Oct 21, 2010

Dutch Apple Pie

Pie is definitely not my favorite dessert. The crust always seems to be too dense and hard and dry. The filling is gooey and not in a good way. Just not my favorite. But - pie is traditional for Thanksgiving. And in an effort to make as much as I can from scratch, I decided I needed to try to make a pie before the actual holiday. I needed a test run.

I knew that I wanted to make the Dutch Apple Pie that I saw on
Brown Eyed Baker from America's Test Kitchen. I seem to be slowly working my way through the entire cookbook, lately. So when we had out of town company a few weeks ago, I decided that was a perfect opportunity to try this out!

While this is a time consuming recipe, making everything from scratch is truly worth it. The crust turned out beautifully and full of flavor. The topping lends an additional flavor and the filling is sweet and tart all at once. I wasn't sure how I would feel about a filling that was cooked down, where the apples were already falling apart before baking, but as usual, this was a genius move from America's Test Kitchen. The flavor and texture is spot on. I cannot wait to make this for Thanksgiving!

Dutch Apple Pie
As seen on
Brown Eyed Baker, originally from America's Test Kitchen

Dutch Apple Pie
Pie Crust
1¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled & cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled & cut into small pieces
4-6 tablespoons ice water (or more)

Filling
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples (5-6 apples), peeled, cored and slice 1/4 inch thick
2 pound McIntosh apple (4-6),
peeled, cored and slice 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup heavy cream

Streusel
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. cornmeal
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the pie crust:
1. Process the flour, salt and sugar in a food processor until combined.
2. Add in the shortening and process until the mixture has a coarse texture, about 10 seconds. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture; process the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, about 10 seconds. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the ice water over the mixture. Using a spatula, work the ice water into the dough until it sticks together. Add more water as needed. Flatten the dough into a 4 inch disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
4. Remove the dough and allow to stand at room temperature to take the chill off. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface into a 12-inch circle. Then transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate.
5. Trim edges and then fold, crimp, or flute edges.
6. Freeze the dough in the pie plate for about 30 minutes or until firm.
7. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and hat the oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the pie plate from the freezer, press two layers heavy-duty aluminum foil inside the pie plate, over the dough and fill with pie weights. (I don't have pie weights, so I fit a smaller baking dish inside and that seemed to work fine.)
8. Bake until the dough looks dry and is light in color, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and weights. (The pie crust needs to be warm when the filling is added.)

For the streusel topping
1. Mix the flour, sugars, and cornmeal in a medium sized bowl. Add in the melted butter and stir with a fork until combined. Set aside.

For the apple filling
1.
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium high heat and then add the apples, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
2. Cover and cook until the apples are just beginning to break down. Stir in the raisins and continue to cook until the apples have begun to break down and are soft. Stir occasionally - this should take 5-10 minutes.

3. Take the apples out of the Dutch oven with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Add the cream and bring the remaining juice to a boil. Cook until the mixture has thickened. Mix the apples with the cream mixture.
4. Transfer the apples to the partially baked pie shell and smooth with a rubber spatula.
5. Sprinkle the streusel over the top of the pie.
6. Bake until the crust and streusel are brown - about 25 minutes.
7. Remove and let cool on a cooling rack.

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