Yesterday was the 4th of July, Independence day in the USA. This is a very important day for Mike, as he is American. I wanted to do all I could to make it as “American” as possible for him. I was going to make him a cake in the flag shape or something. I asked him what he wanted to do for the day. All he said was he wanted to have a BBQ with hamburgers, hotdogs and homemade apple pie! My first thought was “crap! I have to make pie!” Being a baker you would thing this would not be a problem, well, In the past me and pie making really have not works so well. The crust never turns out, the filling is blah, and to be honest I really don’t care for pie. But I thought, this is all he asked for so I’m going to do it!
As I mentioned pastry crust NEVER turns out for me so, I used the Sweet Shortbread Pastry we had to use for our last Daring Bakers Challenge, It had turned out and everyone love it. As for the filling I spent a few hours looking through cookbooks and searching on line, I had no idea there were so many different apple pie fillings. I took some suggestions from all and adapted to what I like and made my own. Here is how it went!
My first Homemade Apple Pie!
Sweet shortcrust pastry
(for photos of this process see Bakewell Tart)
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes (minimum)
Equipment needed: bowls, box grater, cling film
225g (8oz) all purpose flour
30g (1oz) sugar
2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
110g (4oz) unsalted butter; cold (frozen is better)
2 (2) egg yolks
2.5ml (½ tsp) almond extract (optional)
15-30ml (1-2 Tbsp) cold water
Sift together flour, sugar and salt. Grate butter into the flour mixture, using the large hole-side of a box grater. Using your finger tips only, and working very quickly, rub the fat into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Set aside.
Lightly beat the egg yolks with the almond extract (if using) and quickly mix into the flour mixture. Keep mixing while dribbling in the water, only adding enough to form cohesive and slightly sticky dough.
Form the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
**I made 2 batches, so I would have crust for the top, the day before and kept them in the fridge overnight. I removed them as I was pealing the apples**
Apple Pie Filling
4 pounds Granny Smith Apples
½ cup Sugar, plus 1 tsp to sprinkle on top
¼ cup flour
2 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 egg + 1 tsp of water
Peal and slice apples, mix with lemon juice. In a large bowl combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt. Combine with apples, set aside.
Roll out dough to fit your pie plate. Fill with apple mixture.
Roll out second batch of dough for top.
I then cut out stars and stripes just to add to the 4th of July theme.
Brush entire top of pie with egg wash.
Bake at 400 F for at least an hour.
Place tinfoil around the edges of the pie for first 40 minutes of baking so the edges don’t burn.
Now I have to say, I really don’t like pie unless its Grammas Raisin Pie or Heathers Pecan Pie but this was pretty good! It turned out perfectly everyone loved it! Something I would definitely make again.