I really have not been here much lately at all. It seems that one thing after another happens, keeping my computer time to a minimum...our little pre- Halloween snow storm turned into a powerful Nor'Easter, 5 days without power, and a landscape that looked like a war zone. So many trees down all over...during the storm you could hear the branches cracking. It was very unnerving. The leaves still on the trees just could not take the weight of the heavy wet snow...I still had my annuals out on the deck.
I lost the entire contents of my fridge and freezer except for a few things. It really was not fun...I can not complain all that much though, some people had no power for much longer than us and had trees fall onto their homes and cars. You can still see many branches hanging off the high branches, just waiting for the next storm to fall.
We really have been hit hard by Mother Nature so far this year...an earthquake, the hurricane and now the freak snowstorm. Whats next? Locusts? I hope not! The beautiful candle, a gift from a lovely blogging friend, provided magical light for us while we ate our dinners in the dark....thank you again Shel...xo
I baked this pie on the quick last Sunday afternoon after we received a last minute dinner invitation and I had to be fast on my feet thinking about what to bring. I had wanted to try this recipe and I still had some beautiful Farmer's Market apples in my fridge that needed to be used. I really liked that the crust is made with milk rather than ice water....the dough rolled out with great ease, almost like a piece of fabric. I think this might be a great crust for the pie crust challenged. I did adapt the recipe a little bit...I used 2 1/4 cups of flour for the crust and I added two more tablespoons of sugar to my apples because they needed the extra sweetness.You have to taste as you go, even when baking. I also baked the pie in a regular 9 inch glass pyrex pie plate rather than a 10 inch dish. The apples were piled high and it worked just fine.The amount of flour in the filling is perfect, the apples held together nicely and did not run all over the place when it was cut. It was still warm when cut as well. The pie tasted just as good the following day as it did on the first.
My only issue with this recipe was that it bakes entirely at 350*. I pre-heated my oven long enough and chilled my pie in the freezer for about 15 minutes before baking. My beautifully crimped edge kind of drooped and I think it was either my oven acting up or the oven was not at a high enough temperature to set the crust quickly . I think next time I will start the pie out in a hotter, 400* oven for about 15-20 minutes and then reduce the temp to 350*. The droopy crust did not effect the taste however. My husband proclaimed this the best apple pie I have ever made and he is not a huge apple pie fan. I seem to be turning into a walking advertisement for "Mad Hungry"...but I must say that every recipe from Lucinda I have made has been a winner. My men and boys all agree!
Old Fashioned Apple Pie
To qualify as a great apple pie, the mixture of apples should create a combined sweet-tart flavor balance. Serve slightly warm with vanilla ice cream or with a wedge of cheddar cheese. From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).
Yield Makes 1 double-crusted 10-inch pie
2 tablespoons lemon juice
8 apples (4 tart, 4 sweet)
1 Basic Pie Dough *
1/4 cup sugar, plus 2 teaspoons for sprinkling
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cloves ( I used a pinch of Allspice instead of the
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon cold, unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Position the racks in the center of the oven and in the lower third.
Squeeze the lemon juice into a large bowl. Peel, quarter, core, and thinly slice one apple at a time. Toss the slices in the lemon juice to prevent browning. Repeat with each apple.
On a well-floured surface, roll out one piece of dough to about 12 inches in diameter and lay it in the bottom of a standard 10-inch pie plate. Trim the edges of the dough flush with the edge of the pie plate's rim.
Add the 1/4 cup sugar, the flour, cinnamon, cloves, and salt to the apples and toss to coat. Pile the apples into the dough-lined pie plate. Dot with butter.
Roll out the top crust to a diameter of 12 inches. Lay it over the apples. Trim the edge of the top crust so it hangs over the bottom crust by at least 3/4 inch. Tuck the top crust under the bottom and roll it under all around. Pinch it together to close. Crimp the edges with fingers or press with a fork. Chill the pie for a few minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and milk. Cut a few slits in the crust top to allow steam to escape during baking. Brush the egg mixture evenly over the whole crust, being careful not to block the slits. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar.
Place a cookie sheet on the lower rack to catch any overflowing juices from the pie. Place the pie on the center rack and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and there is a sign of bubbling juices. Cool on a wire cooling rack for at least 1 hour. Slice and serve.
One week from today is Thanksgiving....my favorite holiday! My boys will be home and we will all be together...I can not wait! Wishing all of you who celebrate....a warm and wonderful holiday...I am very thankful for you all.