Friday, February 18, 2011

Dreamy Apple Pie

I had a hard time deciding what recipes to begin posting so I thought I would start with a few things I have cooked in the past.  For those of you who have seen these first few recipes on my facebook:  no worries, there will be new foods posted very soon.

I'd always wanted to bake an apple pie.  It's such a classic staple and it fits seamlessly into all 4 seasons.  I'm quite obsessed with The Pioneer Woman and her delicious recipes, so I thought that one of her apple pie recipes would be the best place to start.  This is not your typical apple pie's creamier and has a brown sugar crumb topping instead of your classic pie crust.  I fixed this pie for Thanksgiving this past year and it was a hit.  I'm not a big fan of apple pie (I know, you're thinking: "Then why the heck would you even make one?"), but I loved this recipe!  

Dreamy Apple Pie courtesy of The Pioneer Woman
1 whole unbaked pie crust (recipe below)
3 whole large (4 or 5 small) Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 C heavy cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp cinnamon

7 Tbsp butter
3/4 C all purpose flour
1/2 C brown sugar
1/4 C pecans (more to taste)
dash of salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Roll out pie dough and place it in a pie pan. Decorate edges as desired (I like to crinkle mine).

Add apple slices to large bowl. In separate bowl, mix together cream, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour over apples and stir to coat. Pour apple mixture into pie shell.

Ready for the crumb coat topping!
In bowl of a food processor (or you can cut everything together by hand using a pastry cutter) combine butter, flour, sugar, pecans (chop if you’re not using a food processor), and salt. Mix until everything comes together and resembles a coarse cornmeal. Disperse topping over apple mixture in pie crust.

Attach foil to edges of pie and lay a piece of flat foil loosely over the top of pie. Place pie pan on top of a rimmed cookie sheet (to catch any overflow) and bake for one hour. Near the end of the baking period, remove foil and allow to finish baking.  This will allow the pie to brown. Can bake for up to 15 or 20 minutes more if necessary.
Remove from oven when pie is bubbly and golden brown.
Serve warm..... preferably with ice cream!

Perfect Pie Crust courtesy of The Pioneer Woman
1 1/2 C crisco
3 C all purpose flour
1 whole egg
5 Tbsp ice cold water
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp salt

The team all ready to go!

In large bowl, use pastry cutter to cut crisco into flour.  This will take a little under 5 minutes and the mixture choose resemble coarse meal.  In separate small bowl, beat egg.  Pour into flour mixture.  Add cold water, vinegar and salt.  Stir until gently combined.

Separate dough into three even groups.  Form separate dough into three balls.  Place each ball of dough into zip loc bag and flatten with rolling pin to about 1/2 inch thickness.  

Dough can be frozen until you need it.  If you want to make your pie right away I would still suggest letting your dough chill in the freezer for at least 20 minutes so that it is firmer and easier to work with.

To prepare the dough for a pie, remove from freezer and allow to sit at room temp for 15 minutes.  Roll dough out onto floured work surface.  *Its much easier if you start in the middle and then work your way out.

Roll dough out until it's approximately 1 inch larger than the diameter of your pie pan.  If the dough is too sticky, add a bit of extra flour on top of the dough.  

Carefully lift your dough into pie pan.  I use a spatular to make it easier.  You can also drape it over your rolling pin if that's easier.  

Press dough into pie pan, eliminating any bubbles.  Style edges of dough as desired.

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