Friday, September 9, 2011

PIE #40 - Double Dutch Deluxe Apple Pie

I'm three pies into my September apple pie theme and the further I research the amazing apple, the more I realize just how entrenched the apple is in American culture and how it symbolizes some of our country's strongest values. Health is reflected in the saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away". Education is the focus when we gift a teacher with a shiny red apple on the first day of school. Our core values of family and freedom ring true when we hear the saying "as American as the flag and apple pie".

However, it appears other countries are vying for a slice of apple pie goodness. There's German apple pie which incorporates cream into the filling. Swedish apple pie lacks a bottom crust but boasts a crunchy top crust. French apple pie has a traditional bottom crust with a nutty crumb topping. And the pie I shall feature next is a Dutch apple pie whose spicy filling is sprinkled with a scrumptious brown sugar streusel. I dubbed this pie a Double Dutch Deluxe because it's baked in a deep dish and is studded with dried cranberries, a wonderful complement to the spicy apple filling.

I used Chrystal's never-fail pie crust recipe. It makes four crusts which allowed me to freeze extra for future pies. I wrapped the extra pastry dough well. It thawed beautifully and baked to flaky perfection. As the pie baked, my whole house was filled with the autumnal scents of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. This pie would be a great contribution to a Labor Day picnic or a tailgate party, both all-American pastimes. So why not take a Dutch apple pie to serve, perhaps along with French vanilla ice cream? It would certainly be a delicious twist on an American tradition!

Chrystal's Never Fail Pie Crust (Makes 2 2-crust or 4 1-crust pies)
4 cups flour
1 3/4 cup shortening
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 egg
1 1/2 cup ice cold water

Mix flour, shortening, sugar and salt with a fork. Beat egg, vinegar and water together and add a little at a time to flour mixture (you may not use all the liquid). Use a fork or cut in with a wire dough cutter until the right consistency (flour clumps into pieces the size of small peas). Divide dough equally into four sections. Pat three sections into 3/4-inch discs, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and freeze for future pies.

Roll out the remaining dough section into a 13-inch circle between sheets of wax paper. Transfer to a 9 1/2 inch pie pan and refrigerate while preparing the filling. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
8 cups peeled, cored, and sliced Granny Smith apples
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoons butter

Mix the sugars, cornstarch, salt and spices together in a small bowl. Set aside. Combine the apples and lemon juice in a large bowl. Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the sugar mixture evenly over the chilled pie shell. Arrange a single, compact layer of apples, flat side down, in the shell. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the sugar mixture and some dried cranberries. Arrange a second layer of apples over the first and sprinkle with another tablespoon of the sugar mixture and more dried cranberries. Continue until all the apples, sugar mixture and cranberries have been used. Dot with 2 tablespoons of butter. Lay a sheet of aluminum foil lightly on top of filling but do not seal. Bake in 425 degree oven for 10 minutes and prepare streusel topping in the meantime.

Streusel Topping:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup oats
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup butter

In medium bowl combine flour, cinnamon, brown sugar, oats and lemon zest. Mix thoroughly, then cut in 1/2 cup butter until mixture is crumbly. Remove filling from oven and sprinkle streusel on top.

Reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 35-40 minutes until streusel is browned and apples are tender. Cover pie loosely with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning.

No comments:

Post a Comment