Monday, October 19, 2009

You Are The Apple of My Pie

I have been lax in blogging about that quintessentially American dessert..... Like Baseball, Hot Dogs and Chevrolet, to quote the old commercial, absolutely nothin' says lovin' from the great American oven than... Yep, you guessed it.......

Apple Pie!

The reason is primarily that I do not really care for Granny Smith apples in pie. I eat them out of hand and they are delicious, but I don't care for them when cooked. Now I have access to the luscious Newtown Pippin again. I am so stoked!! The ONLY thing that could have made this pie any better would have been a couple of "Canadian Yellow Transparents", but they are an early apple like a Gravenstein (Late July/August) and I didn't see any cold storage apples when I was at the harvest festival. So, this was a pure Newtown Pippin Pie.

The Pippin is an excellent Apple for pies, because it holds it's shape instead of becoming mush, when cooking. This also means you can use a little less flour in the filling, because it doesn't "juice" up as much as other apples do. Using Orange Blossom honey, instead of sugar, adds subtle nuances to the flavor while highlighting the citrus nose of the apple...

With a side of Tillamook Sharp Cheddar and I am in Pie Heaven again... God it's good to be home!!!

I have to stop 'gushing' about the pie for a minute to talk about the righteous antique pasty cutter my dad found for me (he always finds the coolest stuff - eyes like a hawk).

For those not familiar with this kitchen tool, this is a pastry cutter....

I know they still sell them, but let me tell ya, if you can find an OLD one, grab it! The new ones are made with either a twisted blade (which everything sticks to) or only have 4 or 5 wires (which are thicker and don;t incorporate the butter as well). They are inferior to the old ones with the 7 thin wires. This is part of the reason I have been such an avid user of fingers for Pâte Brisée, because the modern pastry cutters actually cause more issues than they solve. Not so with this one... It made 'short' work of the whole process and as a bonus, it can be chilled before using, to keep the butter cold while cutting...

It was AWESOME. Thanks Dad!!!

Apple Pie

1 recipe Pâte Brisée
5 cups Apples
6 TB Orange Blossom Honey (it really depends on how sour your apples are; I have used less for sweeter apples)
1 TB Cinnamon (Honestly, I sprinkle until it looks right, I THINK it's about 1 TB)
2 TB AP Flour
2 pinches of Mace
3 TB Butter, cut into small pieces

So go ahead and make your Pâte Brisée.

Roll out half of it and line a 9 inch pie plate, leaving the overhang.

Return the pie plate to the refrigerator, covered with plastic until you're ready to fill it.

Turn the oven to 375 degrees and begin peeling, coring and quartering the apples.

Then slice each quarter into 3rds lengthwise, before chopping into 1/2 inch pieces.

Lay down a layer of apples in the pastry lined pie plate.

Sprinkle with 1/2 the Cinnamon, a pinch of Mace, 1 TB Flour, drizzle with 3 TB of the Honey and dot with 1/2 of the Butter pieces.

Spread another layer of apples over the first and repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Set aside while rolling out the remaining pastry to cover the top.

Pinch crimp the 2 pastry halves together and poke the top with a knife for venting.

Now, here is a secret, at least for apple pie. For all the complaining that I do about the evils of the microwave, I will admit, that I nuke my pie in the microwave for 8 minutes to ensure than the apples get cooked before the crust can burn in the oven.

Move the pie to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Let cool for 1 hour before cutting. Then Enjoy!



DDpie said...

Two thumbs up on the pastry cutter, I use it way more often than I drag out my food processor LOL And the pie in the microwave first? my granny would turn over in her grave...but I'm gonna try it anyway!!!! HA! beautifus pie man!

Michele said...

You may remember that I always say I don't like pies but I really like the look of this. How smart to make sure they are cooked in the microwave! So, I have a question and since I know nothing about pastry, it may be a dumb one. Since you like cheddar with your pie, could you put cheddar in the pie crust? I wonder what that would taste like.

Dajana said...

That pie is heaven itself.

Bob said...

Mmmm, pie. Looks awesome. I've never seen Newtown Pippins, I wonder if they are available on the east coast. Never thought of microwaving it first either. Heh.

I love apple pie, I usually wind up using a mix of apples myself.

Danielle said...

I'm so happy you're loving it there :) your apple pie is beautiful! And about the pastry cutter? I can't seem to keep one for very long. they get all messed up, bent,'s so irritating. I'm going to have to check out the antique shops down the street and see if I can find a old one. Thanks for the tip on that :)

Culinary Alchemist said...

DD - HA HA My Great Grandmother would be furious with me for using a microwave LOL Shh Don't tell ;)

Michele - I have a Cheddar dough that I wrap around Chipotle Stuffed green olives, and it is really sticky stuff to work with.. I have added really thin slices of cheddar INSIDE the pie before, it was pretty tasty...

Dajana - Thanks :)

Bob - Apples are kind of weird like that, the run by trends. I know they are originally from New York, but they are REALLY popular up in Hood River, but not enough to be in the grocery stores. I agree, I really wish I could have found just a couple of the Canadian Yellow Transparents to throw in the pie.

Danielle - Yes, I love watching the leaves change colors again, after all these years... My grandmother still uses my great-grandmother's pastry cutter... It's almost 100 years old and still goin strong... The wires are attached differently on the older ones, and even though they are thinner, they seem to be stronger...

Patti T. said...

I loved reading about your pastry cutter. Your pie looks beautiful and I am sure was super tasty.

Spryte said...

Wow! I've never heard of microwaving apple pie! Very interesting!

Cookiebaker said...

OMG, that pie looks delish! Apple is my favorite pie.

I have a pastry cutter similar to that, it isn't an antique....although, I've had it for a long time and I'm kind of an antique so maybe.....LOL

Love the idea of putting the pie in the microwave for a bit....I'll try that the next time I make an apple pie.