I really enjoy the thought of fall baking. I love to use apples in pies and sauces, cakes and cookies, and who knows this year I might add a new apple recipe just to shake things up a bit.
Along with pumpkin, my favorite pie of all, an apple pie is the family favorite. We like it so much the ice cream seems to just get in the way.
You can eat apple pie at any time of day or night. Somehow it just feels right. And really, if you control the sugar, what is better for you than crust and apples? Well OK, maybe crust and peaches.
Brown Butter Apple Pie
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons salted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 large egg
5 to 6 tablespoons ice-cold water
1/4 cup salted butter, divided
2 lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch thick slices
2 lbs. Honeycrisp apples, peeled and cut not 1/3-inch thick slices
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 large egg
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Ice Cream (optional)
1. Prepare the crust: Line a small bowl with aluminum foil. Melt 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter in a small heavy saucepan over medium, and cook, stirring constantly, until butter begins to turn golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and immediately pour butter into prepared bowl. Freeze until butter is cool and begins to solidify, about 1 hour. Lift foil from bowl; remove butter from the foil, and cut into small pieces.
2. Pulse 3 cups flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a food processor until combined, 3 to 4 times. Add browned butter pieces, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon ice-cold water. With processor running, gradually add egg mixture and up to 5 tablespoons ice-cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and process until dough begins to come together. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3 or 4 times. Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a ball; flatten each ball into disk, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Chill 30 minutes or up to 2 days.
3. Prepare the apple filling: Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium. Add apples, and cook, gently stirring, until apples are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Spread apples on a rimmed baking sheet, and cool 30 minutes. Toss together apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, 1 tablespoon flour, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl.
4. Preheat oven to 425 F. Unwrap 1 dough disk and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll to 1/8-inch thickness. Fit dough into a lightly greased 9-inch deep-dish pie plate or pie pan. Spoon apple mixture into pie crust, spreading and pressing into an even layer. Chop remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and sprinkle over filling.
5. Repeat rolling procedure with remaining dough disk; cut dough into about 8 (1-inch wide) strips. Arrange about half of the pie crust strips vertically over the filling. Create a lattice crust with the other strips placed horizontally, folding some under and some over the vertical strips. Whisk together cream and 1 egg. Brush entire pie with egg mixture. Sprinkle with granulated sugar. Freeze 30 minutes or until dough is firm. Place pie on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet.
6. Bake on lower oven rack of preheated oven 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 F, and bake 40 to 45 minutes, shielding pie with foil to prevent over browning after 20 minutes, if needed, until crust is golden and filling is bubbly. Remove from baking sheet to a wire rack and cool at least 1 hour before serving. Serve with ice cream, if desired.
(Source: Southern Living) Serves 8 generously.
Susan Woody has been a food writer for more than 20 years and is a member of the Association of Food Journalists.