Apple Pie with Love
“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I survived at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while.” Frank McCourt
This quote has stayed with me since the first time I read Angela’s Ashes. My sisters and I have stories that make people weep. We were born into chaos, you know your typical stuff, father leaves home, distant mother, poverty, 70′s discipline, alcoholism. I am not sure if we were warped during our upbringing or incredibly resilient but there are no people on earth i admire and respect more. No one on earth can make me laugh harder or deeper than my sisters. We share this wonderful bond of dysfunctional depth.
We rarely get to see each other all together. There was one of those amazing disagreements happening between 2 of my sisters and we were emailing back and forth. That night I wished we could all be together talking over coffee and apple pie. I made this pie as a tribute to them and the hope that one day we will all be doing this very thing…eating pie and chatting…and reminiscing about our childhood. Here is the recipe.
6 cups sliced peeled granny smith apples
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons apple juice, divided
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tbs butter (optional)
plus two more apples set aside (optional)
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold butter
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
In a large saucepan, combine apples, 3/4 cup apple juice, sugar, cinnamon and apple pie spice; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Combine cornstarch and remaining apple juice; add to saucepan. Return to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook and stir 1 minute more or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
For crust, combine flour and salt; cut in the butter until mixture is crumbly. Gradually add water, 1 tablespoon at a time; tossing with a fork until dough can be formed into a ball. Divide in half, making one half slightly larger. On a lightly floured surface, roll out larger portion.
Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom pastry; trim even with edge of plate. Add filling. (Optional-dust the remaing 2 apples with flour and place on top of the filling. Dot with butter- 2 tbsp). I add this last step to make sure there is a bit of texture in the apples when taking a bite but it is by no means necessary. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie; place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in top.
Bake at 400° for 40-45 minutes or until crust is golden brown and apples are tender. Cool on a wire rack. Yield: 6-8 servings.