The markets are still overflowing with gorgeous looking crisp apples, and I realized it had been ages since I made apple pie. So apple pie it was. I have a few favorite recipes that I tend to fall back on. There is the luxurious looking apple pie from Rose Levy Beranbaum's 'Pie & Pastry Bible', where she has you arrange thinly sliced apple slices like a blooming flower. Another tried and true is a recipe for a deep dish caramel apple pie I found on epicurious and have been making many times since. It is sweet, but definately delicious. I was looking for simple this time though, and as the ladies on the Fine Cooking board were raving about Dorie Greenspan's apple pie, while I was about to give up on the book as I hadn't liked the few recipes I tried from it, I thought it would only be fair to give it another go. So many skilled bakers couldn't be wrong!
So I got to work. The crust calls for both shortening and butter, and I personally prefer them over all butter crusts. They are just flakier. The recipe is easy, calls for straightforward foodprocessing of the ingredients, and isn't as fussy as RLB's (which is admittedly delicious, but still fussy). I made a double crust recipe and found my foodprocessor was a bit too small, as the ingredients weren't getting mixed properly. So I dumped the whole batch out, put half back in, and went from there. Went without a glitch :o). I let the pastry rest in the fridge over night, but I'm sure with freezing all ingredients before making it, I could have rolled it out directly. (Great to know if you're pressed for time). I subbed the sugar for brown sugar (great idea) and for the spices I used a mix called 'apple bake' from Watson that my dear friend Jane sent me and which I use only very sparingly.
The crust behaved perfectly when rolling (although I started out lining the pan with earlier prepared sugar cookie dough, wondering how the dough behaved so differently, duh!!). The apples were piled high into the crust, covered with the second crust, painted with cream and sprinkled with sugar. And into the oven it went. The house still smells divine hours later. We tried our first piece when the pie was still slightly warm and we both *loved* it. A winner!! Which means, there is no such thing as giving up on this book yet. I'll have to try more from it now, with newly gained confidence ;o). Here is the master piece:
Even after my oven leading a life of it's own again (it miraculously switches to different settings while baking, this time switching from lower/upper heat to only lower heat, leaving me wondering why the crust didn't brown as quickly as usual) you can see how nicely the crust baked into this flaky, crackly-with-sugar perfection: