In the past three week no one had made an apple pie. I don’t know about you, but when I think of pie, apple is always the one I think of first. Its the only pie dinning services makes with somewhat regularity. It is what various things are as “American as”. It is just plain yummy. So think week, when focusing on design I set about creating the perfect apple pie, the one that exists only in my mind, the one that haunts my dreams…
What does this pie look look? Well first of all it is large, it makes a statement walks into the room, just based on its size. Is it truly the epitome of American-ness if it is not large? I think not. This behemoth of an apple pie is glorious and golden, with a great soaring dome packed to the brim with apples. The apples themselves are tender, but still have a bit of a bite. They are cinnamony and sweet and tart all at the same time.
this week I used a combination of this recipe and this recipe and some good `ole gut instincts. It was the gut instincts that lead me to purchase the six pounds of apples for this pie. None of the recipes I found were willing to go this large, but I just felt it just had to be done. This week I also wanted to modify the cream cheese crust I used last week, this time using a slightly sweeter version that had half as much cream cheese.
To begin, I set out making the crust. Pretty straight forward. I think I’m getting pretty good at this part.
Then I set about peeling, coring, and cutting the six pounds of apples. That part was definitely the most difficult. So many apples. So many. By the end my hands were all pruney from all the apples wet with lemon juice. But I persevered. Mixing the filling was fine. Rolling out the dough was fine. Then the apples became an issue again as I realized I must get them all into this pie. Rather than just tossing them in, I decided it would probably look the best, and fit the most apples, if I carefully shingled them into the pie plate, and then used this seemingly magical trick with a bowl to get the rest of them in, in a perfect dome. The diagram I found to do this made it look super easy, but as I approached the flipping stage all the pinterest fails I had seen started coming to mind.
In the end it turned out okay. Not as pretty as the picture, but no apples were lost in the process.
The top crust went on nicely. I did some fancy crimping, inspired by one our our course pack readings, and cut a flower shaped vent in the top. I brushed the whole pie in egg wash and then went crazy with the cinnamon sugar and popped it in the oven.
The pie came out of the oven perfect! All golden and delicious. A perfectly inflated dome and it even looked like the apples did not shrink too much. Luckily I got some shots then, because by the next day the crust had unfortunately deflated, creating an interesting (read lumpy) topography on my pie.
Looks aside the pie tasted great! The best compliment I got was that my pie was the platonic ideal of an apple pie. The crust on this pie was my best one yet I think. The cinnamon sugar was a nice touch and I definitely want to play with another flavored crust in my final pies. I was worried about my apples being under-cooked since there were so many, but they were fine. All in all a good go at the “perfect” apple pie, I think I totally would have had it if was eaten the day before, maybe with some ice cream, hot out of the oven. Yum.
Mile High Apple Pie
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 tbsp sugar
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1 1/2 sticks of butter
- enough water for the dough to come together
- For Topping:
- 1 egg for wash
- 8 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 6 lbs apples (I used granny smith, mcintosh, and braeburn apples)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 brown sugar
- 1 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- juice of one lemon
- butter for dotting
- Crust: Cut butter and cream cheese into 1/4 slices and combine with flour, sugar, and salt. Add water until dough can hold itself together. Divide and form into two disks one 1/3 larger than the other. Refrigerate.
- Filling: Peel, core, and cut apples into 1/4 in slices, applying lemon juice as you go to prevent them from browning. Combine apples with flour, sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt.
- Putting it all together: Roll out smaller disk of dough and put into pie plate. Begin placing apples into pie plate, laying them closely and neatly together in concentric circles until you reach the top of the pie plate. In a separate bowl carefully stack the remaining apples, placing the curved edge on the outside of the bowl. Once full or you have run out of apples, flip the bowl out on to the apples already in the pie plate. You should now have a perfect dome of apples. Dot the apples with 1/4 in cubes of butter. Roll out, apply, and decorate the top crust as you see fit. Brush with egg wash. Dust with cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake for 80 minutes at 350. If concerned with over browning: cover the pie with tin foil, shiny side out, half way through.