Apple season is finally here!
This means only one thing – it’s time to drag my girlfriends apple picking! My friends have been good sports about it for years, ever since my little brothers stopped being ‘little’. We came away from the orchard with Honeycrisp and Fuji apples to eat and McIntosh and Jonathan to bake. We also managed to find some apple cider, caramel covered apples and cider donuts!
I brought all of the apples home and, with the help of my grandmother, transformed them into an apple pie! It’s not just any apple pie, though. It is the best apple pie I have ever made. I think that using Cortland or Jonamac Apples would have made this pie even better, but they were not in season the day we visited the orchard.
“A 10 Apple Pie”
3 c. sifted, all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks + 2 T unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and chilled in freezer 30 mins.
6+ Tbs. ice water (put some ice cubes in a measuring cup & add water)
Whisk together flour and salt. Add to food processor. Add semi-frozen butter to food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles ‘crushed cracker crumbs and peas.’ Slowly, trickle in each tablespoon of ice water through the feed tube, pulsing until mix resembles a loose, shaggy dough. Dump dough onto lightly floured pastry board or parchment paper. Gently form into a disk, kneading together only as needed. Divide dough in half. Form each halve into a round disk. Wrap one in plastic wrap and refrigerate (this will be the lattice-top crust). Roll out second half until ~1/8″-1/4″ thickness. Roll dough over rolling pin and drape over pie plate. Place in refrigerator until ready to add filling.
6-8 cups sliced, peeled & sliced 1/4″ thick apples (I used McIntosh and Jonathan this time)
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
freshly squeezed lemon juice (from 1-2 lemons)
2 shotglasses full of AppleJack
2 T unsalted butter, plus 2 T more for top of pie
1-2 T milk
Preheat oven to 425 F.
When peeling & slicing apples, sprinkle a little bit of lemon juice over the slices to prevent browning /oxidation (my grandmother’s new favorite word).
Combine sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Reserve 1/4 c. sugar mixture. Combine apples with most of remaining sugar mixture and AppleJack. Let sit 30 minutes.
Strain juice from apples into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, until reduced, 7-9 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 T unsalted butter. Let cool slightly. Pour cooled, reduced apple liquid over apples. Remove both pastry in the pie plate and pastry disk from refrigerator. Roll the pasty disk between two sheets of parchment paper. Cut into 1″ strips. Reserve to layer in a lattice over top of pie. Pierce bottom pie crust with fork. Sprinkle with reserved cinnamon-sugar mixture. Pour apple filling into prepared pie crust. Dot with butter. Criss-cross lattice over top of pie. Trim excess dough from the sides. Crimp the edges. Brush with milk and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar. Place on foil-lined baking sheet on the center rack of pre-heated oven. Bake 1 hour. Let cool – if you can wait that long. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
*Note: It is ok to let the apples brown a little bit while cutting and peeling them. The true function of the lemon juice is to add a bit of a ‘tart’ flavor to the pie! Thank you, Aunt Pam!