November 13, 2010
As I promised you last week, this time I show you what to do with the shortcrust pastry. And it's nothing different than our old good apple pie!
Yeah, I know, very old-fashioned, but apple pie is one of the best pies ever and could be - hey, really! - challenging. It's the best-known American pie (or even dessert) and not only thanks to that funny movie called American Pie (I love this one!). You know, when you say:"It's as American as apple pie," it means that something really is very American.
The oldest recipes for the apple pie as we know it come from the eighteenth century (from English colonies). It became very popular with many families and it's a national dish of the United States of America. Oh, and the 13th of May is National Apple Pie Day in America :)
a recipe for the shortcrust pastry and here you're gonna use it. The amount provided in the recipe should be enough for 1 double crust pie + some extra for decorations.
I've tried many a recipe until I've found the best one. Ok, I created it by myslelf - it only contains the basic apple-pie ingredients and it's simply classic (but sooo tasty!). The filling ingredients are apples, sugar, brown sugar, butter, flour, lemon and spices. Manyrecipes call for lemon juice and that's why it's in my recipe, too. However, I've tried adding a little grated lemon zest and OMG! The pie tastes so freshly with this addition! Wonderful. If you're worried that my recipe isn't traditional, then don't! It is! I found about 50 different recipes for apple pie and a little counting and math helped me to create a very traditional basic apple pie with an amazing taste. This one, that's the keeper!
The most important part are the apples. There are more than 7000 kinds of apples all over the world and it's very important to choose the right one. The most recommended ones are Granny Smith apples. These have quite an acidic and sour taste, their colour is usually bright pale green and they have a "crispier" texture than usual sweet red or yellow apples which means they won't be so soft and tender after baking. The taste is the reason for their appearance in apple pie, because the filling is pretty sweet (as the pastry is sugarless) and the tartness of apples is a refreshing addition. Anyway, it's not easy to buy exactly this kind of apples everywhere and when I cannot get them I just use my sweet cooking apples. It tastes great, too, but it's similar to apfel studel. So for a traditional apple pie I recommend you try getting Granny Smith or at least some similar sour-tasting kind of apples.
So, if you're ready, we can start!
420g plain flour
105g unsalted butter, cut into tiny lumps
105g lard, cut into tiny lumps
a big pinch of salt
1 glass of refrigerated water
1 egg white for glaze
1 egg yolk+1 tbsp cream for egg wash
760g apples, peeled & cored, sliced
1 tbsp lemon juice
grated lemon zest from 1 lemon
120g caster sugar
110g brown sugar
25g all-purpose flour
2 tsp vanilla extrakt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
a big dash of nutmeg
50g unsalted butter
Pastry: RECIPE HERE.
Assembling: Divide the pastry in half and roll out one of them to the size of your pie form. Remove any excess pastry and refrigerate. Now prepare the filling. When done, remove the pie form with pastry and glaze the bottom with egg white. This will prevent the pastry from becoming soggy. Now pour the filling (all juices included!) into the pie crust as if trying to build a hill (which means the biggest amount of the filling should be in the centre of the pie crust). Dot with butter and again refrigerate. Meanwhile, remove the second half of pastry from your fridge and roll out a circle big enough to cover your pie. Now remove the pie from fridge and moisten the edges of the pie crust with a little water and then place the top crust over the filling. Tuck any excess pastry under the bottom crust and then crimp the edges using your fingers or a fork. Using a sharp knife, make 4 slits from the center of the pie out towards the edge of the pie. Now again refrigerate. Meanwhile you can createsome decorations from the excess pastry (e.g. leaves, flowers). Glue the decoratins on the chilled pie with egg wash and then spread the egg wash all over the surface. Refrigerate for at least 5 minutes. Preheat your oven and then bake to 200C for 15 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 160C and bake for 30 minutes or until nicely lightly golden in color. Let cool completely, then serve either plain or with whipped cream/ice cream/vanilla sauce etc.
Filling: Mix apples with lemon juice, then add lemon zest and vanilla extract. In another bowl mix sugar, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Now combine well the sugar mixture with apples. Set aside for about 30 minutes.
Perfect, perfect, perfect! Delicate, juicy, spicy, simply divine. I totally understand why it's one of America's most favourtite pies. The taste is very refreshing and buttery at the same time and I bet you're gonna love it :)