American As Apple Pie

Many of my regular readers know my husband, Stephan, grew up in Europe, and is a Ferrrner (aka foreigner.) Well… not any more. This Saturday, at the ungodly hour of 7 am, my husband became an American Citizen. The swearing in ceremony was a bit like a bad televangelist sermon. I got a very good chuckle when they started the program with Hero by Mariah Carey and ended with Proud To Be An American whilst waving American flags. I could just imagine my husband rolling his eyes… :P Poignant moment, but loaded with cheese.

When Stephan came here, he was a young 20 year old with a few thousand dollars in his pocket and a drive to succeed. Now he’s the Principal of his own company, Maloman Photographers. I’m so proud of him and dedicate this post to him. I know he will never be as American as Apple Pie because he takes immense pride in his European heritage, but now he’s officially home. Of course, if the upcoming election doesn’t turn out like he hopes, we may move to Canada… just kidding, well, maybe not.

This apple pie is very easy and pretty foolproof. I like to saute the apples just a little before baking because it helps to avoid crunchy apples and soggy bottom. Goodness gracious, no one likes a soggy bottom. :P If you use a more mealy apple, you should definitely skip this step. Also, I prefer to use a Pate Brisee, which is made like regular pie dough, but uses butter instead of shortening… you just can’t beat the flavor of butter.

Apple Pie Recipe

11 oz all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
pinch salt
5 oz butter, cold, cut into cubes
6-8 tbsp ice water

6 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
3 oz sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
pinch salt
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour

1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp turbinado sugar

1. Make the dough: Combine the flour, sugar, and butter in a food processor. Pulse 4-5 times, until the butter resembles crumbs. Add 6 tbsp water to the bowl and pulse several more times. Press the mixture together and see if it will form a ball. If it is too dry, add another tablespoon of water and test again. When the dough comes together into a ball, scrape it onto a lightly floured surface and shape into two equal sized disks. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, but up to 2 days.

2. Combine the apples, sugar, lemon juice, spices and salt in a large bowl. Stir around until all of the apples are coated. Let sit for 15 minutes.

3. Heat 2 tbsp of the butter in a saute pan large enough to hold the apples. Add the apples and any liquid to the pan and saute, turning constantly with a spatula for about3 minutes. Spoon apples (leaving the liquid in the pan) back into the large bowl and let cool. Simmer the liquid for another minute or two until thick. Add this to the bowl of apples. Taste and add more sugar or cinnamon if needed. When cold, add the flour and stir well.

4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out one disk of dough and cover the pie plate, leaving 1/2 inch overhang. Add the cold apples to the pie plate, mounded in the center. Dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Brush the edges with water and then roll out and top with the other half of the dough. Crimp the edges together and either press with a fork, or shape into a decorative edge with your fingertips. Cut a few vent holes with a small sharp knife.

5. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg and sprinkle with turbinado sugar. Bake the pie on a foil covered sheet pan for about 35-45 minutes. If the crust starts to get brown too quickly, cover with foil. You can usually tell when the pie is done because it will smell heavenly and won’t be bubbling as much.

Makes One 9 inch pie, about 10 servings.