The verdict? Wonderful. I added boiled apple cider and it really kicked the apple flavor to a higher degree. King Arthur Flour sells Boiled Cider. But if you are cheap like I am, LOL, you can make your own boiled cider. I bought a half gallon from my local farm market, and put it in a pot and let it boil and boil and boil. It will take a few hours to boil down to a syrup that is the consistency of corn syrup or molasses. My half gallon boiled down to around 20 ounces. It gets really really thick. I refrigerated it, and it also gets hard as a brick. I put the container of boiled syrup in a pan of hot water, and as it softened, I hacked away at it until I had 3 ounces. (I weigh just about everything). I microwaved it at that point for 15 seconds, and it was fluid again.
Makes one 9 inch pie
(Cooks Illustrated Magazine, Sept-Oct 1994, page 6)
SINGLE Pie Crust
1 1/4 cups (5 5/8 ounces) King Arthur AP flour (doesn’t work as well with lower protein brands such as Pillsbury or Gold Medal)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold
4 tablespoons (1 3/4 ounces) Crisco
3 - 5 tablespoons ice water
Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut in butter and Crisco. Stir in just enough water to make dough just cohere. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours, or up to two days. I have frozen rolled crusts for up to 2 months.
(From Carole Walter’s Great Pies and Tarts, page 206)
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I up it to 1 teaspoon)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
Combine all ingredients until crumbs form.
2 1/2 pounds apples, weighed after peeling and coring (I prefer Ida Red)
1/4 cup sugar (or more to taste, up to 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup AP flour
2 teaspoons Penzey’s Vietnamese cinnamon (or less to taste, I like a LOT of cinnamon)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (3 ounces) boiled apple cider
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Combine sugar, spices, salt, boiled cider and lemon juice in a large bowl. Peel and core apples and toss with sugar mixture. Preheat oven to 400°, rack set in middle position. Place drip shield on rack below to catch spills. Mound apples into crust, taking care to fit and pack them nicely together. Fit top crust over, and cut 3 or 4 vent holes. Crimp edges. Bake at 400° for 45-50 minutes, or until apples feel tender when pierced with a fork.
For Apple Crumb pie, fill crust as above and sprinkle crumbs evenly over the top. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, then lower temperature to 375 degrees and bake 25-30 minutes more, or until apples feel tender when pierced with a fork.
Attached is a picture of my double crust pie.
Click thumbnail to see full-size image