Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Time Means Apple Pie!

This past weekend, PID and I ventured to Papa PID's house to celebrate Father's Day.  Papa PID has a tendency to give us gifts on days we're supposed to be giving gifts to him, but this time I think he had an ulterior motive...

He gave us this thing:

If you guessed an apple corer/peeler/slicer, then you guessed right!  This thing is straight out of 1970...and straight out of heaven. It may look cumbersome, but this thing is the best invention. Ever.

PID and I are headed to a big BBQ tomorrow and I thought, since I've conveniently been recently blessed with this contraption, I might as well put it to good use and bake an apple pie!

Let me remind you (as I should have reminded myself) that I've never baked a pie before. No, not ever. Well, it was worth a shot!  I decided that since I make my cupcakes from scratch, I'd do the same with my pie. Here is my recipe:

For the Crust
2 1/4 c. flour
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 tbs. salt
1 tbs. sugar
4-5 tbs. cold water

For the Pie
4 medium Granny Smith apples
2 sticks unsalted butter
2-3 tbs. sugar
1-2 tbs. cinnamon

Preheat your oven to  375 degrees. 

Start by cubing the butter and chilling it in the freezer for about 20 minutes.  As it chills, combine the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor or a dough mixer. Then, add the butter and mix until you see pea size pellets.  Then, add the water one tbs. at a time until it's reached a favorable consistency. Remove half of the dough and reserve the other half.

Line your counter space with a pinch of flour and form your dough in to a ball. Flatten it with your hand and rotate it in to a flat circle to ensure that the edges are smooth. Keep flattening and rotating until your circle is just slightly smaller than the pie pan you're using. Drop in the dough and use your hands to form the dough to the pan.

"The device" (to which it shall henceforth be referred) was amazing!  With the simple turn of the uh....handle thingy... my granny smiths were peeled, cored and sliced perfectly in to 1/4 inch slices in less than 30 seconds! You'll want to make sure to get relatively thin (but not paper thin!) slices and half them covering the bottom of the pan. Then sprinkle a bit of sugar and cinnamon across the slices. Next, cover the apples with thin slices of butter -- and repeat! Apples, sugar, cinnamon butter. You can do anywhere from 2-3 layers, depending on the depth of your pie pan.

Next, take your reserve pie dough and form another flattened sphere, slightly flatter than the last and this time, exactly the size of the top of the pan. Make sure to cut holes in the dough (in whatever pattern you want) to let the pie breathe.

Bake your pie for 10 minutes then remove and cover the edges of the pie with tin foil (I took a 10 x 10 sheet of tin foil and cut a hole in the middle, placing it right on top of the pie). Continue baking for 25 minutes, then remove the tin foil. Bake for an additional 10 -15 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Let cool on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before will be hard, but do it anyway!

I was so proud of myself for ACTUALLY making a pie (or two)! (Special thanks to PID and my mom for their words of encouragement and Papa PID for "The Device")  We tried a slice tonight and it tastes ALMOST as good as grandma used to make.

So next time we head over to Papa PID's it looks like I'll be expected to bring a pie.  See? I told you he had ulterior motives.

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