Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Martha's Classic Greenmarket Apple Pie

I was looking at apple trees the other day, wanting to plant one. So I could make this pie. This recipe makes one of the best apple pies. Number One and I made several of them a couple years ago, when we got the last apple harvest from our tree. (Then someone cut down the old crabapple tree that was cross-pollinating our good apple tree, and guess what? No More Apples! THINK before you chop down fruit trees, people! I don't care how ugly they may be, they have a purpose! Ahem. I may still be a bit upset.) We also found a way to freeze the pie filling for later. We had done it successfully with peaches, and decided to try apples. It worked!

To freeze peach or apple pie filling: Get out the pie plate you will ultimately use to bake the pie. Line said pie plate with parchment or waxed paper (overhanging on the edges). Prepare pie filling, and pour over parchment in pie plate. DO NOT DOT WITH BUTTER AT THIS TIME. Cover well (I use that Press & Seal stuff, it works great with a glass pie plate) and place in freezer overnight. In the morning, remove the whole deal from the freezer. Remove the plastic wrap, use the parchment to lift your formed, frozen pie filling out of the pie plate, and carefully remove the parchment. Place your pie-shaped apples into a ziploc freezer bag, or if you're really serious into one of those vacuum seal things. Seal well, and return to freezer. That's it! When you're ready to bake, prepare your crust, make sure you use the same pie plate in which your originally froze the apples, pull out your apples and return them to the pie plate. Thaw, placing a pan under the pie plate to catch any overflow (more of a problem with peaches), then bake as directed. It really works!

I use my vacuum sealer, and also write the page number and cookbook of the pie recipe on the outside of the bag, so I will know how long it takes to bake and particularly whether there are any other toppings (i.e. Dot with butter) that need to go on before it bakes.

Anyway, this recipe is from The Martha Stewart Living Cookbook. It's a good thing, I mean book.

Classic Greenmarket Apple Pie

Makes one 9-inch double-crust pie; serves 8 to 10
You will need one 9-inch pie plate.

The best apple pies feature a mix of apple varieties. Look for Macoun, Granny Smith, Cortland, Jonagold, and Empire.

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Martha's Perfect Pate Brisee
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
3 pounds assorted apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (I'm sure we use more butter)

1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of the pate brisee to a 1/8-inch-thick circle, about 13 inches in diameter. With a dry pastry brush, brush off the excess flour; roll the dough around the rolling pin, and lift it over a 9-inch pie plate. Line the pie plate with the dough, pressing it into the corners. Trim the dough so that it hangs over the pie by about 1/4 inch. Transfer the pie plate to the refrigerator, and chill 30 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk together the egg yolk and cream to make an egg wash; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, toss together the apples, lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; arrange in the chilled bottom crust. Dot with butter.

4. Roll out the remaining disk of pate brisee as in step 1. Brush the rim of the bottom crust with the egg wash. Place the second piece of dough on top, and trim so that 1 inch overhangs all the way around. Tuck the dough under, and crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers. (I usually make a lattice crust, which I will explain when I make another pie and take pictures) Transfer the pie to the refrigerator, and chill until firm, about 15 minutes.

5. Remove the pie from the refrigerator, brush with the egg wash, and sprinkle generously with sugar. Cut 4 vents in the top, to allow steam to escape.

6. Bake until the crust begins to turn light brown, about 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake until golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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