Thick, satisfying apple pie: the layers are like books in a thick dictionary, so many you cannot count. They stay crisp and flaky even with the golden apple filling, thick juices oozing onto the crust. With distinct apple flavours and notes of spices and caramel, this apple pie is a keeper.
I’ve just come home around 10 minutes ago, and sat down immediately to write this post. I can’t procrastinate anymore with my perfectionism. Even if I’m terrified of the world of food blogging – what if I can’t write enough? what if one week, I don’t know what to make? – at least I’ve got good food to offer. Enough is enough.
Today I’ve got a story about apples.
My back is currently sore and aching, and my legs prickly and probably bright red. I’ve just arrived in Toronto. It’s a bit of a long story, but the short version is I went to Michigan for a conference, then to my friend’s house in Kitchener (Waterloo) and finally bussed to Toronto. Then I took the metro and bus to home. The wind is absolutely vicious today, wiggling its way in any nook and cranny of my long, averagely depressing winter coat. It painted my face a blush a shade too red, and I could feel my fingers numbing and quite possibly my snot freezing in my nose. Worst was – and it’s kind of funny – the snow had built up so much that it was really difficult to plough through it with my suitcase (I got a real arm workout there). It was incredibly heavy, especially with the 3 textbooks I had in there – 2 of which I never even touched, and 3 more books plus a laptop in my backpack. Usually I like to think of myself as a strong person, but I think my body and soul have been broken a little. But at least I had my music! At least I had soft, ethereal almost-not-there songs of broken hearts and life!
Now, to the Apple part. I have an iPhone, and I had 38% of battery on my phone when I first started walking. The walk is usually 12 minutes, but much longer today; I checked the time, and it was 31 minutes. After half of the walk, my phone completely died. WHAT?! I put off updating my phone past iOS6 until this year, because I heard of the bad battery life retention. But I truly didn’t think it was this bad! In comparison to last weekend before the update, I forgot my charger in my trip to London and my phone still survived 3 entire days with 43% left when I came home. My battery life also gets worse and worse as new iPhones come out.
Although Apple products are at time ridiculous, I still use them because I enjoy the layout and service. Of course, this incident led me to think about apples and apple pies – something to warm bodies up in the shrieking winds and chilling weather.
This is a wonderful apple pie that keeps the rustic, tangy taste of apples as the star. Perfumed with warm and rich spices, whilst remaining buttery and gooey, and is not hard to make at all. It makes quite a large pie, but my friend brought 1/3 of the pie back to her parents to try, and they finished it all in one go.
The Best Apple Pie
Source: Adapted from David Lebotiz and AllRecipes
For the apple filling
8 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg
For the dough
Two disks of prepared pie dough for 9′ pies
1 egg white, beaten
Core, peel and slice the apples to around 3cm thick, and place in a large bowl. Toss with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
Melt 1/2 cup of butter in a sauce pan on medium heat, swirling occasionally, until it changes colour into a light brown, and there are tiny bits of burnt butter on the bottom of the pan.
Pour 3 tablespoons of flour and stir in to form a paste. Add 1/2 cup of white sugar, 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of water. Reduce to low heat, and simmer 5 minutes until it bubbles and reduces.
Turn off the heat and stir in all GROUP C ingredients: 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
Take out the ingredients in GROUP D. Knead the prepared disks of dough. Put one piece of pie dough in the pie pan and cut off the excess. Take the other piece of dough and slice it into 9 strips if you want a lattice crust, or leave it as is.
Brush the pie dough with the beaten egg white; this will prevent the bottom crust from getting soggy.
Toss the apples with the syrup mixture. Pour the apples into the prepared pie crust. It will seem like a lot, but that’s how it looks.
Arrange a lattice crust on top, or simply lay the uncut piece of dough on top of the apples and cut some slits on the top for steam to escape. Crimp the edges.
Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes.