Apple Pie for my 100th post!

September 23, 2011 in Baking, Desserts

Wow! It’s taken me over two years but I am finally typing my 100th post! Sure is a great feeling! It’s been a great journey over these past 2 years…blogging has definitely turned out to be much more fun than what I expected it to be. I actually didn’t know what to expect when I started out. What I do know now is that I have learned so much about food and cooking through blogging, and it’s a never-ending process. I’ve made many new friends along the way…and there’s nothing quite like having friends who share the same passion for cooking as you! Looking forward now to the next 100 posts and many new experiences….and hoping it will take much lesser time this time around!

Even though I love how beautiful an apple pie looks, whenever I think of making a dessert with apples, I end up making an apple cake, apple crumble, or an apple cobbler. Just for the simple reason that I feel they take much lesser time and effort than an apple pie. So to celebrate my 100th post, I decided to make an apple pie from scratch, complete with the lattice top. (Which turned out to be less-than-perfect, but hey…at least I tried!) I found the perfect apple pie recipe at Joy of Baking. It’s a detailed recipe, and needs a decent amount of effort, but special occasions deserve that. And the results are delicious. This is, without a doubt, one of the best apple pies I have ever had! 

I just made a few small changes, (like using lesser flour and butter for the dough as I wanted a lattice top instead of a full cover, and using the syrup from the filling itself for the glaze instead of eggwash), and the pie was lip-smacking, with a perfectly crumbly crust.  

For the pie crust:
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsps white sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch cubes
1/4 to 1/2 cup iced water

For the filling:
4 large apples, peeled, cored, and cut into cubes
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsps unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbsps cornstarch (corn flour)

For the crust:

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. Pour 1/4 cup 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, one part larger than the other. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about one hour before using. 

After the dough has chilled sufficiently, remove the larger portion of the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the pastry into a 12 inch circle. Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 9 inch 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 circle. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator.  
For the filling:
In a large bowl combine the sliced apples with the sugars, lemon juice, ground cinnamon, and salt. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then, place the apples and their juices in a strainer that is placed over a large bowl (to capture the juices). Let the apples drain for about 15-30 minutes or until you have about 1/2 cup of juice. Pour the collected juices in a small saucepan, and add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Boil the liquid, on medium heat, about 5 to 7 minutes or until the liquid has reduced to about 1/3 cup and is syrupy and lightly caramelized. 
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 (saving 2 tbsps) and toss to combine. Pour the apples and their syrup into the chilled pie crust. Then remove the other pie crust and cut into long strips. Moisten the edges of the pie shell with a little water and then place the strips in a lattice pattern over the apples. Cover the pie with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill the pastry while you preheat the oven.
Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the lattice top with the saved syrup. Place the pie on a baking sheet lined with silver foil, and bake for about 45 to 55 minutes or until the juices start to bubble through the gaps and the apples feel tender (not mushy) when a toothpick or sharp knife is inserted. Remove the pie from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool for about 3-4 hours before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream or softly whipped cream. Store at room temperature for 2 to 3 days.

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