Nothing brings back memories of childhood quite like a warm apple pie……………..oh wait, your mom was like mine and didn’t bake anything unless it was Christmas, and even then dessert was a no bake Better Than Sex Cake? Oh. Yeah…well okay, that’s a recipe for another time.
Nothing brings back memories of the return of autumn quite like a warm apple pie. Okay, is that better?
There’s just something about apples and cinnamon that evokes memories of crisp fall weather. Scarves, the crunch of fallen leaves under foot, the lingering scent of woodsmoke in the air, the unmistakable glee on parent’s faces as their kids return to school full time. Ha ha haahahahahahah!!! Oh sorry, back to the memories…
Where was I? Oh yeah, darker evenings, the return of hearty meals and stews…you know what I mean.
There was a time in my life when I was always on the search for a good pie recipe. How many times did I rely on premade dough? Too shameless to count. Thinking back to my culinary training, I remember the “perfect” pie dough was made with all lard. To me though, the perfect pie dough is all butter, I just can’t stand that gritty taste of rendered pork fat in my sweet pastry.
And so the years have gone by and I’ve made many a pie dough. None so great as this though. I have to give credit to Joy the Baker for the recipe though. I did do my tweaks (as I always do), but the hard work was hers. Thanks Joy!
In any case, a good apple pie can be hard to find, but I guarantee you this one is a keeper.
Mile High Apple Pie
Adapted from/Inspired by Joy the Baker‘s Apple Pie, With Love
All Butter Yogurt Pie Dough
8 oz. Cold unsalted butter
12 oz. All Purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup whole milk
1. Cut the butter into little pieces (about 2 cm by 3 cm). Throw them in the freezer for about 15 minutes. While they’re chillin’ out, measure your yogurt and milk, mix together and throw that in the fridge.
2. Sift your flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Now take your butter out of the freezer and toss it in the flour. Just swirl it around a bit in the bowl.
3. Dump this out onto a work space and roll with a (preferably) cold, marble rolling pin (regular old wood will work just fine too).
4. Once you’ve got yourself some little flat pieces of butter swimming amongst a sea of flour, throw that back into a bowl and put it in the freezer for 5 minutes,
5. When it’s all nice and chilly, pull it out, make a well in the centre and pour the yogurt/milk mix right in. All of it.
6. Bring the dough together using your fingers. If you need to, add a teeny tiny amount of milk…but you shouldn’t need to.
7. When done, you will have a shaggy mess of doughy goodness. Roughly shape into two flat rounds, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, make your filling!
Mile High Apple Pie filling
4 1/2 lbs. of apples (I used Sunrise)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 cup yellow or brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 tsp – 1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated if you have access (this makes a big difference)
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. + 1 tsp Cornstarch
1. Remove one of your lovely pie dough disc balls from the refrigerator. On a floured surface, roll it out to within an inch of it’s life (or rather, within 1/8″ of the surface your rolling it on). Sit the rolled dough in your desired pie plate. Trim edges (and if you’re like me and like a nice thick crusty edge), fold a little dough over itself and double up the edge of your crust. This dough is very forgiving, mold it and shape it as you will. Now put it back in the fridge for about 30 minutes or up to 3 hours if you have better things to do.
2. Get yourself a slave, I mean, your Mother maybe, to peel, core and slice your apples (I like a nice 1/4″ slice, but a little thicker works too).
3. In a large bowl, combine your apples, lemon juice, sugars, spices and salt. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let it mellow for about 30 minutes.
4. When it’s nice and mellow, place a collander over another bowl and pour your apples into it. Drain them suckers for all their sugary juices. Allow to drain for a good 5 minutes to achieve maximum juice flow.
5. In a small saucepan over a medium high flame (if you’re on one of them fancy gas stoves, in which case I hate you…erm, I mean I’m soooooooooooooo jealous!), or just plain ol’ medium high (that’s a 7 or 8 on your dial), boil down those lovely juices (and those cute “knobs” of butter) until they are thick and golden or until they’ve reduced by about a 1/3 to a 1/2. Don’t stir though! Simply swirl your saucepan every few minutes.
6. Transfer those apple slices from the colander back to the big bowl you were using before, and toss with the cornstarch. Don’t worry about clumps, they’ll melt later.
7. Pour your buttery syrup over the apples and toss to distribute.
8. Roll out the second crust for the top of your pie. Same as before, except this time, be sure to cut out some cute little stars or holes of some kind so it can breathe. Slits are fine too. Dump your apple goodies into the base pie crust, moisten the edges with a little water and pop the top crust on top. Trim the edges and then tuck those under the bottom crust. Now you’ve got a really thick edge crust (This also prevents burning of the edges). Throw that sucker back in the fridge for another hour.
9. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Brush the top of your pie with a beaten egg and sprinkle that with sugar. Set your pie on a foil lined baking stone or a baking sheet and bake for 45-55 minutes. If the edges of the crust do start to overbrown, wrap the edges in foil for the last 20 minutes or so. This shouldn’t be necessary though if you made the triple thick crust!
10. Be sure to cool this bad boy for at least 3 hours or so (if you want to eat it warm) and serve with a big dollop of whipped cream or maybe a lovely scoop of vanilla ice cream.
This pie got some seriously rave reviews. These were from family, but mine doesn’t hold back when it comes to critiquing. So I’m going to go ahead and believe them. Go make this pie, you will not be sorry!
Oh and by the way, I think I’m really in love with our new house. I barely had to edit these pictures at all, the light in here is incredible!