Thursday, January 9, 2014

Homemade Apple Pie

"We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie." David Mamet 
These past few days have been rough. Tom and I arguing and miscommunicating everything. It feels like our patience with everyone we work with, family and friends and personal stress was running us both pretty thin. And then we bring it home and dump all our stress on each other. Which isn't healthy.

So last night we baked a pie. From scratch. And all was good. This leads me to think that pie is just such a warm, happy dessert which evokes good memories, that people can't be stressed when there's pie involved.

And of course it's good to talk why we get frustrated with each other, but even if they end well, do they ever really end happy? They might have been productive, but who ends it with a smile? After every disagreement is resolved, I think I'll bake a pie.

All Butter, Really Flaky Pie Dough- from Smitten Kitchen

Makes enough dough for one double-, or two single-crust pies.

2 1/2 cups (315 grams) flour

1 tablespoon (15 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) table salt
2 sticks (8 ounces, 225 grams tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold

Gather your ingredients: Fill a one cup liquid measuring cup with water, and drop in a few ice cubes; set it aside. In a large bowl — I like to use a very wide one, so I can get my hands in — whisk together 2 1/2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of salt. Dice two sticks (8 ounces or 1 cup) of very cold unsalted butter into 1/2-inch pieces. Get out your pastry blender.

Make your mix: Sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour and begin working them in with the pastry blender, using it to scoop and redistribute the mixture as needed so all parts are worked evenly. When all of the butter pieces are the size of tiny peas — this won’t take long — stop. Yes, even if it looks uneven; you’ll thank me later.

Glue it together: Start by drizzling 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the ice-cold water (but not the cubes, if there are any left!) over the butter and flour mixture. Using a rubber or silicon spatula, gather the dough together. You’ll probably need an additional 1/4 cup (60 ml) of cold water to bring it together, but add it a tablespoon as a time. Once you’re pulling large clumps with the spatula, take it out and get your hands in there (see how that big bowl comes in handy?). Gather the disparate damp clumps together into one mound, kneading them gently together.

Pack it up: Divide the dough in half, and place each half on a large piece of plastic wrap. I like to use the sides to pull in the dough and shape it into a disk. Let the dough chill in the fridge for one hour, but preferably at least two, before rolling it out.

Do ahead: Dough will keep in the fridge for about a week, and in the freezer longer. If not using it that day, wrap it in additional layers of plastic wrap to protect it from fridge/freezer smells. To defrost your dough, move it to the fridge for one day before using it.

Click the link above for exact directions. Best recipe I've found yet!
Apple Pie Filling-

8 medium apples
A mixture of:
     2/3 cup sugar
     1/3 cup all-purpose flour
     1 tablespoon cinnamon

Use a peeler or paring knife to peel the apples. If you have an apple corer, use it while the apple is still whole. Cut the apple in half to remove the seeds, blossom end, and stem. 

Use a melon baller, spoon, or paring knife to remove the seeds and hard flesh of the core. If you used an apple corer, remove any remaining bits of core with your paring knife.

Cut the apples into even slices no more than ¼ of an inch thick. If you like a chunkier pie, cut the apples into ½-inch cubes. To ensure the apples bake evenly and completely, the fruit pieces should be cut to the same size.

In a large bowl, toss the apples with the sugar-flour-spice mixture. If you're using a sweeter variety of apple, add a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to brighten the flavor. Transfer the filling to a pastry-lined pie plate. The flour in the mixture will mix with the juices of the apple to form a thick cinnamon sauce for the apples to stew in as they bake. This pie can also be made using frozen sliced or cubed apples.

Top the pie with a crumb topping, a lattice crust, or a full crust, as desired, and bake as directed.
Click the link above for exact directions and step-by-step photos. Very simple and easy recipe.

I did a lattice crust, since my cheap rolling pin was giving me carpel tunnel and honestly, I think it's easier.

I used these recipes. Best I've ever tried (that is, except mom's recipe. Just wait until I get my greedy little hands on them.

So tell me...
Anyone else find some classic recipes, use them, then feel kind of bad on cheating on your mothers recipes? Only me?

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