Saturday, July 04, 2015

Apple Pie

Happy 4th of July! Instead of sitting poolside in the sunshine I am huddled near a heater indoors because it is rainy and freezing in Melbourne. One of the classic desserts for any Independence Day celebration is apple pie, which I managed to bake last night. There are many recipes to choose from, but I have always used the one in the American cooking bible The Joy of Cooking.

First, prepare the pie dough for a double crust pie. I used the basic pie dough recipe from Williams Sonoma, which was easy to make and tastes good. Line a 9-inch pie pan with half the dough, and roll out the other half for the top crust.

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 F/218 C.

Peel, core and slice 5-6 large apples 1/4 inch thick. I use Granny Smith apples, but you can choose whichever ones you prefer. Combine the apples in a bowl with:
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 to 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
Let it stand for 15 minutes, stirring several times, so that the apples soften slightly.

Pour the filling into the bottom crust and gently level with the back of a spoon. Dot the top with 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces.

Brush the overhanging edge of the bottom crust with cold water and cover the pie with the top crust. Pinch together the dough and crimp or flute the edge. Cut 3 to 4 2-inch vents into the top crust and sprinkle with:
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Bake for 30 minutes and then slip a baking sheet under the pie and reduce the oven temperature to 350 F/176 C. Bake for another 30 to 45 minutes until the fruit feels just tender when a knife is poked through the vents. Cool completely before serving.

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