During one of my crazy food-shopping sprees, I bought a pie-dish and did not get around to using it. The unused pie-dish in my cupboard was gloomily calling out to me, and the voice was getting stronger each day. Luckily, on one of the days that I got a chance to come home early from work, I gave in to the voice and decided to make some Apple Pie.
What draws me to this dish is that at the end of a typically long day, a slice of warm Apple Pie, with its flakey buttery crust and cinnamon that warms me up from the inside with every swallow, reminds me of dinner time when I was a kid. It’s very much like the climactic scene of the movie Ratatouille, when Anton Ego – the food critic – tastes the eponymous dish and is transported back in time to his favorite childhood memory of his mother feeding him the dish.
For the pastry dough, you will need:
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling
- ¾ cups cold unsalted butter, cut in cubes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons of milk
- Cling wrap
For the filling, you will need:
- Two big juicy apples
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons of cinnamon (I love cinnamon, so I always add extra)
- Juice of ½ a lemon
Let’s get started with the trickiest part – the pie dough. I enjoy a particularly flaky buttery crust and that’s how this one will turn out. Take the flour and salt and sieve it together so that the salt mixes evenly. Mix the cold butter with the flour until the mixture becomes cornmeal-like. Add ice cold water by the tablespoon until the flour mixture comes together. Roll the dough into a ball and divide it into two discs. Flatten the discs with the palm of your hand and wrap them tightly with cling foil and refrigerate for 45 minutes. The dough can also be refrigerated overnight in case you plan to bake the pie the next day.
Now for the filling – If you are a sucker for the world’s most heavenly combination (in my humble opinion) – apples and cinnamon – like I am, you might want to have an extra apple handy. Warning: Try your best to avoid eating just the filling, lest you fall short of it for the pie and are forced to make some more.
Peel the apples (or don’t! I never peel them) and slice them thin. Pour the lemon juice over the apples and coat them with it. Mix the sugar, cinnamon (how much ever you’d like), and flour in a bowl, dump the apples in, and give the bowl a good shake so that everything gets incorporated evenly.
For baking the pie, you could use an oven safe glass dish if you do not have a pie dish. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bring out one disc from the fridge and roll out the pie dough to a 12-inch circle, about 1/8 of an inch thick. As you roll out the dough, check to make sure it isn’t sticking. If it starts to stick, gently lift it up and sprinkle a little more flour on the table surface or on the pie dough to keep the dough from sticking. Gently place the rolled out dough onto a 9-inch pie plate and press down to line the pie dish with the dough.
Arrange the apple slices in the dough-lined pie plate. Mound the apples in the center. Roll out the second disc of dough, again to 12-inches and place the second round of pie dough over the apples. Trim excess dough with scissors, leaving a 3/4 inch overhang from the edges of the pie-pan. Fold the dough under itself so that the edge of the fold comes right to the edge of the pan. Press the top and bottom dough-rounds together as you flute the edges using the thumb and forefinger, or you could even press down with a fork for a much fancier crust. Brush milk lightly on the top of the crust and bake for 20 minutes, till the crust begins to brown slightly. Reduce the temperature to 370°F and bake for another 45 minutes. If the pie seems to be browning too fast, cover it lightly with a sheet of aluminum foil and continue to bake until the juices bubble up. Transfer the pie to a rack to cool for about an hour. Cut slices and serve with ice cream. It will taste great just by itself too. 🙂