The Unsinkable Apple Pie

The classic American pie often displays an empty space between the top crust and the apple filling because the apples sink considerably in the baking.  Of course, there is the crumb topping, but my favorite part of a pie is a rich flaky crust.  I have experimented and tweaked the classic recipe and, I believe, improved on it not only by eliminating that empty space by partially cooking down the apples to begin with  and straining off excess juice, but also by using an instant tapioca thickener, 3 varieties of apples, candied ginger and Calvados.  The tapioca perfectly thickens the filling leaving it neither runny nor dense. The variety of apples and the candied ginger add a complexity of taste and the Calvados gives it just the right kick.

Ingredients:

Dough for bottom crust:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 T superfine sugar

1 t salt

4 T butter

4 T Crisco

1 egg yolk

ice water

Repeat ingredients for top crust.

3 Golden Delicious apples

3 Macoun apples

3 Granny Smith apples

¾ cup sugar

juice and zest of 1 lemon

4 pieces candied ginger, cut into a small dice

1 t cinnamon

¼ t freshly grated nutmeg

2 T instant tapioca

¼ cup Calvados

2 T butter

egg wash of 1 beaten egg yolk

1 T turbinado (raw) sugar

(Continue reading the Unsinkable Apple Pie . . . )

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Rustic Apple Tart

OK, I confess.  I guess I should have called my blog “Pies and Tarts.”  I love to bake and nothing gets my creative juices bubbling like fresh fruit.  A flaky, buttery crust is a must.  Actually, I like the crust as much as the fruit filling. Don’t even think about a store-bought crust.  None of them can compare with what you can make in five minutes.

For dough:

2 ½ cups flour, plus more for rolling out dough

1 t salt

3 T sugar

14 T unsalted butter cut into ½ inch slices

4 T vegetable shortening

1 egg yolk

4 T + ice water

For apple filling:

8 Golden Delicious apples

2/3 cup sugar

3 T fresh lemon juice

1 t ground cinnamon

3 T unsalted butter cut into 1/2 –inch cubes

For glaze:

4 T apricot preserves

1 T Calvados

Optional:  Clotted Cream or vanilla ice cream

(continue reading Rustic Apple Tart . . . )

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