Monday, September 26, 2011

Nothing Sweeter than Apple Pie

This past weekend, my family and I went apple picking at the local orchard.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE apple picking!  It screams wholesome, family fun!  It has a way of transporting you into a mindset that is straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting! Of course, all this nostalgia makes for the best tasting apples as well. This is 100% proven!  Go to any Whole Foods and purchase the biggest, prettiest apple in the entire store, and it will not taste even half as good as an apple you picked off the tree yourself!  Better yet, as my husband would say, the apples your children picked.  My kids love apple picking even more than me and they are not even old enough to yearn for simpler times.  They just know the pure fun of it! Just look at them; if there is something sweeter than apple pie than it is certainly my children! 

the loves of my life
sweet girl

my cute family

That brings us to the recipe... Baking and me have never been the best of friends.  For the most part, I think of myself as a confident cook.  One who can come up with or modify a recipe somewhat simply.  When it comes to baking; not so much...  That is why whenever I do post a recipe for something sweeter, it will always be from somewhere else.  Like this insanely delicious apple pie from Gourmet Magazine!  What makes this pie so killer is the Walnut Streusel on top!  Most likely, you will never bake another recipe again... It is that good!


 For pastry dough:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) plus 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water
For topping:
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
For filling:
  • 3 pounds Golden Delicious and/ or Jonagold apples (about 6 medium)
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
To make pastry dough:
In a large bowl with a pastry blender or in a food processor blend or pulse together flour, sugar, salt, and butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 2 tablespoons ice water and toss with a fork or pulse until incorporated. Add enough remaining ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing or pulsing to incorporate, until mixture begins to form a dough. On a work surface smear dough in 3 or 4 forward motions with heel of hand to slightly develop gluten in flour and make dough easier to work with. Form dough into a ball and flatten to form a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.

To make topping:
In a small bowl with your fingertips blend butter, brown sugar, and flour until smooth and blend in nuts. Chill topping, covered. 


To make filling:
Peel and core apples. Cut apples into 1/2-inch wedges and in a bowl toss with remaining filling ingredients to coat.

Preheat oven to 350°F. 

On a lightly floured surface roll out dough into a 15-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick) and fold into quarters for ease of handling. Unfold dough in a well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet or 10-inch deep-dish (1 1/2-quart) pie plate, easing to fit and letting dough overhang rim of skillet or pie plate. Spoon filling into shell and fold pastry overhang over filling, leaving center uncovered. Bake pie in middle of oven 1 hour (pie will not be completely cooked) and remove from oven.

Crumble topping over center of pie, breaking up any large chunks. Brush crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake pie in middle of oven 30 minutes more, or until crust is golden and filling is bubbling. Cool pie on a rack. 

Serve pie warm or at room temperature with ice cream.
Don't these look pretty??

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