Apple Pie 2013

Time: Needs to be no object when making this | Yield: 1 amazing pie

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Pate Brisee (Pie Dough)
  • 5 Granny Smith and 5 Jonathan apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly
  • 1 cup sugar, plus additional for pie top
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pie dough into two 1/8-inch-thick circles to a diameter slightly larger than that of an 11-inch plate. Press one pie crust into the pie plate. Place the other crust on waxed paper, and cover with plastic wrap. Chill all pastry until firm, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, lemon zest and juice, spices, and flour. Toss well. Spoon apples into pie pan. Dot with 6 TBSP butter and cover with remaining pie crust. Cut several steam vents across top. Seal by crimping edges as desired. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with additional sugar.
  3. Bake until crust is brown and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour. Let cool on wire rack before serving.

Notes: This was a huge hit at Thanksgiving this year. It made a beautiful, tall pie. The crust was outstanding. The original recipe called for all the apples to be Granny Smith. This was too tart,and next time I will do 1/2 Jonathan and 1/2 Granny Smith. I will also slice the apples thinly, like my Great Granny used to. I made this a day ahead of time and we ate it cold the next day. It was delicious. I might cut the nutmeg down to 1/4 tsp next time.

Recipe Origin: Originally from Martha Stewart. I changed the amount of sugar to offset the tartness of the apples, and increased the butter on the inside of the pie. I also changed the mixture of apples.

Advertisements

Sweet Potato Pie with Quenelles

Prep Time: Needs to be no object when making this. | Yield: 1 outstanding pie

Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 2¼ cups flour, plus more for dusting
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, diced and chilled
  • 2¼ teaspoons vodka
  • 2 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
  • ⅔ cup whole milk

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 pint whipping cream
  • ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Make crust: In the bowl of a food processor, mix flour, salt and butter together on low. Pour vodka and ice water in as dough is mixing and incorporate so dough barely holds together. Turn out and press together, forming a small disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough, rotating periodically, into a circle 13 inches across and about ¼-inch thick. Place dough in a 9-inch pie pan and trim excess. Use a fork to poke holes in dough. Chill in refrigerator 15 minutes.
  3. Remove dough from refrigerator. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on top and fill with pie weights or dry beans. Bake 30 minutes. (Go to step 5 while you are waiting for pie shell to bake.)
  4. Remove weights and parchment, and continue baking until fully cooked, 10 minutes more. Remove from oven and let shell cool completely. Decrease temperature to 300 degrees.
  5. Make filling: Prick potatoes with a fork and sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon water. Wrap potatoes in aluminum foil. Place in oven and bake until tender, 1 hour. Remove and let cool. Peel and purée in a food processor until smooth. Set aside 1½ cups purée for filling.
  6. In a bowl, whisk potato purée, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, salt, cinnamon and ginger until smooth. Add milk and stir to combine. Place mixture in baked pie shell. Bake, rotating after 25 minutes, until filling sets, 45-60 minutes. Let cool completely.
  7. Once pie is cool, make whipped cream: Use an electric mixer to whip all ingredients to stiff peaks.
  8. Make quenelles: Google this if you don’t know how. I only understood how to do this once I watched a few videos. It’s not hard. Arrange quenelles around outer edge of pie, or around the center, like the petals of a flower.

Notes: This was a huge hit at Thanksgiving this year. The crust was outstanding. I would make this crust for any pie in the future. The quenelles are a nice touch. Make them on the same day the pie will be eaten, and put the leftover whipped cream in a pretty serving dish with a spoon.

Recipe Origin: Originally from the Wall Street Journal. I changed it to use food processor to make the crust. I would also cut the nutmeg in the quenelles by half next time.

Great Granny’s Chocolate Pie

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes | Total Time: 55 minutes | Yield: 1 pie.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 TBSP cocoa powder
  • 4 TBSP melted butter, can use margarine
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cups PET milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Prick pie cruist and cook until crust is dry, but not brown.
  2. Whisk sugar, cocoa and butter together.
  3. In a separate bowl, add eggs to milk with vanilla. Pour this into sugar mixture and whisk until smooth.
  4. Pour into crust and bake about 45 minutes or until a little jiggly in the middle.

Notes:

Recipe Origin: From my great-grandmother via my aunt.

The Best Apple Crisp Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 30-40 minutes | Total Time: 40-50 minutes | Yield: 1 apple crisp

Ingredients:

  • 6 Cups peeled, cored, and sliced apples or other fruit (can use pears or whatever)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 5 TBSP cold unsalted butter, cut into bits, plus more for greasing the dish
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans or other nuts (optional) – I don’d add this most of the time
  • Good quality vanilla ice cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Go get your food processor off the shelf and plug it in. (This is the hardest part of this recipe.)
  3. Toss the fruit with 1/2 tsp cinnamon, the lemon juice and 1 TBSP brown sugar.
  4. Lightly butter an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish.
  5. Pour in fruit mixture and level out with a spatula. Don’t mash it.
  6. Combine all the other ingredients- including the remaining 1/2 tsp cinnamon and almost 2/3 cup of brown sugar (and the nuts if you are using)- in the container of a food processor and pulse a few times, then process a few seconds more until everything is uniform.
  7. Spread the topping over the apples and bake 30 to 40 minutes, until the topping is browned and the apples are tender. Serve hot, warm, or at room temp.

Notes: INSANELY GOOD WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM. Original recipe called for 1/4 cup shredded coconut, which I can’t stand. This is also good cold.

Recipe Origin: From Mark Bittman book The Minimalist Entertains.

Pie Dough

Prep Time: ? minutes | Cook Time: 60 minutes | Total Time: ? minutes | Yield: 2 discs pie dough.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, cold
  • 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
  • Yolk of 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water, from 3/4 cup ice water.

Directions:

  1. Using your fingertips or the pulse function of a food processor, blend together the flour, fats and salt until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. There should be pebbles of butter throughout the mixture.
  2. Add egg yolk and vinegar to ¾ cup ice water and stir to combine. Drizzle 4 tablespoons of this mixture over the dough and gently stir or pulse to combine. Gather a golfball-size bit of dough and squeeze to combine. If it does not hold together, add a little more of the liquid and stir or pulse, then check again. Repeat as necessary.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gather together into a rough ball. You want to be careful not to overwork the flour, but not too careful; the dough should hold together. Divide the ball in half with a knife or a pastry scraper, then divide each portion in half again, and again, to create eight portions. Using the heel of your hand, flatten each portion of dough once or twice to expand the pebbles of butter, then gather the dough together again in one ball. Divide this ball in half.
  4. Flatten each ball into a 5- or 6-inch disc and dust lightly with flour. Wrap the discs in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 60 minutes.

Notes:

Recipe Origin: From a recipe in the NYT.

Apple Pie

Prep Time: ? minutes | Cook Time: 60 minutes | Total Time: ? minutes | Yield: 1 pie.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 pounds apples, peeled and cored, then cut into wedges (5 large honeycrisps will do it)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 recipe all-purpose pie dough
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten.

Directions:

  1. 1. Melt butter in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat and add apples to the pan.
  2. Stir to coat fruit with butter and cook, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the spices, salt and 2/3 cup sugar, and sprinkle this over the pan, stirring to combine.
  4. Lower heat and cook until apples have started to soften, approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the flour and cornstarch over the apples and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, another 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Remove pan from heat, add cider vinegar, stir and scrape fruit mixture into a bowl and allow to cool completely. (The fruit mixture will cool faster if spread out on a rimmed baking sheet.)
  7. Place a large baking sheet on the middle rack of oven and preheat to 425.
  8. Remove one disc of dough from the refrigerator and, using a pin, roll it out on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly 12 inches in diameter.
  9. Fit this crust into a 9-inch pie plate, trimming it to leave a 1/2-inch overhang.
  10. Place this plate, with the dough, in the freezer.
  11. Roll out the remaining dough on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly 10 or 11 inches in diameter.
  12. Remove pie crust from freezer and put the cooled pie filling into it.
  13. Cover with remaining dough.
  14. Press the edges together, trim the excess, then crimp the edges with the tines of a fork.
  15. Using a sharp knife, cut three or four steam vents in the top of the crust.
  16. Lightly brush the top of the pie with egg wash and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon of sugar.
  17. Place pie in oven and bake on hot baking sheet for 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375.
  18. Continue to cook until the interior is bubbling and the crust is golden brown, about 30 to 40 minutes more.
  19. Remove and allow to cool on a windowsill or kitchen rack, about two hours.

Notes:

Recipe Origin: From a recipe in the NYT.

My Pecan Pie

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 40 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes | Yield: 2 pies.

Ingredients:

  •  1 egg, beaten
  • ¾ cup dark Karo syrup
  • 1 TBSP flour
  • 3 cups pecans, barely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 stick Blue Bonnet margarine, melted
  • 2 good quality pie shells, like Marie Callenders. Or make your own, with the pie crust in this recipe.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Melt Blue Bonnet in microwave and let cool.
  3. Pierce bottom of pie shells, bake pie shells at 350 for 5-6 minutes. Take out of oven.
  4. In a mixer, beat Karo, sugar, vanilla and melted margarine until smooth. Gently fold in pecans last.
  5. Bake on middle rack for 45 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Notes: If you want to make it hard, like I did for Thanksgiving 2013, leave it in oven for 50 minutes instead of 40 minutes.

Recipe Origin: This is a version of my mom’s and great-granny’s pecan pie. I think my version has one less egg, but no one knows.