Has anyone made an apple pie yet this season? Julia wanted a crisp and I wanted a pie, so we compromised and made an apple pie with a crumble top. I think that's my favorite kind.
I honestly think apple pie is my favorite. Here's how I like it: VERY CINNAMONY, with not too much juice flowing everywhere, just a little, and I don't like the apples cut into big chunks, but I also don't like them cut too thin. And I like them cooked pretty darn well, no crunchy apples in my pie thanks. But I don't like them mushy.
Very rarely do I get my apple pies right, which is why I don't make them all too often.
But I do have a recipe that never fails me.
'The Breakfast Book' by Marion Cunningham? Hmmm?
I think it might be one of the nicest breakfasts ever. With a slice of cheese.
I finally found a crust I like, the flaky pastry dough from the Joy of Cooking (i use half butter, half shortening). Friends, it takes not very long at all to make dough in a food processor. Or your hands. And it is so so so so much better than anything you can buy premade, it just is and there's no debating about it.
After my dough is made, I go ahead and roll it out right away, and line my pie plate, THEN I chill it. So much easier than chilling first and then rolling out!
BREAKFAST APPLE PIE (adapted from 'The Breakfast Book')
6 large baking apples, all tart or a combo of tart and sweet
3/4 to 1 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you like your pie and the sweetness of the apples
2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons flour
(alternatively, you can omit the flour and instead line the pie shell bottom evenly with 1 cup cornflakes. Tastes wonderful and absorbs the pie juices so you don't have juice running everywhere. This is how the the cookbook suggests making this pie. I like it both ways, made with cornflakes, and made with flour as the binder.)
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
7 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 unbaked 8 or 9 inch pie shell
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut apples. I sprinkle them with a bit of lemon juice as I cut and slice. Toss the apple slices with the sugar, spices, vanilla and flour in a mixing bowl until all the apples are coated. Let sit for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, make the topping. Put the flour, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles irregular bread crumbs. Spread the apples into the pie shell. Then sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the apple slices.
Bake the pie for 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until apples are tender and bubbling. Serve warm with a piece of Cheddar on the side.