Friday, September 25, 2009

Apple Pie! It's Finally Fall!

If you ask anyone who knows me, I live for fall flavors.  I wake up early in the morning just to get the best gallon of apple cider at the farmers market, I dream about going to the Dexter Cider Mill, and I get excited for fresh picked apples for fresh baked fall treats.  I'm posting two recipes, one for apple pie (with an all butter crust) and one for apple crisp.  I couldn't make up my mind for which one I wanted to bake, and when asking people which one they'd rather eat, the results were split down the middle.  Nick gave me some Jonathan apples that he picked from his grandfathers farm!  They were absolutely amazing; so fragrant, crisp, and a perfect balance of tart/sweet.  I also had some New Zealand Pink Lady's at my fridge, so I used one of those in the apple pie (because I needed just one more apple) and the others were used in the apple crisp.
I also always make an all butter crust; the concept of shortening just freaks me out.  We have been using butter churns much longer than shortening-making factory equipment.  And butter just tastes better!  What also made making this crust so much easier is that I got to use my "new-used" food processor for the first time!  My grandma gave me her old one that she barely used and it works like a dream… and it's 20 years old!

Oh yes, and this recipes, I can't even remember where I got them.  I have been making apple pie since I was 16 and the recipes are fairly engrained in to my memory.  However, I did forget how long to cook the pie for, so I referenced Smitten Kitchen for that.

All Butter Pie Crust:


  • 2 sticks cold unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon yogurt
  • 6 tablespoons cold water 

  1. Cut the butter into 1/2" prices and freeze the pieces for at least 10 minutes.
  2. In a food processor, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Process for a few seconds to combine.
  3. Mix together the yogurt and cold water in a small measuring cup.
  4. Into the food processor, add the chilled butter pieces. Give the flour/butter mixture 6 to 8 one-second pulses. You want some pea-sized pieces of butter remaining for a flaky crust (over-processing will result a shortbread-like texture).
  5. Pop the liquid ingredients into the freezer for a couple of minutes.
  6. Drizzle in half of the liquid into the food processor. Give the mixture 3 one-second pulses.
  7. Drizzle in the remaining liquid and repeat the 3 one-second pulses.
  8. Check the consistency of the dough. The texture should be similar to wet sand. Pinch a bit of the dough together with your fingers. If it holds together on its own, it has enough moisture. If it doesn't hold together, drizzle in an additional tablespoon of water and repeat the 3 one-second pulses.
  9. Turn the dough out on a work surface. Split into two balls and wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour (or up to a couple of days).
  10. If refrigerating the dough for more than a couple of hours, let stand at room temperature to soften a bit (15 to 30 minutes) before rolling out.
  11. Roll the dough out into a circle and fit into a pie pan, make sure to press the crust down firmly into the corners of the pie pan!
  12. Place the crust in the refrigerator while assembling the apples.

You can see the butter and liquid chilling (and in the tupperware my no-bake cookies that will not firm up)

Apple Pie:


  • I used 3 medium and 1 large apple
  • 1 tablespoon juice and 1 teaspoon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 egg white, beaten lightly


  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat rimmed baking sheet and oven to 500°F. 
  2. Peel, core and cut apples in half, and in half again width-wise; cut quarters into 1/4-inch slices and toss with lemon juice and zest. In a medium bowl, mix 1/2 cup of white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, flour, salt and spices. Toss dry ingredients with apples. Turn fruit mixture, including juices, into chilled pie shell and mound slightly in center.
  3. Roll out second piece of dough to 12-inch disk and place over filling. Trim top and bottom edges to 1/2-inch beyond pan lip. Tuck this rim of dough underneath itself so that folded edge is flush with pan lip. Flute edging or press with fork tines to seal. Cut four slits on dough top. If pie dough is very soft, place in freezer for 10 minutes. Brush egg white onto top of crust and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
  4. Make a ring of tin foil (see picture) around the crust of the pie - it protects the edges from burning and keeps that nice and flakey! 
  5. Place pie on baking sheet and lower oven temperature to 425°F. Bake until top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Rotate pie and reduce oven temperature to 375°F; continue baking until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30-35 minutes longer.
  6. Make sure to let the pie sit to cool for AT LEAST 30 minutes!  This is crucial!  During this time the insides of the pie firm up and make it a lot easier serve/eat/enjoy.

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