Monday, October 11, 2010

American Apple Pie

There is an inverse relationship between the length of time associated with cold weather outside and the time spent in the kitchen. As such, today I sought to make a traditional Gringo Apple Pie - complete with a second crust over the top.  There are thousands of "grandma's classic'' recipes out there for this.  Here's one I came up with.

Granny Smith apples come at a premium here. They’re imported. But I bought them anyway. I also picked up some Bartlett pears and golden raisins to round out the flavors. The use of pears may not be so traditional, but I had an itch.

While Luiz slept – he enjoys his afternoon napizinho – I peeled and sliced the apples and pears. Since my oven runs hot and I did not want to burn the crust, I pre-cooked the apple, etc. filling. Just a little. [Also, whenever any cooked food has a hint of texture still lingering, my Brazilian family and friends comment “Is this raw?” – so I am trying to head that off at the pass.]

After I rolled out the pie dough I dumped the filling into the shell. It looked like not quite enough apples –I was trying to not over do things and I guess I under-shot. Oh well.

Then I topped the pie with crust number 2. After cutting a few holes to let the steam out, I put it into a hot oven for nearly an hour.

There is no way to combine these ingredients and not get a delicious result. But presentation is everything when you are trying to excite your Brazilian relatives to love your U.S. American classic dessert.  For my eye it missed the mark some, but here in the land of no pies, people still loved it (visually and otherwise).

Here is the recipe:

Make a double pie crust, one for the bottom and one for the top.

The filling:

I used 5 Granny Smith apples and three Bartlett pears. I could have added three additional apples. The filling could have been more robust.
5 – 8 tart apples (depending on the size of your pie dish)
3 Bartlett pears
2/3 cup golden raisins
juice of 1 lemon
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup sugar – more or less

Peel and slice apples and pears. Combine everything. Cook over low heat stirring frequently and tasting to correct seasoning. Do not over cook. You are just getting the filling cooked a bit so as to not over bake the pie crust when you bake the whole deal.

The crust:

The divided pie dough (top and bottom crust) should at this point be separated, in a plasitc bag and in the refrigerator temporarily.

Roll out the bottom crust and place it into the pie pan. Leave a little hanging over the edges.

Fill the crust with the delicious filling. Moisten the edge so as to seal the top crust when it is placed on top. Roll out and then place the top crust onto the pie. Fold the extra lower crust over the edge of the top crust. Crimp the top and bottom dough together using a fork, your fingers, or however your grandmother taught you.

Cut a few vents into the top dough to allow the steam to escape.  Place the pie into a hot oven for nearly an hour.

When everything looks and smells perfect – take it out and, after a few minutes, enjoy a terrific piece of apple pie!

Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream are a good idea, but in our house they are forbidden foods, unfortunately.

And we got to use this cute anti-fly netting thingy we picked up in São Lourenço.

Note: Luiz and I did not eat half the pie already.  We took a huge slice over to Zozó.  LOL.


Rachel said...

I love making apple pies! My Mom taught me last Novemeber when she came to help me have my first Thanksgiving in Brazil. My family has decided that I need to do it annually so that my kids know what the holiday is...

And I agree with the apples. Can´t skimp on the apples in an apple pie!

Fiona said...

I've been making savoury pies lately. A few nights ago I made one with potatoes, carrots, cumin, garlic, and a little chicken stock. I cooked it all on the stovetop first and then filled the buttery pie crust and baked it. Yum.

Linds said...

Oh MANNNN thanks for this! Today is Canadian Thanksgiving and I'm totally makin an apple pie (plus Thanksgiving dinner) next weekend.

Wish me luck!

Your pie looks fantastic mmm!

Linds said...

How did you make the pie dough?