It’s been a while since I baked apple pie. And the other day, I went to McDonald’s and got their apple pie on a rainy day — Ummmm… I forgot how I miss the cinnamon & nutmeg aroma and the gooey juice of the apple. So I decided to make one today, since it was cold out and thus perfect weather to bake a pie 😀
After lots of trial on recipes, I settle for this one — which is going to to be my go-to recipe from now on.
The recipe makes two 9″ pie crusts, or one 9″ covered pie crust.
For the crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cubed
1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon iced water (add 1 tablespoon at a time as needed)
Using a rubber spatula, thoroughly mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
Cut the butter into small cubes, then add to the flour mixture and cut vigorously with a pastry blender or two knives. Work as fast as you can so the butter doesn’t melt. As you work, periodically stir dry flour up from the bottom of the bowl and scrape clinging fat off the pastry blender or knives until the butter become pea-sized pieces; the rest of the flour should be reduced to the consistency of coarse crumbs or corn-meal. The mixture should seem dry and powdery and not pasty or greasy.
Drizzle over the flour and fat mixture the ice water.
Using the rubber spatula, cut with the blade side until the mixture looks evenly moistened and begins to form small balls. Press down on the dough with the flat side of the spatula. If the balls of dough stick together, you have added enough water; if they do not, drizzle over the top 1-2 tablespoons ice water.
Cut in the water, again using the blade of the spatula, then press with your hands until the dough coheres. The dough should look rough, not smooth. Divide the dough in half, press each half into a round flat disk, and wrap tightly in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and preferably for several hours, or for up to 2 days before rolling. (The dough can also be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 6 months; thaw completely before rolling. – If you need help with rolling out the dough, click here).
While preparing the filling and rolling out the dough, preheat the oven to 350°F
For the filling
6 small or 2 large Golden Delicious (Gala, or Fuji) apples
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoon cornstarch
3 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground ground cinnamon
Mix together sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and cornstarch. Sprinkle over apples and toss to coat. Cook in a saucepan over medium heat until tender.
Meanwhile, roll out the dough that you previously put in the fridge and transfer it to the pie pan. Then put the filling in the unbaked pie crust.
Roll out the other half of the dough and cover the pie. Squeeze the rim to make decorative rim or just press with fork to close the seams. Cut slits in the crust to vent the heat.
Bake on the middle rack for 45-55 minute until the crust turn golden and the filling is bubbly. Let cool on rack for at least 15 minutes. Slice and serve warm by itself or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
If you don’t want the top crust, here’s a great alternative for the topping:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter (cold cut into cubes)
A few dashes of cinnamon
Using a pastry cutter, mix together the flour, sugar and butter until evenly distributed and crumbly in texture. Sprinkle over the filling topped with dashes of cinnamon. Put pie in the oven on a cookie sheet to catch the juices that may spill over. Bake 45 minutes or until pie crust is golden brown.
This year, we didn’t have so many apples from our tree and I was busy baking other things and haven’t had a chance to bake any pies or galettes. Maybe the fact that it hasn’t got cold till now is another reason.
So today, I’m craving some and started looking in my blogs for the recipe but found that I didn’t write it down, so here it is — so next time I can find it more easily 😀 — This photo was the galette I baked a few years ago. The recipe came from Too Much Food with the original recipe from Smitten Kitchen that I got from Rachel Chew’s video below.
For the dough:
1 cup (120 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (3 oz., or 84 g) unsalted butter, frozen, cut into 1/2″ pieces
3 1/2 tablespoons chilled water
For the filling:
2 pounds apples, peeled, cored and sliced (save the peels and cores)
3 tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon turbinado sugar to sprinkle on top of the crust (optional)
For the glaze:
1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
Apple peel and cores
Make the dough first: sift together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the frozen butter cubes with your preferred method of choice; I used a pastry blender, then my fingertips (though a food processor or two knives would work just as well). Make sure that you do this rather quickly, you want to keep the butter as cold as possible to insure a light, flaky pastry dough. No need to blitz the heck out of the butter; just cut it in until the biggest pieces are about the size of large peas.
Add the chilled water one tablespoon at a time, stirring with your other hand, just until the dough just holds together (you might not need all the water, depending on your flour and the humidity of your kitchen). Dump the dough out on a mat and pat into a circle about 1.5″ inches thick. Double-wrap it in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 days).
After the chilling period, take the dough out and let it sit on the counter for 10 minutes; this allows the dough to soften slightly so that when you roll it out, it doesn’t break into a million pieces on you (trust me this has happened to me and it’s not fun nor pretty). Roll out the dough on a lightly floured mat into a 14″ circle, about 1/8″ thick. Using a pastry brush, dust off the excess flour. Carefully transfer the dough to a sheet of parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Preheat the oven to 400 F (205 C).
To fill the tart, overlap the sliced apples on top of the dough in a ring 2 inches from the edge and continue towards the center. To complete the tart, fold over the edges of the dough. It doesn’t have to look perfect, the beauty of a galette lies in its rusticity.
Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of sugar over the dough edge and 2 tablespoons of sugar over the apples. Use more or less sugar to your preference.
Place the baking sheet in the center of the oven and bake the galette for 45 minutes, or until the apples are soft and have slightly browned edges. Try to rotate the tart every 15 minutes to ensure even browning of the crust.
While the tart is baking, you can work on the glaze; place the reserved peels and cores in a large saucepan with the sugar. Pour enough water into the saucepan just so it barely covers the peels and sugar and simmer for 25 minutes. Strain the apple-infused syrup through cheesecloth and set aside. Your kitchen will smell amazing at this point.
When the tart is done baking, remove from the oven and slide it (parchment and all) off the baking sheet and onto a cooling rack. Let it cool for at least 20 minutes before brushing glaze over the tart.
Slice and serve immediately, alone or alongside a scoop of vanilla ice cream if you’re feeling decadent.
1 packet (2 1/4 tsp) instant/fast acting yeast
1 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, divided
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar, divided
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
2 3/4 – 3 1/4 cups flour (I used a ratio of 2/3 unbleached all purpose, 1/3 whole wheat flour)
1/2 – 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raw walnuts or pecans, crushed (optional)
In a large mixing bowl, heat the milk and 3 Tbsp butter in the microwave in 30 sec increments until warm and melted (never reaching boiling). Let cool to 110 degrees, or the temperature of bath water. It should be warm but not too hot or it will kill the yeast.
Sprinkle on yeast and let activate for 10 minutes.
Then add 1 Tbsp sugar, salt and stir.
Next add in 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana and stir.
Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring as you go. The dough will be sticky. When it is too thick to stir, transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead for a minute or so, adding flour as needed, until it forms a loose but still springy ball. Only use as much flour as it will take.
Rinse out your mixing bowl, coat it with canola or olive oil, and add your dough ball back in seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a long rectangle ~1/4 inch thick. Brush with 1/4 cup melted butter and top with 1/3 cup sugar (I used a little brown sugar mixed in with the cane sugar) and 1/2 – 1 Tbsp cinnamon (up to preference). Then add walnuts or pecan.
Slowly and tightly roll up the dough and situate seam side down. With a serrated knife or a string of floss, cut the dough into 1.5 – 2 inch sections and position in a well-buttered 8×8 square or comparable sized round pan (you should have about 10 rolls).
Brush with remaining 1 Tbsp melted butter and sprinkle with a bit more sugar (brown or cane) and remaining walnuts.
Cover with plastic wrap and set on top of the oven to let rise again while you preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Once the oven is hot, bake rolls for 28-35 minutes (mine took 40 minutes) or until slightly golden brown.
I love fresh fruit pastry cream tartlets and finally mustered enough courage to make them. Got the recipe from The Joy of Cooking (pp. 866-867).
I tried the “pat-in-the-pan butter crust” (p.867) and love it.
Ingredients for the crust(makes about eight 3 1/2 inch tartlet crusts)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter softened, cut into 8 pieces
2-3 Tablespoons heavy cream (I used 1% milk)
Place the rack in the middle of the oven, preheat to 400’F.
Whisk together flour and salt until combined
Add butter. Mash the back of a fork or pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Drizzle over top the milk (cream)
Stir untill the crumbs look damp and hold together when pinched.
Transfer the mixture to the tartlet pans. Pat evenly over the bottom and sides with your fingertips. Prick the bottom and the side with a fork
Bake until the crust is golden brown, 18-22 minutes, pricking the bottom once or twice if bubbles.
Let cool completely. Glaze bottom with jam or syrup if desired.
Refrigerate for 10 minutes to set the glaze.
Ingredients for the pastry cream (Crème Pâtissière) – p.996:
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoon s all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoon cornstarch
4 large egg yolks
1 1/3 cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split (optional) or 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
In a medium bowl, beat on high speed until thick and pale yellow, about 2 minutes sugar, flour, cornstarch, egg yolks.
Meanwhile, combine milk and vanilla bean in a medium stainless-steel or enamel saucepan and bring to a simmer.
Fish out the vanilla bean if you used it. Gradually pour about one-third of the hot milk into the egg mixture, stirring to combine.
Scrape the egg mixture back into the pan and cook, whisking constantly and scraping the bottom and corners of the pan to prevent scorching, over low to medium heat until the custard is thickened and begin to bubble. Then continue to cook, whisking, for 45 to 60 seconds. Using a clean spatula, scrape the custard into a clean bowl. If you have not used the vanilla bean, stir in the vanilla extract.
Cover the surface of the custard with a piece of wax or parchment paper to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool, then refrigerate before using. This keeps, refrigerated, for up to 2 days.
To assemble the tart:
Spread the pastry cream evenly over the crust.
Arrange over the cream some small berries, sliced strawberries, thinly sliced fruits
If you wish, brush the fruit lightly with 2-3 tablespoons jelly, melted
Or dust the tart lightly with powdered sugar before serving.
If not serving immediately, store in the refrigerator for no longer than 6 hours.