What is fall if not baseball playoffs, colorful leaves, and apple pie? If you're a Sox fan and still in mourning, go out and enjoy some fall foliage, pick a peck of apples, and make this pie. After missing the miserable Sox game on Sunday so we could go apple picking, Mark asked if I would make him his very own apple pie with our bounty. He has been working so hard lately, I wanted to do something extra special. When I found this recipe on Joy of Baking's website, I absolutely fell in love. It's like nothing I've ever had before. I've taken liberally from their directions, but have made a few changes as well.
But pies are time consuming, you say? Too many dishes? Can never quite master that pie crust? Hmmm...I agree on all counts. But still, it's worth it. I promise. So grab your favorite cd, spend a day up to your elbows in dishes and apple peels, dancing around the kitchen, and prepare yourself for the most delicious pie you've ever had. And don't feel guilty when you eat it for breakfast the next morning either.
Here are the tools you'll need:
1 9" pie plate
a food processor (or electric mixer)
a colander and a bowl that will fit over the bowl
a rolling pin
baking sheet or pizza stone
2 1/2 cups of flour (if you use WW, reduce to 2 1/4)
1 teaspoon salt
2 T sugar
1 c chilled butter, cut into pieces
1/2 c ice water
8 cups of thinly sliced apples (I used a variety of Macoun, Empire, Golden Delicious)
1/2 c raw sugar (brown sugar may be subbed for part or whole)
2 T lemon juice
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t salt
2 T butter
1 T arrowroot powder or flour
To make the pie crust:
Pulse flour, salt, and sugar until just combined. Add the butter and pulse until the butter pieces are about the size of peas. Slowly pour the water into the food processor spout until dough comes together. If you don't use all 1/2 c, don't worry. The whole wheat pastry flour I used soaked up the water very quickly, and I needed the whole amount. Do NOT overprocess!
Form dough into a ball. Divide it in half, flattening each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour before using.
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 in a circle, flipping over frequently to prevent sticking, and rolling out from the center. Place in the pie pan, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
Remove the second disk of dough and roll it into circle. I used a knife to cut into thin strips and make lattice. You can just put the whole thing on top of the pie if you'd like. Either way, lay the dough onto a flat surface, cover with plastic wrap, and put back in fridge. You can cut it at the end.
I'd have all your apples peeled, cored, and ready before you start the dough. It works best, timing wise. In a large bowl combine the sliced apples, sugars, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Let the apples macerate at room temperature for about two hours to get them soft. Then, place the apples and their juices in a colander that is placed over a large bowl (to capture the juices). Let the apples drain for about 15 minutes or until you have at least 1/2 cup of juice. Boil the juice and 2 T of butter over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Take a few spoonfuls of the juice mixture and add the arrowroot to make a paste. Then, add the paste back to the juice and bring to a boil again. If you add the flour or arrowroot directly, it will be lumpy.
Transfer the drained apples slices to a large bowl. 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. Make five 2-inch slits from the center of the pie out towards the edge of the pie to allow the steam to escape, or make some lattice work. I even had a little extra dough and made a heart. 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. 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 aluminum 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.