Monday, October 15, 2012

Apple Pie

I am not baker, per se, I love to cook and can bake but I am not one who is in the kitchen baking fresh bread every weekend. I'm not sure I have the discipline to follow the recipes closely enough. Although for special occasions I can reign myself in long enough to measure exactly. Yesterday a friend and I drove to Milburn Orchards with the thought of apple picking for making pies. Milburn has been a family run farm in Elkton, Maryland since 1902 and a great place for apples, veggies and oh those cider donuts. On fall weekends it is a must place to take the kids to pet the goats, pick pumpkins and play all the fun games available. As it turned out the apple trees that were being harvested this weekend were not the best variety for pie making so instead we bought the already harvested apples in the right variety. How odd it was cheaper to buy already picked than to pick your own ? We were told that the Stayman-Winesap apples would hold the firmest for baking and after making our pies they were correct. The apples were firm, juicy and had a hint of tart that blended so well with the sugar and other spices we used for the recipe. We used a Barefoot Contessa Recipe (minus the fruit zests since I have to change something) for the filling and we added cheddar cheese to a crust. It turned out pretty well. I like a more done crust however you could pull it out of the oven earlier if you like your blond. It's a recipe worth trying.

 8 pounds apples mixed with juices, spices, sugar and flour
Apples IN !

One of the first 2 pies made

leftover apples made into a crisp with flour, butter, brown sugar and oatmeal topping

The pie with foil shield to keep edges from burning

Finished product about 4" high


  • 4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, and cored
  • 1 lemon, zested (we omitted)
  • 1 orange, zested (we omitted)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 teaspoon to sprinkle on top
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Perfect Pie Crust, recipe follows
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut each apple quarter in thirds crosswise and combine in a bowl with the zests, juices, 1/2 cup sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.
Roll out half the pie dough and drape it over a 9- or 10-inch pie pan to extend about 1/2-inch over the rim. Don't stretch the dough; if it's too small, just put it back on the board and re-roll it.
Fill the pie with the apple mixture. Brush the edge of the bottom pie crust with the egg wash so the top crust will adhere. Top with the second crust and trim the edges to about 1-inch over the rim. Tuck the edge of the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust and crimp the 2 together with your fingers or a fork. Brush the entire top crust with the egg wash, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar, and cut 4 or 5 slits.
Place the pie on a sheet pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until the crust is browned and the juices begin to bubble out. Serve warm.

Perfect Pie Crust:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water
We added 4 oz. white cheddar cheese

Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.

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