Thursday, November 5, 2015
Thursday, October 15, 2015
Basic Pie Dough
2 and 1/2 cups (315g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
1 and 1/4 teaspoons salt
6 Tablespoons (90g) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
3/4 cup (154g) vegetable shortening, chilled1
1/2 cup (120ml) ice water
homemade salted caramel sauce (recipe below)
2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest
1/4 cup (60ml) fresh lemon juice
6 large apples, cored, peeled, and thinly sliced2 (approx 10-12 cups total - use a variety for better flavor, such as Pink Lady, Granny Smith, or Honey Crisp)
1/4 cup (31g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1 large egg, beaten
coarse sugar for topping
- Read all of the directions that I wrote in this post before beginning the following recipe. It will help you!
- Make the crust first: Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter or two forks, cut in the butter and shortening until the mixture resembles coarse meal (pea-sized bits with a few larger bits of fat is OK). Drizzle the cold water in, 1 Tablespoon (15ml) at a time, and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon after every Tablespoon (15ml) added. Do not add any more water than you need to. Stop adding water when the dough begins to form large clumps. I always use between 1/3 cup (75ml) and 1/2 cup (120ml) of water. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and, using your hands, fold the dough into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the fats. The dough should come together easily but should not feel overly sticky. Form into a ball. Divide in half, then flatten each into a 1-inch disk and wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. For a visual guide to making this crust, see my step-by-step photos.
- Make the caramel using my step-by-step photos as a visual guide. Do this as you wait for the dough to chill.
- Next, make the apple filling as the dough is still chilling: Put the lemon zest and lemon juice into a very large bowl. Add the apples and toss gently. In a small mixing bowl, combine the flour, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar. Pour over the apples and gently toss to combine. Set aside.
- Roll out the chilled pie dough: On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough (keep the other one in the refrigerator). Turn the dough about a quarter turn after every few rolls until you have a circle 12 inches in diameter. Carefully place the dough into a 9x2 inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is smooth. With a small and sharp knife, trim the extra overhang of crust and discard.
- Fill the pie crust with the apples. There are a lot of apples, but pile them tightly and very high. Drizzle with 1/2 cup of the salted caramel, reserving the rest for topping.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C).
- Make the lattice crust: Remove the other disc of chilled pie dough from the refrigerator. Roll the dough out, 12 inches diameter. Using a pastry wheel, sharp knife, or pizza cutter, cut 16 strips 1/2 inch wide. I always use a clean measuring tape or ruler as a guide to assure the lines are straight. Carefully thread the strips over and under one another, pulling back strips as necessary to weave. Using a small and sharp knife, trim the extra overhang. Clamp down the edges of the dough with a fork or your fingers.
- Brush the lattice top with the beaten egg. A very thin coating - you don't want scrambled eggs on top of your dough. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.
- Place the pie onto a large baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Keeping the pie in the oven, turn the temperature down to 375°F (190°C) and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes. If the top of your pie is getting too brown, cover loosely with aluminum foil. The pie will be done when the caramel begins to bubble up. A small knife inserted inside should come out relatively clean.
- Allow the pie to cool for 4 hours before serving. Drizzle the pie with the extra caramel sauce to serve. This apple pie is best served on the same day, but it can be covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Make ahead tip: The pie crust dough can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using. Baked pie freezes well for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.
Salted Caramel Sauce
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
6 Tablespoons (90g) salted butter, cut up into 6 pieces
1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream
1 teaspoon salt
- Heat granulated sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a high heat resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
- Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Be careful not to burn.
- Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add the butter. Be careful in this step because the caramel will bubble rapidly when the butter is added.
- Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted, about 2-3 minutes.
- Very slowly, drizzle in 1/2 cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble and/or splatter when added.
- Allow the mixture to boil for 1 minute. It will rise in the pan as it boils.
- Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of salt. Allow to cool down before using.
- Make ahead tip: You can make this caramel in advance. Make sure it is covered tightly and store it for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator. Warm the caramel up for a few seconds before using in a recipe. This caramel is OK at room temperature for a day if you're traveling or gifting it.