Apples and pie are two staples in our house. Over the past few weeks the apple treats have been flowing freely – apple crisp, apple pie, baked apples, apple-walnut muffins, etc. Just this afternoon I picked up a beautiful wedge of Kerrygold aged cheddar and some green apples to have with some crackers. I have every intention of checking out the farmer’s market this weekend to see what other bits of fall produce inspire me. Admittedly, I’m a little nervous though. Coming from New England, the apples are outrageous… even the bad ones are better than some of the average ones here in Arizona, at least at the grocery stores I frequent. I’m nervous that the grocery store ones will be as good as it gets and that’s just not cool. I’m intrigued by the idea of apple and cheese pie. The flavor combination keeps popping up and I am confused to the point of obsession. I MUST figure out what the big deal is, even if it means I have to make another apple pie to experience it. Then again, let’s be honest… I’m not purchasing a pie any time soon.
This apple pie is classic and rustic – though I really enjoyed Martha’s suggestion of varying the apples. Carver exclaimed this was the best apple pie he’d ever had so my guess is it will be a standby for years to come. I’d also like to point out I cut out an apple from the dough and crowned the pie with it. It is difficult to differentiate crust from decoration but I promise, if you look closely it’s there.
Classic Greenmarket Apple Pie, adapted from Martha
For the pate brisee (crust)
- 150 g whole wheat flour
- 225 g all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cold, and cut into pieces (*I cut the butter into pieces and place in fridge to chill back up while I prepare my other ingredients.)
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup chilled water (I always set aside more cold water – living in the desert I typically need more water to get the same effect.)
For the pie
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream, half & half or whole milk (whatever you have around)
- 3 pounds assorted apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of the pate brisee to a 1/8-inch-thick circle, about 13 inches in diameter. With a dry pastry brush, brush off the excess flour; roll the dough around the rolling pin, and lift it over a 9-inch pie plate. Line the pie plate with the dough, pressing it into the corners. Trim the dough so that it hangs over the pie by about 1/4 inch. Transfer the pie plate to the refrigerator, and chill 30 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk together the egg yolk and cream to make an egg wash; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, toss together the apples, lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt; arrange in the chilled bottom crust. Dot with butter.
4. Roll out the remaining disk of pate brisee as in step 1. Brush the rim of the bottom crust with the egg wash. Place the second piece of dough on top, and trim so that 1 inch overhangs all the way around. Tuck the dough under, and crimp the edges with a fork or your fingers. (I usually make a lattice crust, which I will explain when I make another pie and take pictures) Transfer the pie to the refrigerator, and chill until firm, about 15 minutes.
5. Remove the pie from the refrigerator, brush with the egg wash, and sprinkle generously with sugar. Cut 4 vents in the top, to allow steam to escape.
6. Bake until the crust begins to turn light brown, about 25 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake until golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand 30 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.