Monday, October 5, 2009

Apple Pie, 2.0

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I can't help it -- it's an old favorite, especially in the fall!  I'm kind of recycling a post, but I really do use my tried and true recipes over and over again.  And with the weather getting chilly, it's been perfect lately for turning on that oven and making something comforting.  Plus, it fills your home with the most wonderful aromas of apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

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This time, I added some apple cutouts for a decorative touch. Bake them on a sheet pan for 10 minutes while the pie is baking. When the pie has cooled a bit, affix your cutouts using some corn syrup.

This recipe is from Rose Levy Beranbaum's Pie and Pastry Bible.  Her cream cheese pie dough has become my favorite for its flakiness, slight tang, and ease in rolling out.  She explains in the book that cream cheese has a high water content that's great for the pastry.  My other reasons for liking this pie (the baking reasons, not the obvious eating ones) include baking the pie on a baking stone on the floor of the oven to avoid that awful soggy bottom crust, and cooking the juices of the apples to concentrate the flavor.  True, I spent a good few hours making this, but the extra steps are rewarding in the end.  Keep in mind when planning that you can't eat it for a few hours, or the juices will run out everywhere before they've had a chance to set.  I won't repost the recipe, since you can find it here.




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I used McIntoshes this time.  My preferred pie apple is the Jonagold, but I haven't been able to find it in stores here.  A few Honeycrisps snuck their way into my shopping bag.  They must have been on display next to the McIntoshes, and they looked very similar.  Use a sturdy apple that will hold its shape.  The ubiquitous Red Delicious is a big NO.

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That's a lot of apples!  I had enough (9) for one pie and two mini-pies.  They macerate for a while to soak up the sugar and spices and exude some tasty juices.

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The juices are drained into a pot.

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Simmer with a few nubs of butter until thick, syrupy, and concentrated.

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The apples are tossed with the syrup and some cornstarch, and then put into the pie shells.

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The top crusts are then rolled out.  This was for one of the mini-pies.  The slits and apple-shaped hole allow steam to escape.

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A finished mini was almost too cute to eat.  Almost.

Click here for the recipe.

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