I am now completely sick of this weather. Sure the snow we had at Christmas was wonderfully festive and fun but its got colder and colder and it now takes me 3 times as long to get to work in the morning. Thankfully I have had no slips or trips and it seems to be getting better but as we were supposed to have family in from Canada this past weekend and I was in the mood for a comforting dessert we settled for a perfect, weather appropriate classic Apple Pie. Having actually never made pie before I turned to the queen of classic american baking Martha Stewart. I chose her Double-Crust Apple Pie from “Cooking School” which is a Pâte Brisée crust and almost a tree’s worth of apples baked with cinnamon and ginger. Predictably, due to the weather, my family were delayed and so never got to taste this which is a real shame because it was pretty great, although not without a few problems. My vent holes in the top were too big and looked a little unsightly after baking, my crimped edge didnt stay crimped, I forgot the butter in the apples and the pie was a little singed on the edge. In the end though the pie was actually really tasty and I was especially happy with the pastry and thankfully the mistakes I made are all easily overcome next time.
Double-Crust Apple Pie – Martha Stewart – Serves 8
2 3/4 Cups Plain Flour
1 Tblsp Sugar
1 1/2 Tsp Coarse Salt
255g Cold Unsalted Butter, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
7 Tblsp Ice Water
1. Put the dry ingredients in your food processor and pulse together to combine.
2. Add the butter and pulse until you get coarse crumbs. You want the crumbs to vary in size, so dont pulse too much.
3. Add the water and pulse just until the pastry starts to come together when pinched (no longer than 30 seconds). The mixture will look very crumbly but if you you pinch some together in you fist it should stay together. If after 7 tablespoons if water it still feels too dry add up to 2 more.
4. Pour the dough out onto the work surface and knead once or twice to make a smooth dough. Divide into two rounds, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before using, I refrigerated overnight but this dough can also be frozen for a month, thawing overnight in the fridge. When ready to use let sit out for 10 mins to soften slightly before rolling.
Double Crust Apple Pie
3 lbs / 1.36 kg Assorted Baking Apples (I used Granny Smith, Braeburn + Bramley)
1/2 to 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/2 Cup Plain Flour or 2 Tblsp Cornflour
1 Tblsp Fresh Lemon Juice
3/4 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 Tsp Coarse Salt
2 Tbslp Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
1 Large Egg Yolk
1 Tblsp Double Cream
Coarse Sugar, for sprinkling
1. Peel, core and slice the apples into 1/2 inch pieces. Mix them in a large bowl with the granulated sugar, flour/cornflour, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Set aside.
2. On a cool, lightly floured surface lightly roll out the first disk of dough into an 1/8 inch thick circle (at least 13 inches in diameter). Brush off any excess flour with a pastry brush.
3. Roll the dough around the rolling pin and unroll over a 9 inch pie plate, gently pressing into place.
4. Fill the pie with the apple mixture and dot with butter. Roll out the second disk of dough in the same way as before and drape over the apples. Trim the the overhang with with kitchen shears to about 1 inch. Press the edges to seal, tuck the overhang under and crimp the edges using the index finger of one hand pressing the dough into the thumb and index finger of the other. Make a few 3 inch slits in the top crust to release steam when baking. Refrigerate for 2o mins and preheat the oven to 400f / 205c.
5. Mix the egg yolk and cream together and brush over the crust and sprinkle with some coarse sugar. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 375f / 190c. Bake for a further 70 to 85 minutes or until the top and bottom crust are golden and the filling is golden and the juices bubbling. If the crust is browning too fast cover with a tent of foil.
6. Cool on a wire rack for a least 4 hours or up to overnight