If you're a friend of mine, you probably know that I have a pie recipe that I've been perfecting for oh, about 10 years. Well yesterday I made another version of it and it blew me out of the water. We received a bag of apples from our CSA and thought well, we've got to make an apple pie. I've decided it's finally time to share the secret. Bake it, let me know what you think. I have no doubts you'll also be thrilled by the results: not too sweet, not too goopy, absolutely awesome.
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, zested and finely grated
1 1/4 sticks cold, unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons ice water, plus more if needed
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the almond extract, egg yolk and ice water and work that in with your hands. (Or do the whole thing in a food processor, pulsing a couple of times to combine the dry ingredients, then pulsing in the butter, and then the egg.) Check the consistency of the dough by squeezing a small amount together between thumb and forefingers: You want there to be just enough moisture to bind the dough so that it holds together without being too wet or sticky. If it's still crumbly, add a little more ice water, 1 teaspoon at a time. When you get it to the right consistency, shape the dough into a disk and wrap it in plastic. Put it in the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup raw sugar
2 pounds apples (about 5 medium)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Flour, for rolling
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg, beaten with a drizzle of water
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Move the oven rack to the bottom third of the oven.
Meanwhile, peel and slice the apples.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter and sugar together and cook over medium-low heat until combined and beginning to brown. When the butter is ready, add the apples, cinnamon and nutmeg to the pan and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes, until beginning to soften, then remove from heat.
Divide the dough in half and set one half aside; cover it with a towel or plastic wrap to keep it from drying out. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 10-inch round. Loosely drape the dough round over the rolling pin and transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Press the dough over the bottom and sides of the pan. Trim the edges to about 1/2-inch.
Toss the apples with the lemon, and cornstarch. Pile the fruit into the pie shell. Roll out the reserved dough to a 9 to 10-inch round, cut into even slices and layer it over the fruit. Trim, and crimp the edges. Brush with the egg glaze. Put the pie on a baking sheet and bake until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling up through the vents, 40 to 50 minutes. Cover the edges with aluminum foil if they brown too fast. Cool on a rack before serving. Serve with vanilla ice cream.