Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Recipe: Skillet Apple Pie

Hopefully, I've timed this post to coincide with a moment when you're looking at a pile of apples on your counter and wondering what to do with them. You could bake up the apple bread recipe that my friend Mary sent me. I haven't managed to test it yet, so do tell if you try it.

On the other hand, I have made and can heartily recommend Skillet Apple Pie. It takes a lot of the crust-handling stress out of making an apple pie and enables a really juicy fil
ling that would likely overwhelm the bottom crust of a standard pie. Easier and delicious? Sign me up!

If I do say so myself, this pie was the dessert highlight of our family Thanksgiving weekend last year.

From Cooks magazine September/October 2008, green comments mine:

Skillet Apple Pie
Serves 6 to 8 (plan on smaller pieces than a regular pie if you have more than 6 people)

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoon vegetable shortening, chilled

6 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, but into 1/4 inch pieces
3-4 tablespoons ice water

1/2 cup apple cider (see note at right)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon (as if - bottled lemon juice is usually in my fridge; lemons, not so much)

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional) (Right. I'm making apple pie without cinnamon.)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 lbs. sweet and tart apples (about 5 medium - see note below), peeled, cored, halved and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges (see note)

1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons sugar

1. FOR THE CRUST: Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined. Add shortening and process until mixture has texture of coarse sand, about ten 1-secon
d pulses. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture and process until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about ten 1-second pulses. Transfer mixture to medium bowl.
2. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons ice water over mixture. With blade of rubber spatula, use
folding motion to mix. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more ice water if dough does not come together. Turn dough out onto sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into 4-inch disk. Wrap dough and refrigerate 30 minutes, or up to 2 days, before rolling out. (If dough is refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable.)
3. FOR THE FILLING: Adjust oven rack to upper middle position (between 7 and 9 inches from t heating element) and heat oven to 500 degrees. Whisk cider, syrup, lemon juice,
cornstarch, and cinnamon (if using) together in medium bowl until smooth. Heat butter in 12-inch heatproof skillet over medium-high heat. When foaming subsides, add apples and cook, stirring 2 or 3 times until apples begin to caramelize, about 5 minutes. (Do not fully cook apples.) Remove pan from heat, add cider mixture, and gently stir until apples are well-coated. Set aside to cool slightly.
4. TO ASSEMBLE AND BAKE: Roll out dough on lightly floured work surface, or between 2 large sheets of plastic wrap, to 11-inch circle. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll over apple filling. Brush dough with egg white and sprinkle with sugar. With sharp knife, gently cut dough into 6 pieces by making 1 vertical cut followed by 2 evenly spaced horizontal cuts (perpendicular to first cut). Bake until apples are tender and crust is a deep golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes; serve.

1 comment:

Anne H. said...

Looks just yummy Jeff. I'd rather taste one of yours than make it myself, however. Big surprise, eh?