Wednesday, November 25, 2015

500th POST!! King Arthur Flour: Best Apple Pie

I can't believe I can actually claim this.  This is my FIVE HUNDREDTH POST on this blog.  It seems like just yesterday I was starting out, annoying my family by photographing dinner.  And what a fabulous way to celebrate the 500th post!  With a delicious apple pie!

I'm a firm believer in Thanksgiving being a day to relax.  Not a day to spend in the kitchen slaving away over a hot stove.  Now, food still must be cooked, so I've basically just moved my day of kitchen slavery to the day before Thanksgiving.  I have just finished prepping all my dishes, and to top it all off, this gorgeous apple pie.  This thing smells amazing, and it is taking everything in me to not just cut into it tonight.  But that doesn't mean I can't post it on my blog so everyone else can suffer with me.  Feel free to serve this with Vanilla Bean Salted Caramel Sauce.

Update, now that I've actually tasted said pie: King Arthur Flour wins.  This IS the best apple pie.  Especially with salted caramel sauce drizzled all over the top.  And fresh whipped cream.  Or vanilla ice cream.  Heck, just have this for dinner.

Best Apple Pie
Filling adapted from King Arthur Flour

Pie Crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface and crust bottom
¼ cup cake flour
½ teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
¾ cup (1½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
¼ cup vegetable shortening
1 tablespoons vodka
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water, divided

3¼ pounds (about 9 whole apples, 10 cups) Cortland or other baking apples, peeled, cored and sliced
¾ cup granulated sugar
2½ teaspoons cornstarch
1½ teaspoons apple pie spice
¼ cup boiled cider
1 tablespoon rum (optional)
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Juice of ½ lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

To make the crust: In a large mixing bowl, whisk flours with salt and sugar. Add butter and shortening; use a pastry blender to work it in until the mixture has the consistency of fine meal. Add the vodka and then the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, stopping when the dough just holds together. Toss with a fork until dough starts to form a ball. Turn dough onto floured counter, and knead three times, until smooth. Divide dough into two balls. Flatten each ball slightly and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour.

For the filling: In a large bowl, stir together the filling ingredients, mixing till well-combined. Set aside.

Assembly: Roll one piece of pie crust into a 12-inch round, and lay it gently into a 9-inch pie plate. Spoon in the filling. Roll out the other piece (or make a lattice), lay it atop the filling, and seal and crimp the edges. Brush the top crust with milk, and sprinkle it with coarse sugar, if desired. Or, save out a bit of the crust, and cut decorative leaf designs, laying them in the center of the crust or around the edges.

Baking: Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375°F, and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until the top is brown and filling is bubbly.

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