[cooking] Apple Pie

The apple pie came out fantastic. Beyond fantastic. I couldn't stop looking at it and remarking on how fantastic it looked. Dollar just bounced from foot to foot, repeating, "Cut it, cut it, cut it!" I have to replicate the recipe here:

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Classic Apple Pie

2 cups sifted all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup + 2 tbsp. vegetable shortening
1/4 cup ice water
corn starch

6 medium apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. butter, melted for brushing

In a bowl mix flour and salt, cut in shortening, mix; add water a little at a time and mix until all flour is moistened. Make a ball with the dough and place on a floured board. Divide in half. Roll out to an approximately 12" circle and place into a well-greased 9" pie plate, leaving an overhang. Dust with cornstarch.

Mix apples with lemon juice, sugar and spices; turn into pastry-lined pan. Roll out remaining half of dough and place over top of apple mixture. Fold edge on top pastry under edge of lower pastry and trim. Seal with fingertips. Cut steam vents, brush with butter. Bake at 400 degrees F for about 50 minutes, until top is nicely browned.

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1. I couldn't find my pastry blender so I used an oversized fork (one of those big ones that are usually used for serving things). I used it to cut the Crisco into the flour, lightly, until the mixture was uniformly crumbly. Then I added the ice water, a little at a time, and lightly continued the same cutting motion until the dough came together.

2. I brushed the top crust with a beaten egg instead of butter and sprinkled the top with sugar. I turned the oven down to 375 after 10 minutes or so.

3. It took me just under an hour to prepare the pie (not including the 50 minute baking time). I'd like to get that time down to 30 minutes. The dough was very easy; it was peeling and slicing the apples that was the most time consuming. Time to get a corer/peeler.

4. I think this was the first pie I've made since I was 12 years old and spending my summers up on my grandparents farm. I can remember doing a lot of baking up there but I always had my grandmother or great-grandmother looking over my shoulder. I was a little intimidated to do this on my own but it was easy, it came out right and I bet the pie only cost $2 in ingredients.

5. There's nothing like warm homemade apple pie with vanilla ice cream. This was a real treat.

UPDATE on 09/25

6. I've made three of these apple pies now. I made two on Saturday- one to bring to a birthday party and another to keep at home. Everyone who has had a slice has either commented on how good it is, asked for more, or asked for the recipe. Do you know why? Do you know what it is about the pie?

The nutmeg. I'm sure of it. I bought a little baggie of whole nutmeg nuts at the Asian Superstore on the Mall in Lebanon for $2.50 and I used freshly grated nutmeg in the pie recipe. Just drag the whole nutmeg along a fine grater, right into the bowl of apples, cinnamon and sugar. Have you ever seen what the inside of a nutmeg looks like? It looks like a brain. (foreshadowing)

What's so special about nutmeg? It's psychoactive. I did some reading on this and if you eat a lot of it, you feel all hot and then slip into a light coma. The whole pie only uses a small amount and then is baked, which I presume releases all the feel-good, mescaline-like properties into the pie. Which makes the eater happy (for reasons unknown to them).

7. Here's a chart on what apples to use for what. I've been using Cortlands from Poverty Lane Farms.


Shelby said...

apple pie is hard to beat.

the Asian Superstore is a riot...I love it in there. The Hindu "corn" makes me cackle with glee.

re: nutmeg - I believe it was TrollD and myself who read about the hallucinogenic properties of nutmeg in the 8th grade and, being adventurous sorts, decided we'd try it out. I mixed a bunch with water and tried to drink it down but it was disgusting and what I managed to consume of it only made me ill. I can't remember if Adam actually tried it or not. Maybe it wasn't him, to be fair. Maybe the stuff worked better than I thought, if I can't remember who I was trying it with...*laughs*

amy said...

Everything I've read online says it takes ~5 hours to feel anything. And even then, all you're feeling is hot and nauseous (bonus: you get bloodshot eyes). Then you sleep for 16 hours. Wheee! Sounds like fun!

I think half of a nutmeg in the pie is the perfect amount. Everyone ends up feeling good (and a little randy).

Shelby said...

I was DEFINITELY hot and I guess it worked. I didn't sleep for that long, though.

Nutmeg is the secret ingredient in my Best Carrot Cake Ever In The Whole World, too. Well, it's one of them, anyway...

Now I want apple pie. Damn you.