A picture-perfect pie that tastes as good as it looks. Pastry chef Josh Short likes to use a single apple variety -- in this case, Golden Delicious -- rather than a mix of different kinds of apples.
Servings: 10 - 12
- For the crust
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon sugar, plus more for sprinkling (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
- 1 large egg
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- For the filling
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 pounds Golden Delicious apples
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
For the dough: Combine the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor; pulse once to combine. Add the cold butter and pulse a few times, just until the mixture turns into mostly pea-size pieces. (The mixture should remain somewhat powdery and dry; refrigerate if it seems to soften and bulk up.) With the machine running, slowly add the ice water as needed, just until the dough starts to form a ball. Divide the ball into equal halves; place each on a large piece of plastic wrap and flatten slightly into a round disk. Wrap well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready a 10-inch pie plate and a rimmed baking sheet.
For the filling: Squeeze the lemon juice into a large bowl. Peel and core the apples and slice them a little thicker than <AF>1/4<XA> inch, or cut the apple into quarters and then cut each quarter into fifths. Toss the apple pieces in the lemon juice to keep them from browning.
Melt the butter in a large pot or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the apples and toss to coat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until the apples are a little tender but still crisp on the inside. Add the sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. Increase the heat to high and boil for 3 to 4 minutes, until the juices become thick and syrupy, then remove from the heat and spread on a baking sheet to cool.
Meanwhile, Combine the egg and cream in a measuring cup to form an egg wash; set aside. Roll out the bottom crust and carefully place in the pie plate, leaving some overhang. Pour the cooled apples into the pie shell. Brush the "lip" of the crust with the egg wash and cover with the top crust. Seal the edge of the crust, trim and crimp. If desired, brush the top crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Make 3 steam-vent slits in the top crust of the pie. Bake for 65 to 70 minutes or until the top is browned and the filling is bubbling. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.
From pastry chef Josh Short of Buzz bakery in Alexandria.
Tested by Pam Kendrick.
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