Monday, November 1, 2010

Apple Pie 101

Lots of 101 classes in Allan land this week. While everyone was prepping for Halloween, handing out candy and enjoying the trick or treaters, the Allans painted, cleaned up after painting and I tested another pie recipe and a new crust recipe...

It started off with these puppies...I'm not a huge dessert person, well I am, but I tell myself I'm not so I'm less likely to eat it. I'm not one who loves apple pie...I'm picky with apples. I don't eat anything red..only Granny Smith. I love the firmness of these and the tart taste. I feel like red apples have a mushier texture. The recipe I chose to test was Grandma Ople's Apple Pie. Who the hell is Grandma Ople...I have no idea, but her pie rocked. (recipe below)

More important that Nana Ople's kick ass pie recipe, was the amazing new pie crust recipe I tried. It was different from anything I've tried before which usually consisted of flour, butter, and water. It split the flour proportion with half cake flour and half all purpose. Luckily I had some of this stuff lying around.

I measured out my ingredients and off to the food processor we went
This is the consistency you want..where your dough crumbles up a bit but its not so wet that you have a sticky mush

Here is, what I think, the secret to this recipe. All the other crust recipes I've tried, you pop it out of the food processor, form mounds and chill them. This recipe (which will also be posted below) had a secret squirrel concoction of vinegar, ice water, and egg yolks. You put 4 tbsp in the mixture before you form into mounds.

After I added the secret squirrel concoction, this is what you get

Just a quick tip. I used to try and wrangle some saran wrap around the discs, cover them and usually Mr. Allan hears me swear like a sailor, while the saran wrap won't rip, its stuck etc. Instead, slide the discs into a large ziploc...sooooooo much easier. I also flatten a bit once they're wrapped...makes for easy rolling later.'re probably dying to see the end result and want your grimy hands on these awesome recipes I've trolled away....

Here you go...Grandma Ople's Apple Pie in the Best Ever Pie Crust..both recipes are courtesy of I hope my Grandma Andrade doesn't take offense that I'm stealing Grandma Ople's pie recipe!

I loved this pie. The bottom crust was a tiny bit soft, but not a sogged out disaster. I added my notes in bold in the recipes..what I found worked and didn't!

Baker's Secret Pie Crust (Just a note--this makes 1 crust, I doubled it...I don't think you need to double the * ingredients, which are the ones that make the secret concoction- I had tons left over)

  • 3/4 cup cake flour

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon white sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 5 tablespoons shortening

  • 1 egg yolk *

  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar *

  • 3 cubes ice *

  • 1/2 cup cold water *

  • Directions

    Measure butter & shortening onto a plate, put into freezer for about 20 minutes.
    Measure cake flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, salt and baking powder into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for a few seconds to mix.
    Take 1/2 of the cold butter and 1/2 of the cold shortening, put into processor with dry ingredients and pulse off and on for about 1 minute. Scrape down twice while doing this.
    Take remainder of the cold butter & cold shortening and cut in very briefly with the processor, leaving visible pea-sized chunks. Do not over process at this stage!
    In a measuring cup, mix egg yolk and vinegar together, add ice cubes and water. Let this get chilled, about 3 to 4 minutes.
    Remove mixed flours and shortening from processor, put into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle approximately 4 to 5 tablespoons of this egg, water, vinegar mixture, a little at a time, mixing gently with a fork. The key to this is, you do not want a wet dough, and you do not want to overmix.  (go easy with 4 Tbsp..I used 5 and my dough was a tad moister than I needed)
    Place this dough into plastic wrap or plastic bag, chill in refrigerator for a few minutes. (May also be frozen for a few weeks at this stage for future use).
    Remove from refrigerator and roll out. This makes absolutely the BEST pie crusts.
    Now...for the pie.....
    Grandma Ople's Apple Pie

    1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
    1/2 cup unsalted butter
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/4 cup water
    1/2 cup white sugar
    1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    8 Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced (I had a ton of apples left over...I think next time I will peel and core 6 and see how I do with an extra one in the wings..8 was way too many)

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.

    Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.

    Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.
    Two notes-- when you make your butter/sugar mixture, I found it way too clumsy to try and pour this from my saucepan over the pie--you'll make a huge mess. I grabbed either a gravy boat, creamer, or something with a little pouring spout. I poured the mixture in there first. This allowed me to really get the mixture into the nooks and crannies of this pie since the lattice crust covered it already.
    Also, I baked for 15 min at the higher temp, then 60 minutes at the lower temp. I think my pie was a bit under done. I may cover the top crust in foil and bake for 25 minutes at the higher temp, remove the foil and bake at the lower temp. Baking at the higher temp is how you get your bottom crust baked...mine was a bit underdone.

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