Saturday, July 14, 2007

3.14159

There are few things more comforting and simply delicious as a hot, freshly baked apple pie and a scoop of ice cream. So when Dina decided to bake one at home, who was I to stand in her way?

Sadly, this one wasn't going to be consumed at home. As a thank you for taking care of our cats and our plants while we were on vacation, Dina thought that the pie would make a perfect thank you for our friends and neighbours Patricia and Aneil.

There are two important components to a perfect apple pie: the tender-crisp, generous filling of sweet apples and a flaky, golden brown crust with a touch of sweetness. Make sure to use the right apples for baking, otherwise you'll experience a slightly dry or overly mushy filling.

For the crust:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 sticks butter (cut into cubes)
1/2 tsp salt
5 tbsp ice water
1 tbsp sugar

1. Blend together flour, butter and salt just until mixture resembles coarse meal.
2. Drizzle 5 tbsp ice water over mixture and gently stir with a fork until incorporated. Dough should hold together. If not, add more water, 1 tbsp at a time.
3. Turn dough onto work surface and knead for a few minutes to distribute the butter. Then place ball of dough into the fridge for at least one hour.
4. When fully chilled, divide dough into two even pieces and roll both pieces until about 1/4 inch thick and shaped into a circle. Place one on oven-safe pie dish and cut strips out of the other circle (for lattice top).

Filling:

6 apples (suitable for baking, such as Cortland or Golden Delicious)
1/2 cup sugar
sprinkle of cinnamon
1 tbsp butter (cut into small cubes)
1 tsp flour

1. Peel and slice apples and mix them with sugar, cinnamon, butter and flour in large bowl.
2. Pile the mixture into the prepared pie crust.
3. Top with the strips of dough into a lattice design (see photo below).
4. Brush top of dough lightly with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar crystals.
5. Bake until golden brown, about 30 mins.

Prepare your nose for paradise as the pie bakes into golden perfection and resist the urge to dig in right away into the scaldingly hot filling (especially if the pie is intended for someone else). Though, I half-considered stealing a bite and blaming it on the cats while Dina wasn't looking.

So forget those gift certificates and toasters and give the gift of a freshly baked apple pie. Your friends will love you.

2 comments:

ima said...

the pie looks so professional , yummy with ice-cream on top ....

Vincci said...

Agh! I can't believe Deena went through the trouble of making the lattice top! Impressive!