I can now say that I have made my very own apple pie, all by myself! Which is half true, because the first time I made it was in Hawaii with my Auntie Evie. She taught me how to roll out pie dough and lift it up with a scraper to dust more flour underneath. That was over a year ago (I think) and I finally conquered the daunting task and baked a pie..all by myself! I feel pretty proud!
I like to say this is a very….rustic pie. With it’s simple crimped edges and uneven strips of lattice. But that’s the fun of it, right? To play around, see what you can do and not do and work from there.
And after making this pie by myself, I definitely learned a few things about making dough. 1) You need a large surface to roll out the dough. I just used my simple cutting board, but soon realized it was not nearly as big as I needed it to be. 2) Chill..chill..chill…everything! The flour, to the butter to the mound of butter. The colder = the better.
And speaking of dough, there is a little secret ingredient in here. Any guesses?
Vodka!! I read about it in one of America’s Test Kitchen books that I got as a gift. Apparently, the vodka helps keep the crust a lighter and more delicate texture and of course I had to try this out..obviously.
The filling is simple and sweet. Thinly sliced apples with flavors of cinnamon and nutmeg that bring you right into the cool fall mood.
- 2 1/2 c flour chilled and sifted
- 2 sticks of butter chilled and cut into small cubes
- 1/4 cup vodka chilled
- 1/4 cup water chilled
- 6 apples peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1/2 lemon juice and zested
- 1 Tb flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tb cornstarch
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp Freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 vanilla bean optional
First make the pie dough. In a food processor fitted with a dough blade, add the flour and butter and pulse until you see pea-sized crumbs.In a small cup, add 1/4 c chilled water and 1/4 c of vodka. Pulse the dough again and add the water/vodka mixture until the dough comes together. *Note, I didn't use all the liquid, it will depend on your current weather (if its damp or dry out).
When dough is done, bring to a floured surface and divide into 2 even pieces. Use floured hands to make it in a round disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Make the filling. In a large bowl, add the apples, lemon zest and juice, spices, flour, sugars, vanilla extract and bean and cornstarch. Mix everything together and set aside.
Take one of the dough pieces out and roll out using a well-floured rolling pin. Roll dough out to about 10 inches. It should be slightly larger than your pie dish. Then use your rolling pin to roll the dough over it and transfer to the pie dish. Do not stretch the dough any more, since it will just shrink back.
Now full the pie with your apple filling.
Take the other piece of dough out and roll it the same way you did to the previous one. This time, use a knife to cut long strips about 1/4 inch wide. Then use the strips to make a lattice shape, overlapping every other one. Then, crimp any excess dough around the edges of the pie. Make sure there is no over-hand. This can be in any decoration you'd like, as long as they're all crimped together.
Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, until the crust begins to brown. If your crust around the edge begins to get darker than the rest of the pie, wrap it in tin foil and continue to bake for another 15 minutes.
When pie is done, allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before cutting into it.