Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Deep Dish Apple Pie (The Barefoot Contessa) #38

I'm going to do a string of apple pie posts because: 1-it's fall, 2-there are so many thousands of apple pie recipes to choose from, 3-I live in the big apple--so...there's that, 4-apple pies are delicious, 5-and mostly because the only thing I remember from fifth grade history was the question, "What's more American than apple pie?" and even 20 years later I don't have an answer.
Although, with even the most ubiquitous fast food restaurant selling some version of an apple pie, the question really should have been, "What American hasn't tasted apple pie?"

I'll be sure to bring that up with my fifth grade teacher next time I see her.

Until then, that's kind of the problem with apple pies. It's not likely that you're going to mess any apple pie up, but since it's so common, it's difficult to make one that knocks everyone's socks off. And, I don't know about you, but the reason I bake pies is one part catharsis, one part hunger, and one part that's just hoping to blow someone away in a slice.
So? How did this one hold up?

Well, since I've been wanting to make for awhile--not really because of the recipe, but because I've been a Barefoot fan for a few years and I hadn't ever tried it--I hate to report that it was disappointing. But really, that's all I have to say, disappointing. My socks were not knocked. Probably not even rolled down. I would have expected more from someone named, the Barefoot Contessa, but maybe I shouldn't have such expectations.

The first problem, I believe, were the apples. I don't typically like using Granny Smith apples, but since the recipe called for it, I followed. They turned out mushy and did not rehabilitate my feelings about Granny Smith's in pies.

Even so, with the right apples, I wouldn't say that this was a winning combination for me. I don't like wassail and the combination of spices really made it taste like wassail. I found that distracting rather than enhancing. However, if you love wassail, I would recommend you try this recipe, but definitely with a different variety.
Luckily, there are almost as many apple pie recipes as there are apples.

Note: that fact may or may not be true. Maybe I'll bring that question up with my fifth grade teacher too.

What is true is that my refrigerator is FULL of apples! And there are a lot more apple pies to come and hopefully we can find just the right one to blow those socks right off.

Deep Dish Apple Pie
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa

4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, and cored
1 lemon, zested
1 orange, zested
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 teaspoon to sprinkle on top
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Perfect Pie Crust:
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut each apple quarter in thirds crosswise and combine in a bowl with the zests, juices, 1/2 cup sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

Roll out half the pie dough and drape it over a 9- or 10-inch pie pan to extend about 1/2-inch over the rim. Don't stretch the dough; if it's too small, just put it back on the board and re-roll it.

Fill the pie with the apple mixture. Brush the edge of the bottom pie crust with the egg wash so the top crust will adhere. Top with the second crust and trim the edges to about 1-inch over the rim. Tuck the edge of the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust and crimp the 2 together with your fingers or a fork. Brush the entire top crust with the egg wash, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar, and cut 4 or 5 slits.

Place the pie on a sheet pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until the crust is browned and the juices begin to bubble out. Serve warm.

1 comment:

  1. Me oh my how I do love pie!!! you can't go wrong with one of Ina's recipes!!
    Now if you can just push a big hunk of that wonderful pie thru my computer screen I will be very happy!