Friday, September 28, 2012

A Little Apple Pie Work(sweat)shop

Apple Pie (Two Ways)

More All-American than my blond hair and boyish looks is a warm apple pie on a crisp fall day. I can't stop making apple pies recently. I don't even want them, I just find myself wrist-deep in flour on my days off. If you've never made a pie before, apple is the best to start with. I think people overestimate the skill of pie making. My great grandma's family ran a boarding house during the depression and she was making pies at age seven. I'm going to show you two ways to make the same pie, both are really simple with surprisingly few ingredients. Note: buy butter, margarine does not taste the same.

You will need the following: 

4 mixed apples or 4 granny smith
1 lemon
3/4 c sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp pie spice
2 pie crusts

Start by making two pie crusts with my best pie crust ever recipe.

Roll out into two crusts. To keep from making a huge mess, roll dough between sheets of saran wrap.

And this is where the two variations will split: 

Apple Pie in a Skillet

Step 1: Heat your cast iron skillet with a few tablespoons of butter and 1 tsp brown sugar in the oven at 350.

Step 2: Meanwhile... peal and core your apples. Cut into thin slices and toss in lemon juice, sugars, vanilla, and spices. 

Step 3: Once skillet butter is melted, place one of your refrigerated pie crusts over sizzling skillet. This will slightly fry the bottom crust. 

Step 4: Stack apples in even layers. Pat each layer with butter. Then adhere top pie crust. (Using a pie bird for a closed top keeps the juice from bubbling over).

Brush the top with egg and milk mixture. Sprinkle with sugar and cut four slits in the top. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

And the second way: 

Classic Lattice Top

Basically do everything the same except for warming a skillet with butter. Simply put your first cold crust in a pie dish, you can use metal, glass or ceramic. Even a round cake pan works in a pinch. Again, stack your apples with layers of butter pats and then begin building your lattice. 

Lattice crusts are easy, just use a pizza cutter and make long strips from your second crust. Brush strips with milk to keep them pliable. Weave on the top crust, then seal and trim the edges. Sprinkle top with sugar and cinnamon. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then reduce to 350 and bake 30-35 minutes. 

And that about does it for my September apple bender. See you in October. 

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