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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gourmet Apple Pie

This recipe includes my famous, homemade pie crust dough. It's flaky and amazing! This pie recipe is unique because of the carmelized filling (you thicken the apple's natural juices).


2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, diced
1/4 cup chilled, solid vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
6 tablespoons (about) ice water


2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 pounds baking apples (I prefer Honeycrisp)
2/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling on the pie
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Generous pinch of ground nutmeg
1 large egg, lightly beaten


Make the dough by hand. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, work the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients until it resembles corn meal. Add the vinegar and water and stir the dough together with a fork or by hand in the bowl. Form into two balls, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Allow dough to stand 15 minutes before using. Roll one disc of dough out  in between plastic wrap and place in bottom of pie pan.
Make the filling. Put the lemon juice in a medium bowl. Peel, halve, and core the apples. Cut each half into 4 wedges. Toss the apple with the lemon juice. Add the sugar and toss to combine evenly.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer, about 2 minutes. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the apples soften and release most of their juices, about 7 minutes.

Strain the apples in a colander over a medium bowl to catch all the juice. Shake the colander to get as much liquid as possible. Return the juices to the skillet, and simmer over medium heat until thickened and lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes.

In a medium bowl, toss the apples with the reduced juice and spices. Set aside to cool completely. (This filling can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated or frozen for up to 6 months.)

Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Put the apple filling in the pan and mound it slightly in the center. Brush the top edges of the dough with the egg. Place the second disc of dough over the top. Fold the top layer of dough under the edge of the bottom layer and press the edges together to form a seal. Flute the edge as desired. Brush the surface of the dough with egg and then sprinkle with sugar. Pierce the top of the dough in several places to allow steam to escape while baking. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
Bake the pie on a baking sheet until the crust is golden, about 50 minutes. Cool on a rack before serving. The pie keeps well at room temperature (covered) for 24 hours, or refrigerated for up to 4 days.
Cook's Note: You may freeze the uncooked pie, but don't brush it with egg or dust it with sugar beforehand. Place the pie in the freezer for 30 minutes, to harden it slightly, and then double wrap it with plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 6 months. When ready to bake, unwrap the pie and brush it with egg and sprinkle with sugar. Bake, from the frozen state, until golden brown, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

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