The Quintessential Apple Pie

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Though opinions about what is and what is not a pie differ among pastry chefs and bakers, a double-crust apple pie like this one from "Art of the Pie" by Kate McDermott certainly fills the bill.

Makes 8 servings

For the perfect dough:

21/2 cups flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon salt

11 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

7 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening or lard

4 to 5 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

10 cups apples (skin on), preferably from 6 to 8 different kinds of apples, quartered, cored

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 gratings nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1 to 2 tablespoons Calvados or apple liqueur, optional

1/2 cup flour

2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

1 egg white mixed with 1 tablespoon water

1 to 2 teaspoons (4 to 8 grams) sugar

 

1. To begin preparing the pie dough, pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade until combined. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture; pulse about 5 times. Add shortening or lard; process until butter pieces are no larger than small peas and flour resembles coarse cornmeal, about 4 pulses. (This step also can be done using a pastry blender.) Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the water over flour mixture; pulse 5 or 6 times. Add 1 teaspoon water at a time until dough holds together easily. Do not let dough form into a ball in the processor. Place dough on counter. Shape into ball with hands; divide in half. Flatten into two 1-inch thick discs. Wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes.

2. Cut the apples into chunks you can easily fit in your mouth. In a large bowl, mix apples with sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vinegar, Calvados, and flour. Stir until mixture begins to look sandy.

3. Roll out 1 disc of the pie dough; use it to line a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan. Pour in apple mixture. Distribute the pieces of butter evenly on top. Roll out the top crust; place over the filling. Cut at least 5 vents in the top. Remove any dough that hangs over the side of the pie pan. Crimp the edges.

4. Cover pie in plastic wrap and transfer to fridge for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oven to 425 degrees.

5. Remove wrap from the pie. Brush the top of the pie with the egg white and water mixture. Transfer pie to middle rack in the oven. Cook, 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake, 30 minutes.

6. Sprinkle sugar on pie. Continue cooking until evenly browned on top, and liquid just starts to bubble from vents, about 10 minutes. Remove and let pie cool for at least an hour.

- Dough adapted from Cook's Illustrated Magazine;Filling recipe adapted from Art of the Pie (Countryman Press, $35).

 

Per serving: 570 calories, 6 grams protein, 71 grams carbohydrates, 31 grams sugar, 30 grams fat, 50 milligrams cholesterol, 448 milligrams sodium, 5 grams dietary fiber.

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