Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Oh My! Oh Pie!

What do you do with a case of apples? I think that equals about 88 apples..hmmm...a friend of mine decided she had an unwanted case of apples and was going to throw them away when I said I'd take them. You know me, I like to give everything a second chance. But, a case of apples - where other to begin than with pie!

I think I'd take a piece of pie over chocolate cake any day. I like cake, I love chocolate, but I like home made fruit pies even better. There's just something about them that makes you feel loved, and you never get that bogged down feeling like you do after eating a wedge of cake.

I have made this pie plenty of times, it is relatively simple, but has a few steps. I encourage you to read through it first, because from start to finish, it takes about 3 hours, but you are not working the entire time, just waiting for delicious pastry to rest and sweet apples to macerate.


Apple Raspberry Pie
Makes one 9" double crust pie
Adapted ever so slightly from The Joy of Baking
Crust: You can make the pastry up to two days in advance (just keep refrigerated)
225g unsalted butter, chilled, cut into ½” pieces
350g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
¼ – ½ cup ice water

Pie Filling:
3 large tart apples (I use Granny Smith), peeled, cored and sliced ¼” thick
3 large sweet apples (I use Gala), peeled, cored and sliced ¼” thick
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (if using only apples, increase cinnamon to ½ teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
170g (1 pint) fresh raspberries

1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon white sugar

To make crust:
Place into bowl of food processor all ingredients in the same order listed (ie, butter on the bottom, flour next etc), except water. Pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Pour in ¼ cup water in slow stream and process until the dough JUST comes together. If necessary, add a little more water.
Turn dough out into a large bowl. Press into bottom of bowl until dough comes together. It may look a little dry at this point. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough in half and place one half on top of the other, press down to make one piece again, and repeat twice more.
Divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for one hour to relax the gluten.

After chilling, cut the pastry into two pieces (1/3 and 2/3) and roll the pastry on a lightly floured surface, to fit pie plate, about 30cm round to fit a 9” dish. Brush off excess flour and trim pastry to fit plate. Repeat with pastry for the lid. Cover both with plastic and place back in the refrigerator.

To make filling:
In a large bowl, combine the sliced apples, sugars, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt. Let the apple macerate for two hours at room temperature.
Then, place the apples and their juices in a strainer over a bowl, and leave for 15 minutes to catch juices. When you have strained off at least ½ cup juice, place the juices and the butter in a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/3 cup and the juices are thickened and syrupy. Set aside to cool slightly.

Mix the strained apples with the cornstarch, the fresh raspberries and the reduced juices. Mix well and then place fruit and syrup into pastry shell. Brush edges with a little water and close with pastry lid. Seal edges, and using a sharp knife make five 2” slits from the centre of the pie out to allow steam to escape. Place in refrigerator while oven heats.
Brush with lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with white sugar.

Preheat convection oven to 375F (400F standard oven), and place pie on a baking sheet to catch any juices.

Bake for about 30 minutes (turning halfway for even browning) and then cover the edges with a foil ring to prevent over-browning. Bake for another 15-30 minutes until nicely browned on top and you can see the juices bubbling through the slits.

Remove from oven and cool 2-3 hours before slicing. Pie will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days.

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