The secret to this delicious dessert is the piquant contrast between the tart apple filling and the sweet glazed crust. Add to this flavor medley a flaky, buttery crust and you will experience Pure Pie Joy.
Here's how to start:
Step 1: Assemble Your Ingredients:
300 grams/ 2 1/2 cups/ 10.5 oz of all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tblsp white sugar
2 1/2 sticks (1 1/4 cups) salted butter FROZEN
1/4 cup cold vodka
1/4 cup cold water
For the Filling:
4 lbs of apples, a crisp tart variety preferred
4 Tblsp white sugar, more or less to taste
ground cinnamon to taste
3 Tblsp flour
lemon juice (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tblsp salted butter, cut up or grated into small pieces
splash of rum (optional)
For the Glaze
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tblsp hot water
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Step 2: Gather You Equipment
13x9 jelly roll pan (or a cookie sheet with 4 sides). If your pan is larger than 13x9, you will need to increase your ingredients by a percentage equal to the larger pan.
measuring cups and spoons
plastic wrap or a pastry cloth
apple peeler /corer/slicer
* if you plan to make apple pies or sauce, or even peel potatoes ever again, buy one of these puppies. Available at your local culinary store or for $16.66 at Amazon and you will peel your apples in SECONDS- it makes pie making a treat instead of a chore.
Otherwise, get out that stupid potato peeler and paring knife *sigh*
large hole grater. The cheapo ones from the Dollar Store work great for this. I have an expensive Microplane grater, and it doesn't work as well for grating butter.
Step 3: Making the Crust
No pastry cutter needed.
Carefully weigh your flour- if you don't have a scale, sift or SPOON your flour into the measuring cup until it is heaping full, and then level off with the back side of a knife. Very important you do not scoop the flour with the measuring cup- you'll end up with far too much flour in your recipe. (You may notice I am making a double recipe in my pictures- I hate making pie crust so I do a big batch at one time)
Add the flour to a large mixing bowl; add salt and sugar and stir.
Next, take one stick of FROZEN butter at a time from the freezer and grate the butter into the flour. Knock the butter curls from inside the grater into the bowl and gently fluff the butter curls into the flour until coated. Handle the butter as little as possible. Grate the rest of the butter, one stick at a time and fluff after each. Work quickly and put the bowl back in the freezer if there is a phone call, baby crisis or other delay.
When all the butter is in, it will look like conventionally "cut in" pastry dough. Put the bowl back in the fridge or freezer for a minute.
Next, measure your cold vodka and cold water. This will seem like a lot of fluid, but it will enable you to easily work the dough and most of the vodka will bake out without a trace.
Sprinkle the water/vodka mix into your bowl of flour/butter and stir with a fork until all the water is absorbed or you feel you have used enough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and return to the fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes, or up to 24 hours. You want the flour to hydrate and the butter to chill hard. You may form the dough into 2 balls at this time, or wait until you are ready to roll out the dough.
Lay out a wide layer of plastic wrap, lightly sprinkled with flour. Pat each of the balls of dough into a rough rectangle, sprinkle with flour, lay more plastic wrap on top and roll out into a big rectangle. *Note; this dough will be very soft and very short as it warms up. If it starts sticking to the plastic wrap, you can transfer it back to the freezer for a few moment to stiffen up*.
Lay one of the sheets of dough over the bottom of the jelly roll pan, keep the second sheet in the plastic wrap until your filling is ready. You may want to put both into the fridge.
Step 4: Preparing the Filling
If you do, you need only to break the thin slices up into quarters or eighths as you put them in the bowl.
Otherwise, SLOWLY and LABORIOUSLY peel each of your apples and slice as thinly as you can. You do not want chunky in this recipe.
If you have used a tart variety, (I used a combination of Granny Smith and Braeburn for this pie) you will only need 3 to 5 tablespoons of sugar. You do not want this filling as sweet as conventional pie. If you have only sweet apples available, use a squeeze or two of lemon to tart things up. Sprinkle the sugar, cinnamon to taste and flour over the apple slices and mix gently with your hands. A splash of rum at this point gives a rich undertone to the filling.
Spread the filling mix evenly over the bottom pie crust and add the small pieces or curls of butter to the filling. Try not to mound it too much in the center- here is where small (rather than chunky large) apple pieces are helpful.
Lay the top sheet of dough over the filling, and crimp and trim the edges. Make vent holes in the top to let steam escape.
Step 5: Bake
Step 6: Glaze the Crust
As soon as the pie is out of the oven, while still very hot, pour and spread the glaze over the entire crust, crimped edges included.
**Its important that the glaze has an opportunity to "cook on" from the heat of the crust- wait too long and its just a goopy mess. Yuck.
Step 7: Inhale- Ahhhh, Pie.
Cut into wonderful little pi*r*squares and enjoy the higher mathematics of deliciousness.
There should be plenty for everyone!