1 Apt. 2B Baking Co.: Picking Apples and Making Pie

Monday, October 29, 2012

Picking Apples and Making Pie

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I am writing this post as Hurricane Sandy is making her way up the eastern seaboard. We are stocked with food and fortified with wine. I have baked a double batch of banana bread, located the magazines, playing cards and Scrabble game along with more practical items like flashlights just in case we lose power. The cat is napping quietly in her favorite desk chair as if tonight is a night just like any other which I am taking as a good sign. We are hunkered down and ready for the storm and I'm sure you're wondering what all of this has to do with pie and I'm sorry to say, nothing really. It's just that it's on my mind and it seems odd to write about anything else right now. So you'll have to excuse the fact that I have no real segue planned here to take you all back to the orchard where I picked the gorgeous apples that filled this classic apple pie.

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On a bright sunny day last week I teamed up with an old friend and a new one to make the drive up to Fishkill Farms to pick some of New York state's finest apples. The season was winding down and there wasn't a huge variety of fruit left on the trees, but the mutsus and golden delicious that we picked were incredibly delicious and perfect for the pie that Nicole and I planned to bake. The killer picnic we packed and the warm cinnamon sugar coated donuts with cold, crisp cider at the farm stand weren't too shabby either.
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The sun was bright that day, almost too bright for the 400 speed film I had in my camera so I don't have too many photos of the farm to share, but check out La Buena Vida for Nicole's gorgeous photos of the day and another shot of the pie we made (thanks for letting me make a mess in your kitchen, N!), and maybe Ellie will cut together a bit of the Super8 footage she shot too. Let's all just hope that she doesn't share my very ungraceful cartwheeling through the orchards...

Stay safe during this wild storm east coasters!

Apple Pie

For the Crust

This crust comes to you from Brandi Henderson of I made that! and The Pantry at Delancey
where she teaches a class called "How to be a Pie Ninja" and she is not messing around. This
crust is made with  a technique called fraisage which creates long sheets of buttery flakes
throughout the dough instead of little pockets of butter.

12 ounces pastry flour
8 ounces cold butter
4 ounces ice water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Mix the flour and salt together, then pour the whole lot on a large cutting board or countertop.
2. With a bench scraper, cut in half of the butter until it is the size of lima beans, then cut in the
other half of the butter until it is the size of quarters. Add the apple cider vinegar to the water.
3. Using your fingers, flick the water on to the butter flour mixture and gently fold it in with your
bench scraper. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough
and squeeze it together without it falling apart.
4. Then, you smear the butter into the dough. With the heel of your hand push a section of the
dough down and away from you. Scrape your sheet off of the board and place it in a bowl to
the side. Repeat until you have worked through all of the dough, pushing it down and away
from you in sections. Once you've gone through all of the dough gently remove it from the bowl,
press it together, then split it in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap and form into a disk.
Chill the dough for at least one hour before using. I like to chill mine overnight.

For the Filling

4-5 large apples (about 3 lbs) I like mutsus, jonathans, golden delicious, and cortlands
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
zest and juice of one small lemon
zest and juice of half of an orange
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter

Peel the apples and cut them into 1/2'' chunks. Place the apples in a large bowl then add lemon
and orange juices and zests, stir gently to combine. Add the rest of the filling ingredients (except
the butter) and stir gently to combine.

For the Topping

1 egg, beaten
A few teaspoons of coarse sugar like turbinado or light demerara

To Assemble and Bake

Preheat oven to 400º

1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the dough into a 12’’ circle 1/4''-1/8'' thick
and place it into a 9 or 10 inch pie pan. Place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the pie.
2. Roll out the other piece of dough into a 12'' circle about 1/4''-1/8'' thick and place it in the
fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.
3. Fill the prepared pie shell with the apple mixture, dot with the 2 tablespoons butter, and top
with the second crust, trim the edges so there is about 1/2’’ of overhang then crimp the edges
and cut a few vents in the top. If you'd like to make a lattice top, here is a really great step-by-step slideshow from Bon Appetit.com.
4. If the crust seems soft or warm, slide the whole pie into the fridge or freezer for about 15min
before you bake it. When you are ready to bake brush the top of the pie with a beaten egg and
sprinkle with a healthy dose of coarse sugar.
5. Put the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake for 15 minutes on the lowest rack
of your oven, then lower the oven temp to 350º and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the crust is
deep golden brown and the apple juices bubble. For extra shine, glaze the pie with another coat
of egg wash 10 minutes before you take it out of the oven, but keep a close eye on it to prevent burning.

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  1. this is gorgeous! stay safe! :)

  2. Such beautiful pictures, love the light in these.

    I hope you stay safe over the next couple of days.

  3. I only recently discovered your blog and am enjoying it immensely. Your photography is really lovely -- as was your day in the orchard, as is this pie! Hope you stay safe during the storm.

    1. Thanks Stacy! We are hunkered down and staying inside until the storm passes!

  4. Yossy, this pie is the fluffiest most perfectly baked thing I've set eyes on! Your day in the orchard is the perfect thing to see on a day like today. Thank you for adding a bit of sunshine and nature to the rest of us cooped up inside without the right ingredients in our pantry to try this beauty ourselves ;)

  5. I just discovered your blog through Instagram and thank goodness I did it! Cause yours is my new favorite blog from now on! Congratulations for all the good job you're doing here! Your film shots are so beautiful, they have a special, cute and kinda nostalgic vibe. :-) Not to mention that your recipes are all mouth-watering!
    Greetings from Spain!

    1. Thank you Gemma, you're so kind and I'm so glad you found my blog!

  6. What's better than apple pie? Nothing! Looks like a great day in the orchard. My thoughts and prayers are with you and everyone else on the East coast. Take care!

  7. Gorgeous photos and recipe - I love the light!

  8. Your pies are the best - hope all is well!

  9. I'm totally going to make a video of your cartwheel reporting over and over... What a fun day, hooray for apples!

  10. beautiful. we still have quite a number of apples left from our second picking trip, and although delicious, i'm starting to grow tired eating them out-of-hand. might have to make something like this soon, even if just as an excuse to invite people over for tea and pie. :)


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