Whimsical Spiced Apple Pie

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Pie is prettier with flowers next to it. Don't eat the flowers though.

You didn’t think we were just going to post a pie crust recipe without actually putting up pictures of the pie we made, did you? You did? Pshhh. Clearly we have a ways to go before you truly know us, my friends.

Anyway. Apple pie. It’s an American classic, or so they say. I’d been meaning to make it for a while… so long that the original Granny Smiths I had bought to make the pie with went all funny-looking and brown and new ones had to be purchased. And after an unfortunate incident last Thanksgiving with a pumpkin pie and some extremely soggy puff pastry, I wanted nothing short of perfection for this pie.  Thankfully, with the help of my FPIC (Food Partner In Crime) Caty, an apple pie was eventually produced, and it was delicious. I won’t go too into detail about the roadblocks that occurred as we baked, but they included a) Me breaking the cardinal rule of cooking and not reading the whole pie crust recipe before I tried to make it (sorry Caty… it still tasted good) b) a lengthy hunt in my basket of spices for the nutmeg and c) artsy sculpting with excess dough. I think it’s my calling, food sculpture… I took great pride in my Harry Potter marzipan creations (posted below).

Maybe it would be a good idea to shut up now and give you the pie recipe. It is from The Best Recipe, a lovely cookbook compiled from Cook’s Illustrated magazine recipes. I highly recommend it; it also houses the best scone recipe I have ever encountered. But I digress. Without any further ado, ladies and gents, I give you apple pie!

Apple Pie
2 recipes of the pie dough below
8 medium apples (Granny Smith, McIntosh, Honeycrisp or a mixture of the three)
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon white table sugar
1 + 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg white, beaten lightly

  1. Prepare and shape dough into two disks, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 min
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  3. Roll one dough disk on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Place in pie pan and lightly mold to sides. Refrigerate while preparing fruit.
  4. Peel, core, and cut apples into half-inch slices and toss with 3/4 cup sugar, lemon juice and zest, salt, and spices. Plop into the chilled pie shell, juices and all, and mound slightly in the middle.
  5. Roll out second dough disk and place over filling. Trim top and bottom edges (and, if you’re anything like us, use the extra dough to put your initials and other miscellany on the pie.) Use fork to seal, or flute edging. Cut four slits on dough top, and refrigerate if dough is very soft.
  6. Brush egg white onto top of crust and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
  7. Bake until top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 and continue baking until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes longer.
  8. Transfer pie to wire rack. The book says wait four hours for it to cool before you eat it. I say fat chance.
  9. Eat plain, a la mode, or with Tabasco. Except I was kidding about the Tabasco part.

Ambrosia...


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