Given that today is the 4th of July, can you honestly expect me to post ANY other recipe? 😉
Citizens, my recipe is based on the superlative and unmatched pie created by legendary pastry chef Jim Dodge. His pastry crust is unchanged (don’t mess with perfection!) but I have altered the filling with apples and spices I believe are the ideal complements to my palate.
What more can be said except that this will be the finest Apple Pie you’ll ever taste?! 🙂
Battle on and Happy Independence Day – The Generalissimo
FOR THE PIE DOUGH:
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
6 tablespoons (or a bit more if needed) heavy (whipping) cream (preferred) or cold water
FOR THE PIE FILLING:
2 medium Granny Smith apples
4 medium Winesap (strongly preferred), Gravensteins (also excellent) or Gala apples
¾ cup granulated sugar plus 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground mace
¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 tablespoon tapioca flour*
⅛ teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg white
To make the pie crust: Freeze 2 cups of the flour in a bowl for 30 minutes. Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes and freeze for 15 minutes.
In the work bowl of a food processor, combine the flour, salt and sugar. Process for 30 seconds. Cut the frozen butter cubes into 1/2-inch slices and add to the flour. Pour in the cream (or water) around the edges and process until the dough starts to come together. Turn out on a worktable.
Dust lightly with some of the remaining 1/2 cup flour (saving balance for rolling out dough) and gather gently with your hands to form a round ball. Be careful not to overhandle the dough. Divide in half and form into 2 round pads. If necessary, wrap the dough in plastic and chill until needed.
To make the filling: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel the apples, cut in half from stem to blossom end, then remove the cores. Place apple halves cut-side down on a cutting board and cut each half into 4 wedges. Slice across the wedges, cutting them in half. Repeat with the rest of the apple halves. Once cut, put the apples in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, blend ¾ cup of the sugar with the ground slices and tapioca flour. Sprinkle over the apples and toss to coat the fruit. Cover the fruit with plastic wrap and set aside until needed.
On a lightly floured surface, roll one of the pads of dough into a 13-inch circle. Use a soft brush to brush flour from the top of the rolled dough. Fold in half and brush flour from bottom of dough. Lift the dough, placing it over half the pie pan. Unfold it, covering the pan.
Lift the edges with one hand while you gently press the dough against the bottom and side of the pan. Place egg white in a bowl and, with a fork, beat it smooth. From the edge of the dough, brush on top a band of egg white about 2 inches wide.
Heap the apples in the pie shell, piling them higher in the center. Arrange the apples so that they fit snugly. Scrape any sugar and tapioca flour left in the bowl over the apples.
Roll the remaining pie dough into a 12-inch circle. Brush away the extra flour and roll the dough as you did with the first circle. Fold in half and lay the circle of dough over the pie. Fold and crimp the edges.
Brush the top of the pie (but not the edges) with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Cut four small slashes in the top near the center to let steam escape.
Bake on the lowest shelf of preheated oven for 15 minutes, then rotate the pie, turning the back to the front. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Continue baking until the crust is golden brown and the liquid is bubbling, about 50 minutes.
Cool completely on a wire rack before cutting or serving. Serve at room temperature. To store, cover with plastic wrap and chill. The pie will retain its flavor for up to 2 days.
* Tapioca flour can be ordered from The King Arthur Flour Baker’s Catalogue, 1-800-827-6836. You can also grind pearl tapioca to a fine powder in a spice/nut grinder or a coffee bean grinder. (Cornstarch can be used as a substitute.)