Friday, December 2, 2011

Look Mom, I Made a Pie!

Thanksgiving's well behind us at this point.  I've finally stopped eating pie for breakfast leftovers, have taken a little break from baking, and cooking in general, and am ready to get back at it sooner rather than later!  I did want to share this recipe and these photos with you first though, in case you want to put it on your to-make list for Christmas.

I don't know about you but I've always been intimidated by making my own pie dough.  Actually, dough in general kinda scares me, unless it's cookie dough, which you can't really mess up. But if it involves using a rolling pin, or even worse, yeast, I usually turn a blind eye to the fact that what I'm about to make is not going to be 100% authentic and pick up the pre made stuff at the grocery store. 

But that's not fun!  Easy, yes.  And I'm sure I'll do it again.  But since it was Thanksgiving, and since I have about 4 pounds of butter in my fridge, I decided it was time to take the plunge and make an apple pie with homemade crust.  Let me tell you - I wouldn't call this totally difficult, but I definitely wouldn't call it easy.  That being said, now that I know how to make pie dough, I'm definitely going to make it again because it tastes soooooo much better than the premade kind.  Just make sure you have a few hours before you start this process.

So.  First you peel a boatload of apples.  That wasn't fun.  I cut myself.  But John helped me chop them because I made him.

After the apples are peeled and chopped, you mix them with flour and sugar and cinnamon.  Yuuuum.  I definitely ate some just like that.  Am I gross?

You make your pie crust (flour, very cold butter, very cold water, and sugar - details in the recipe below), put it in the fridge for up to 2 days, and remove and roll it out.  Place in and around a pie dish.

Fill the pie dish with the apple mixture.  Martha called for 4 pounds of apples; that was WAY too many.  This probably ended up being 2.5 - 3 pounds.

Take the other half of your dough and place on top of the apples, pinching all of the edges together with the bottom layer.

Cut little slits on the top so it doesn't explode, or something.

Then you bake that mutha til it's done - make sure to place it on a cookie sheet while baking, because it will ooze out sticky apple stuff and ruin your oven if you don't.

Then you have a pie!  Let it sit for 6 hours or until completely cooled.  Serve with ice cream and/or whipped cream.   Save leftovers for pointless consumption.

Apple Pie
Recipe Source: For the dough: Annie's Eats.  For the pie filling: Martha Stewart
For the dough: (note that this is the ingredients for two pie crusts so you can make a pie with a top/bottom.  If you are making a pie with just a bottom crust, cut this in half).
2 1/2 cup flour
2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, very cold and cut into small pieces
6 tablespoons very cold water

For the filling:
juice of one lemon
3 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4" slices
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons unsalted butter

For the dough: 

Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric stand mixer.  Mix just to blend.  Add the butter and mix on medium low until the butter is cut into the flour and the largest pieces are about the size of a pea.  You want it to be sandy and crumbly.  Then add the water, mix on low until a ball is formed.  Cover with saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 days.

When you're ready to make the pie:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees with the rack set in the lowest position.  Prepare a pie dish and set aside.

Remove dough from fridge, cut in half, and roll each crust out on a floured surface until it is a little bigger than the circumference of the pie dish that you're using.  Place one part of the dough in the pie dish and keep the other half for the top.

Squeeze about half of the lemon juice in a large bowl and as you add the chopped apples to it coat with more so they don't brown.  Once you have all of your apples peeled and chopped, add the sugar, cinnamon, and salt and mix together.  Place the filling on top of the pie dough, putting a little bit more in the center.  Dot with butter.  Roll the other pie dough over the top, and crimp the bottom and top edges together.

Place on a baking dish and bake for about 20 minutes.  Lower heat to 375 and bake for 50-60 more minutes, or until the crust is golden and juices are bubbling.  Remove and cool completely before serving.

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