As the Summer days start to wind down I know our minds are on the bounty of the harvest that Fall will bring. Apple trees will soon be producing ripe, juicy, and delicious fruit. What better way to put that fruit to good use than a perfect apple pie? The Spring 2011 issue of Where Women Cook features an apple pie recipe by Tricia Martin of Eating is Art.
Eating is Art
Summary: A flaky, delicious, perfect apple pie
- For Dough- 5¼ cups pastry fl our or all-purpose flour
- 1 TB. sea salt
- 1½ sticks (6 oz.) cold unsalted butter
- 1 ¾ cups shortening (non-hydrogenated; Spectrum is a good brand) or lard
- 1 cup ice water
- For filling- An assortment of 5-6 large apples(I like to use a combination of Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and Honeycrisp)
- 1–2 TB. fresh lemon juice (depending on how sweet your apples are to begin with)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1–2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 capful of vanilla extract (about 1 tsp.)
- For Filling-Peel, cut, and core the apples.
- Toss them in a large bowl with fresh lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.
- Set aside.
- To Make the Dough by Hand- Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl.
- Add the butter and, using a pastry blender or your fingers, cut it into the flour until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs. Be patient — this takes a while.
- Break up the shortening and add it in bits to the bowl. Still working with the pastry blender or fingers, cut in the shortening until the mixture has small clumps and curds.
- Switch to a wooden spoon and add the ice water, stirring to incorporate it.
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold it over on itself a few times — don’t get carried away. The dough will be soft, but it will firm sufficiently in the refrigerator.
- To Make the Dough in a Mixer- Fit the mixer with paddle attachment, put the flour and salt into the bowl, and stir to mix.
- Add the butter and mix on low until it is cut into the dry ingredients and the mixture looks coarse and crumbly.
- Add the shortening in small bits and continue to mix on low. When the mixture is clumpy and curdy and holds together when a small bit is pressed between your fingers, add the water and mix only until it is incorporated.
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold it over on itself two or three times, just to finish the mixing and to gather it together. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or as long as five days.
- To Finish Dough- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a circle about ⅛ inch thick and fi t it into a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.
- Press a little of the overhang against the edge of the pan so that it produces a small ledge protruding over the inside of the pan.
- Place partchment paper down in the center, then pour in a lot of dried beans until it is very full. This will help keep the sides of the
- tart on the sides, instead of sliding down to the center.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20–25 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool while you make the filling or check your e-mail.
- After slightly cooled, pour the fruit filling (see recipe, below) into the center, making sure to get all the juice from the bottom of the bowl. Bake at 375 degrees for about 40–45 minutes, or until the fruit is nice and juicy, maybe even a little crisp on some of the edges. Enjoy!
Julia spent so much time on her recipes, perfecting them, each word a necessary step, in order to give people a chance to make food delicious in their own homes. Notice how she wants you to really look at it (clumpy, curdy) and to feel it (press between your fi ngers) in order to understand what it is you are doing. Give it a try! Getting your hands dirty is not only rewarding, but fun. And you can always wash them when you are done!