Saturday, June 5, 2010

If you give a Girl an Apple...She's going to make an Apple Pie

I was asked to bake 10 pies this weekend for a wedding reception. I made four apple, two cherry, one strawberry, one blueberry, one blackberry/blueberry, and one triple berry. Nothing makes your house smell yummier than fresh, hot fruit-filled pies. I had so much fun making the pie dough and mixing the fruit fillings. Making apple pies is truly a labor of love as it does take time to prepare the crust and peel, slice, and core the apples. But, the end result makes it truly worth your effort. So, take some time this weekend, buy some apples, and get to work. Your tummy will thank you :).
Below you will find the recipes I use for pie crusts and for the apple pie. I am sure the pie would turn out yummy even if you "cheat" and use store-bought crusts (just smile real pretty and no one will know the difference-I promise not to tell ;-)) Oh, and don't forget the vanilla ice cream!
I will post the Cherry and Berry Pie recipes soon.
You are Prayed for my dear friends! Have a Beautiful Day worshipping our Lord tomorrow!

Perfect Pie Crust-Makes two 8- to 10-inch crusts

1 cup (about 2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pie plate
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1.Cut each stick of butter into eight pieces, and refrigerate until needed. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and mix to combine.

2.Add the chilled butter. Using a pastry blender, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture; the mixture should resemble coarse meal with small pieces of butter, the size of small peas, remaining visible.

3.Drizzle 2 tablespoons ice water over the flour-butter mixture, and blend. Repeat with an additional 2 tablespoons water. At this point, you may have to add more water: When a handful of dough squeezed together just holds its shape, you’ve added enough; if the dough crumbles, continue incorporating water, 1 tablespoon at a time, checking the consistency after each additional tablespoon.

4.Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface. Divide into two equal pieces, and place on two separate sheets of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form two disks. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

5.Lightly dust a clean, dry work surface with flour. Place the chilled dough in the center of the work surface, and dust the dough as well as the rolling pin with flour. Position the rolling pin on the center of the disk, and begin rolling the dough away from you. Give the disk a quarter turn, and roll again. Continue turning and rolling until you have an even 1/8-inch thickness. Turning the dough as you roll will prevent it from sticking to the work surface. A dry pastry brush is handy to remove any excess flour during and after the rolling process.

6.Lightly butter the pie plate. To minimize stretching when moving the dough, roll it around the pin, lift up, and unroll over the buttered pie plate. Using your fingers, gently pat the dough into place. Trim any excess dough with a paring knife or kitchen shears, leaving a 1-inch overhang; then fold dough under to reinforce the edge.
Amazing Apple Pie
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
One Recipe Perfect Pie Crust (see above recipe)
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
3 pounds assorted apples (I always use a mixture of Granny Smith and Gala)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (juice of 1 lemon)
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter,, cut into small pieces
Blue Bell Vanilla Bean ice cream (optional)

1.On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of piecrust to a 1/8-inch-thick circle, about 13 inches in diameter. Drape dough over a 9-inch pie pan. Transfer pan to refrigerator, and chill 30 minutes.
2.Heat oven to 425 degrees. Whisk together the egg yolk and cream; set aside.

3.In a large bowl, toss together the apples, lemon juice, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; place in chilled bottom crust. Dot with butter.

4.Roll out the remaining disk of piecrust as in step one. Brush the rim of the bottom crust with the egg wash. Place second piece of dough on top, and trim so 1 inch overhangs. Tuck the dough under, and crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers. Transfer pie to the refrigerator, and chill until firm, about 15 minutes.
5.Remove pie from the refrigerator, brush with the egg wash, and sprinkle generously with sugar. Cut four vents in the top, allowing the steam to escape. I cut out small hearts with a cookie cutter as my vents (be creative).

6.Bake until crust begins to turn light brown, about 25 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees, and bake until golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve pie warm with vanilla ice cream, if desired.

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