November means pie.
Around here it really seems we eat the most pie in November and December, with a slight uptick in the summer when I make a decide to make a Berry or Key Lime pie. Pie is by far Zack's favorite dessert. He asked me to make him a pie for his birthday, any kind of pie. Unfortunately I was not the best wife when it came to his birthday and instead he got brownies...from a box. Zack, being the type of guy to just let things go, reminded me weekly that he never got his pie. I decided I needed an end to his yammering so I made this apple pie and I enjoyed it just as much as him. The filling is from a recipe I found online and it truly fantastic. It was a little runny, but the flavor was incredible. I highly recommend you add this to your upcoming holiday menus.
crust recipe from Cook's Illustrated, filling recipe adapted from allrecipes.com
1 recipe for a 9 inch double pie crust (see below)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
8 assorted tart and sweet apples - peeled, cored, and sliced
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Mel the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour to form a paste. Add water, white sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
Please the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Slowly pour butter sugar mixture over the apples. Cover with lattice work crust.
Bake 15 minutes in preheated oven. Reduce temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. COntinue baking 35-45 minutes, until apples are soft.
Vodka Pie Crust
recipe from Cook's Illustrated
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening , cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka , cold
1/4 cup cold water
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogeneous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.
Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.
Bakers Note: I have prepared this recipe in the food processor and by hand using a pastry cutter. It is definitely easier with the food processor, but tastes just as great doing it by hand. This is by far the best pie crust I have ever tasted!