-lined baking sheet on bottom rack of 400ºF oven.  Bake 30 min.  Reduce temperature to 350ºF and continue baking 30 min, covering edges of crust with foil if necessary.

Let cool 2 hours before slicing.  

I usually weigh the pie crust before I divide it, using 60% for the bottom crust and 40% for the top crust.

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