Most everyone loves a good old fashioned apple pie and this recipe, from Joy of Baking fits the bill.
You’ll find the usual crisp, flaky pastry and spiced cinnamon and apple filling that you’d expect of a great apple pie. But the bonus is the added flavor you get by taking the apples’ own juices and reducing them down, with butter, to form a delicious caramelized apple syrup and adding it back into the apple mixture. Genius.
CLASSIC APPLE PIE
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp granulated white sugar
- 226 grams unsalted butter chilled, and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
- One egg lightly beaten (for brushing over the pie)
- 1.1 kg apples about 6 large, peeled, cored, and sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 8 cups)
- 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tbsp cornflour
- In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal (about 15 seconds). Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. Do not process more than 30 seconds.
- Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball. Divide the dough in two – roughly two-thirds/one third – flattening each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour.
- After the dough has chilled sufficiently, remove one portion of the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12 inch (30 cm) circle. (To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards). Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and trim the edges of the pastry to fit the pie pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.
- Then remove the second round of pastry and roll it into a 12 inch (30 cm) circle. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator.
- In a large bowl combine the sliced apples with the sugars, lemon juice, ground cinnamon and salt. Place the apples and their juices in a strainer that is placed over a large bowl (to capture the juices) and let sit at room temperature for 30 mins – 3 hours, or until you have about 1/2 cup (120 ml) of juice.
- Pour the collected juice into a 4 cup (960 ml) heatproof measuring cup and add the butter. Place in the microwave and boil the liquid, on high, about 5 to 7 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to about 1/3 cup (80 ml) and is syrupy and lightly caramelized. (Alternatively, you can place the juices and butter in a small saucepan and boil over medium high heat on the stove.)
- Meanwhile, remove the top pastry crust from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes so it has time to soften. Transfer the drained apples slices to a large bowl and mix them with the cornstarch (corn flour). Then pour the reduced syrup over the apples and toss to combine. Pour the apples and their syrup into the chilled pie crust.
- Moisten the edges of the pie shell with a little water and then place the top crust over the apples. Tuck any excess pastry under the bottom crust and then crimp the edges using your fingers or a fork. Using a sharp knife, make five- 2-inch (5 cm) slits from the center of the pie out towards the edge of the pie to allow the steam to escape. Lightly brush the beaten egg over the pastry. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill the pastry while you preheat the oven.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place the oven rack at the lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on the rack before preheating the oven. Place a piece of aluminium foil on the stone (or pan) to catch any apple juices. Set the pie on the stone or pan and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes or until the juices start to bubble through the slits and the apples feel tender (not mushy) when a toothpick or sharp knife is inserted through one of the slits. Make sure to cover the edges of the pie with a foil ring to prevent over browning after about 30 minutes.
- Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 3-4 hours before cutting (during this time the juices thicken and the flavors amalgamate). Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream.
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