Apple Pie

We will be at Chef Central/Bed, Bath, & Beyond—Paramus, NJ
Thursday October 3 7:00 — 8:30 for a demo with this pie recipe and book signing for Rose’s Baking Basics.
Details on Our Blog posting.

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The secret to this pie’s pure apple flavor, with just a slight touch of caramel, is boiling down and concentrating the apples’ juices.
Wrapped with my flaky cream cheese pie crust, this is one of our fall season favorites.

Serves: 8

Oven Temperature: 425°F/220°C
Baking Time: 45 to 55 minutes
Baking Equipment: One 9 inch standard pie plate
A baking stone or cookie sheet, lined with aluminum foil
A foil ring to protect the edges of the crust

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FOOD PROCESSOR METHOD
1) Process flour, salt, and baking powder to blend. 
2) Add cream cheese and process until coarse.
3) Add butter cubes and pulse until peanut size. 
4) Add cream and vinegar and pulse until butter is the size of small peas.
5) Scrape dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Use latex gloves or cover hands with plastic bags and press dough until it holds together in one smooth flat disc.
6) Wrap, and refrigerate 45 minutes before rolling.

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MISE EN PLACE
* Roll Out the Bottom Crust: Roll the dough 12 inches in diameter or large enough to line the pie plate and extend slightly past the edge. Fit the dough into the pie plate. Trim the dough almost even with the edge. Cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

* Macerate the Apples: In a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, brown and granulated sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and toss to mix. Allow them to macerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, or up to 3 hours, at room temperature. Transfer the apples to a colander suspended over a bowl to capture the juices. The mixture will release at least 1⁄2 cup/118 ml juice.

MAKE THE APPLE FILLING
1) In a small saucepan, preferably nonstick, over medium-high heat, boil down the juices with the butter until syrupy and lightly caramelized, about 1⁄3 cup/79 ml. Swirl but do not stir. (Or coat a 4 cup glass measure with a spout with nonstick cooking spray, add the juices and butter, and boil in the microwave for a few minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until reduced. Watch carefully, as it goes really quickly toward the end.)

2) Meanwhile, transfer the apples to a bowl and toss them with the cornstarch until all traces of it have disappeared. Pour the hot syrup over the apples, tossing gently. Don’t be concerned if the syrup hardens on the apples; it will dissolve during baking.

3)Transfer the apple filling to the pie shell. The apples will mound well above the top of the pie plate, but will settle down considerably during baking. To help prevent a gap between the apples and top crust, see Baking Pearls (below).

ROLL OUT AND PLACE THE TOP CRUST
4) Roll and cut the top crust to 12-1⁄2 inches in diameter. To make it easier to transfer, slide it onto a cookie sheet, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate or freeze it until firm. Moisten the border of the bottom crust by brushing it lightly with water. Slip your hands under the top crust to lift it and place it over the apples. If chilled, allow it to soften for a few minutes to be flexible. Tuck the overhang under the bottom crust border and press down well all along the top, extending the border slightly past the edge to allow for shrinkage. If desired, make a decorative border.

MAKE STEAM VENTS AND CHILL THE PIE
5) Cut about five 2 inch slashes, evenly spaced, starting about 1 inch from the center and radiating toward the edge. Cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before baking to chill and relax the pastry. This will maintain flakiness and minimize shrinking.

PREHEAT THE OVEN
* Forty-five minutes or longer before baking, set an oven rack at the lowest level. Set the at 425°F/220°C. 

BAKE THE PIE
6) Place the foil ring on top of the pie to protect the edges from overbrowning and set the pie on the baking stone. Bake for 20 minutes. For even baking, rotate the pie halfway around. Continue baking for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the juices bubble through the slashes and the apples feel tender but not mushy when a wire cake tester or small sharp knife is inserted through a slash. They will continue softening slightly on cooling.

COOL THE PIE
7) Set the pie on a wire rack and cool for at least 4 hours before cutting. Serve warm or room temperature.

STORE UNCOVERED: room temperature, 2 days; refrigerated, 4 days.

Baking Pearls
* Some of my favorite pie apples are Northern Spy, Macoun, Stayman-Winesap, Cortland, and Jonathan. In the winter, I use Granny Smith or Golden Delicious apples from the supermarket, which also make an excellent pie. Avoid apples with high water content, such as McIntosh, which are ideal for applesauce but not for pie.

* If not concentrating the apples’ juices, use a total of 14 grams/11⁄2 tablespoons cornstarch.

* Depending on their moisture content, the apples will settle down a little on baking, leaving a space between the upper crust and the filling. It will disappear on serving. Arranging the apples in concentric circles helps minimize any extra space between the apples and
the crust. Not chilling the
pie before baking will also minimize this space, but the border will not be as well-defined.

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This recipe is in The Baking Bible and Rose’s Baking Basics. Both books are on our  website’s Rose’s Books pages. Enjoy the fall season.