This time of year, with apples abundant, a lot of people’s thoughts turn to pie. A while back, I gave you a fool-proof recipe using cream cheese. That one still works great and it’s very easy, especially for beginners. But this weekend, I didn’t have any cream cheese in the house, so I decided to try a different recipe. I used the one in this month’s Food & Wine magazine’s Test Kitchen column. (It’s not on the web yet or I would link to it…)
It came out great. Step-by-step instructions, after the jump.
First, cut your butter â€” 2 sticks â€” into small pieces. Put the butter back in the fridge to stay cold.
Next, measure your flour into the cup measure with a big spoon and level it off with a knife. That way you know you have the proper amount of flour: 2 1/2 cup. Put it in the food processor with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pulse a couple times to mix them.
Dump in the butter and pulse a few times until the mixture looks like peas. Then slowly add up to 1/2 cup ice water. You may not need it all. You will know your dough is done if when you pinch it, it holds together like this:
Toss the dough onto the counter. It will look like crumbs:
Sort of gather it together:
This recipe is for two crusts, so separate in about halves:
Before you make it into a ball, take the heel of your palm, and push the dough out across the counter:
Gather it back together and do it again:
This helps to make streaks out of the butter and results in a flakier crust. Remember, don’t touch the dough too much. You’ll bring out the gluten, which makes the pie crust denser and less flaky. Dolores â€” back on the original post â€” had a great suggestion: treat the dough as if it’s too hot to handle.
Gather it in a ball:
And flatten into a disc:
Wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least half an hour; an hour or more is better.
Throw down some flour and start rolling it out. Start from the center and work out toward the top edge, then turn it 1/4 turn and do that again.
Keep going until it will fit your pie pan.
Sometimes it doesn’t quite fit:
That’s OK. Cut some from another spot where it’s too long and cover it up by pinching them together:
After you’ve made your filling (I’ve got another post for that), roll out your second crust. Here’s a good way to move your crust from countertop to pie pan. Pick it up with your rolling pin:
And drape it over the pie, releasing from bottom to top:
I’m THE WORST when it comes to pretty crimping. Just press the two crusts together and do the best you can. It’ll look more homemade that way, is my thinking:
Be sure to cut steam holes. They can just be slits if you like. I decided to get a little fancy. I even drew little veins in my leaves, but you can’t quite see that:
For a pretty brown effect, whisk an egg with a little milk and brush it over the crust before you bake:
This baked at 375 for 1 hour and 10 minutes. It was delicious.
Double Crust Apple Pie
Adapted from Grace Parisi at Food & Wine
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, cubed
1/2 cup ice water
Cube the butter and put it back in the fridge. Measure the flour and salt. Pulse the flour and salt in a food processor, then add the butter and pulse until it is the size of peas. Drizzle on the ice water and pulse until evenly moistened crumbs form; they will stick together when you press the dough between your fingers. Turn out onto a surface and pull the dough together. Run the heel of your palm along the dough a couple three times. Form into two balls and flatten into discs. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about an hour.
Yield: Enough dough for two crusts.
In a food processor, pulse the