Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Classic Apple Pie (from harvest to table)

When we bought our home 9 years ago, my hubby planted a multi-grafted apple tree to mark our first spring in this house. Every year since then, I look forward to seeing the beautiful blossoms that will eventually give us 3 delicious varieties - yates, golden delicious and jonagold  apples in autumn. This year, the harvest was abundant - even wild rabbits and squirrels feasted on the fruits that fell on the ground.

Almost everyday, hubby and I picked an apple or two to go with our packed lunches or simply enjoyed the juicy and crunchy fruits for breakfast or snacks after late afternoon workouts. I also love slices of apples on my tuna or chicken salad.

If we are at home during weekends, the house will be filled with the sweet smell of freshly baked apple pies, apple coffee cakes and apple turnovers. For classic apple pie, I find Canadian Chef Michael Smith's recipe simple yet delicious.

Classic Apple Pie (adapted from chef Michael Smith)

Pastry Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks frozen butter
12 tablespoons ice water

Filling Ingredients:
8 large apples (I used the 3 varieties I have from my backyard - yates, golden delicious and jonagold) peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Whisk the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl.
Using a grater, grate the frozen butter into the flour and toss lightly with your fingers until it’s thoroughly combined. Sprinkle in the ice water and stir with your fingers, mixing and firmly kneading until the dough comes together in a ball.

Divide dough into 2 pieces; making sure that one half is slightly larger than the other. Wrap in plastic wrap, flatten and chill for at least 30 minutes, or  overnight. Resting tenderizes the pastry, making it easier to roll.

Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and allow it to warm slightly, just until it’s pliable. Lightly flour your hands, the rolling pin, your work surface and the dough.

Roll out the larger pastry piece into a circle large enough to slightly overlap the edges of a 9-inch glass deep-dish pie dish. As you roll, for ease of handling, lightly flour the dough every time its diameter doubles, then flip it over and continue rolling. Transfer the dough to the pie dish by folding it into quarters then unfolding it in the dish.

Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).

Toss the apple slices with the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add the apple mixture to the bottom crust. Roll out the remaining smaller piece and carefully place it over the top of the pie.
Roll and crimp the edges of the dough together, tightly sealing them. Poke a few vent holes into the top of the pie and place on the bottom rack of oven.

Bake for an hour or so, until the crust is golden and the juices are bubbling.

Serve with vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

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