as american as… well, you know…

steve jobs passed away yesterday.

it’s always weird when a well-known person dies. you can’t really mourn over it, it’s not like you actually knew the person. yet, you know some things just won’t be the same… i wasn’t an apple lover until my husband introduced (read: forced!) an imac into my life when we got married. it wasn’t long before i completely fell in love with the brand and their products. somehow steve jobs created solutions to problems we didn’t even know we had (hello, ipod)! he was an american innovator whose products are integrated into my daily life; and so in his memory, how about an apple pie?

3-2-1 pie crust:

don’t be intimidated by pie crust. it’s not hard. plus, homemade tastes far superior to anything that comes in a tube or a box.

i have used the following method for a while now and it really never fails. i learned it from michael ruhlman’s book “ratio.” seriously, get this book! the ratio (by weight) for pie crust is 3:2:1 (flour:fat:liquid). for a double or latice topped crust, you will need 12 oz of flour, 8 oz fat (i use half butter, half crisco) and 4 oz of water. the beauty of the ratio method is that you can scale up or down as needed and never have to go in search of that random piece of paper that has a recipe on it.

12 oz flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 T sugar (omit for savory applications)
8 oz butter/crisco diced and very cold
4 oz ice cold water

in a bowl, combine the flour, salt and sugar. add half to the food processor along with half of the butter/crisco. pulse until crumbly. add remaining flour and butter/crisco and pulse.

pour into a large bowl and sprinkle about 3/4 of the water over and mix with a spatula. if the dough is still very crumbly, add the rest of the water a little at a time. you don’t have to use all the liquid.

once the dough begins to stick to itself when pressed together, turn out onto a floured surface and kneed gently until you can form a smooth ball.

divide the dough into two rounds and wrap with plastic wrap. refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

apple filling:

3 lbs apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 T lemon juice
1/2 c granulated sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp salt
2 T ap flour
2 T cornstarch

in a large bowl, toss together sliced apples and lemon juice. 

in a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and whisk together to incorporate. add this to the apples and mix until it is coated evenly.

take one disk of pie dough from the refrigerator and roll out large enough to fit into the pie plate with about 1″ of overhang. gently move the crust to the pie plate (do not stretch the dough!!) and trim.

give the apples a final stir and pour into the crust. arrange the apples so there aren’t any sticking out funny.

roll out the remaining crust and place over the apples. trim so that the edge of the crust will just come to the edge of the pie plate (the bottom crust will be longer). bring the bottom crust up over the top edge and press together gently. then crimp with your fingers or the tines of a fork to seal the edge. brush the top with egg whites mixed with a splash of water and then sprinkle sugar on top for a shiny crisp crust. (my camera battery had the audacity to die on me as i went to take a picture of the last steps here. my apologies.)

cut a few slits through the top of the crust and place on a cookie sheet. bake in a 425 F preheated oven for 20 minutes. then, decrease temp to 375 F and bake for an additional 40 minutes, or until the apple filling is bubbling and thickened. check often to monitor how brown your crust is. if it looks like it is browning too much, move it to a lower rack and/or cover it with foil.

let cool completely before serving. if desired, warm individual slices in the oven at 350 F for about 10 mins. and, of course, top with vanilla ice cream.

here’s to the american creative spirit. thanks steve!

2 thoughts on “as american as… well, you know…

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