Sunday, December 2, 2012

Final Results from the Test Kitchen--

So here are the final recipes at least until I try out the revisions!  I THINK this is the best idea:

For the filling--  4 or 5 golden delicious apples (5 if they're small)
                           1 Jonagold apple (for a little tartness)
                           1 Empire OR Pink Lady apple (for the tinge of pink)
                           about 1/2 cup of golden raisins (optional)
                           about 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
                          4 T of tapioca flour to thicken everything
                           a small splash of vinegar (I used apple cider because that's what was on hand)

Cut the apples into thinish slices and then chop the slices into 1" or so chunks.  Mix all together in a big bowl.

For the crust:    (for a small pie pan, 8" or so) 2 -1/2 to 3 cups of unbleached flour
                                                                         2/3 cup olive oil
                                                                         1 teaspoon salt (I used Celtic sea salt, fine grained)
                                                                         1/3 stick cold unsalted butter
                                                                         4 T iced water

Sift the flour and salt together into a bowl.  Add the olive oil and mix with a fork.  Cut in the butter using two knives or a cutting-in tool (not sure what it's called).  Sprinkle iced water over it all and mix with fork again.  Use your hands to form a ball of dough.  If it's too dry to make a ball, add a LITTLE more oil or water until it sticks together.  Cut the ball in half.

Lay two pieces of waxed paper in a x on the countertop.  Put one hemisphere of dough on it.  Lay another cross of waxed paper over the dough.  Flatten with your hands till it's about an inch thick.  Roll the dough out till it's about 1/8" thick (more or less.  Mine was more).  Peel off the top pieces of waxed paper, and lift the crust with the top sheet of waxed paper that is under it.  Use the waxed paper to help wrangle the crust into the pan without ripping it.  Repeat this whole procedure for the second hemisphere of dough.

Fill the bottom crust with the filling.  Use your finger to wet the rim of the bottom crust with cold water to aid in gluing the two pices of crust together.  Drape the top crust over everything.  Seal the edges.  (Trim first if you need to.  Save the trimmings to make cute little pie-top sculptures).

Prick it several times with a fork to let steam escape.  Bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for around an hour.  Check, and leave it in for 15 more minutes to try and get it to brown.  Even if it's still pale after 15 minutes, take it out and let it cool.

Please send me your suggestions and improvements!

Okay, this is a good recipe!  My pie looks pretty bad, lumpy and pale, but it smells good, and I was able to dig a little of the filling out and a chunk of broken crust through the conveniently-located hole near one edge and I can report that this thing tastes great!  I made a few changes to the recipe (my pan is way smaller than Loy's so there were too many apples, and my crust seemed too sparse), so I will make more crust next time.  Let me know how yours comes out if you actually make this thing!
Last weekend we went up to our friends' house near Mount Mitchell and, among other pleasures, had the treat of sitting in front of their wood-fired cookstove while Loy baked an apple pie and the house filled with the lovely aroma.  I sketched the pie after it came out of the oven.  It looked as beautiful as it smelled and tasted, and one of the amazing things about it was that it was made without sugar or any sweetener at all-- just the apples-- and no shortening in the crust-- just olive oil and a little butter for flavor.  How could something so good be so healthy??

Loy told me how she made it, and then I researched this business of an olive-oil crust a bit and made a few notes of some changes I need to make when I make it today-- I was unable to get the exact combination of apples so I substituted Pink Lady for Jonagold, and we're out of butter today, so I'll be leaving that out and just adding a little salt as per a recipe that calls for only olive oil, unbleached flour, water, and salt.  I wrote my changes on the page stub between the two sides of the page spread.

I promise to draw my results and post again after I make it, no matter how mine comes out!