Apple Pie

I don't know anyone without fond memories of someone's apple pie. This particularly American treat has long been woven into our popular iconography. It is, for me, comfort food of the finest kind, and actually quite easy to make.

Ingredients

For the Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 5 cups thinly sliced apples-Empires if available, otherwise, tart and firm.
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier-optional (could also be rum, or another fruit liqueur)
  • 2 tablespoons butter

For the Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulaed sugar
  • 8 tablespoons sweet butter, very cold, cut into pieces
  • 6 tablespoons shortening, refrigerated
  • 5 to 6 tablespoons ice water

1)Put flour, salt, and sugar into food processor with steel blade. Process briefly to mix. Add butter and shoretning. Process until mixture is mealy and uniform. Continue processing, and slowly pour in ice water. Dough will form a soft ball.

2)Turn out onto a lightly floured smooth surface (marble preferably). Smear the dough away from you with the heel of your hand. Gather together dogh, and repeat smearing until dough is smooth. Gather into a ball. Divide into two halves, and flatten each to a disc about 3/4 inches thick. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 30 mintues to an hour.

3)Preheat oven to 425 F

4)Peel, core, and slice apples into bowl. Toss with lemon juice. Add flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and Grand Marnier. Stir to mix. Cover and set aside.

5)Roll out one crust, and place into 10" pie pan. Fill with apple mixture, including liquids. Dot with butter. Roll out top crust, lay over pie. Trim, tuck and seal edges. Slit top in four or five places. Bake for 55 minutes. Cool on rack before slicing, to give the juices a chance to set up, so that they don't leak out of the pie.

This pie crust also freezes very well. When I make a batch, I usually triple it, and freeze the extra discs for later use, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.

Filling: family variant on traditional recipe. Crust: The New Basics Cookbook, Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins, Workman Publishing, 1989, 800 pgs. plus index.

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