CakeSpy Note: This is part of a series of Pie Slam Profiles, featuring the recipes and stories of each of the 9 entrants in last week's Pi(e) Day Pie Slam! This entry, for one of the tastiest apple pies I've ever tried, came along with a good story from Stephanie Crocker, who you may know as the owner of Sugar Bakery + Cafe in Seattle (where this pie will be joining the menu soon!).
The Only One
By Stephanie Crocker
First, you’ll have to ask which one? Should it be the one that's over 50 years old and therefore antique? Or is the correct term retro? Shall it be the tart one, the crisp one, the green one, the light green one, the round one, or the biggest one? Or perhaps it should be the new fangled cross-bred that marries the best of the best with the best of the best? Or perhaps it should be a blend, each fruit hand chosen with the help of the tall messy haired produce guy?
And once that’s decided, how will it make you feel? Will it be what you think it would be like to sit on your grandmother's porch on a late summer afternoon? Or will you remember working your way through a large box of them with the other girls from the neighborhood, everyone’s tiny fingers all pruney from the juice? And don’t forget the stickiness of the kitchen on a hot afternoon, with frequent dips in the pool next door to rinse off and cool down. Will there be visions of a red checkered curtain, flapping over it as it sits in the window sill?
And what will it be like when it’s ready, this perfect circle of warmth? What will it do for you besides fill the room with spicy goodness as it sits on the counter waiting for ice cream? What will those cute little chunks of goodness swimming around in a sea of cinnamon goo taste like? And how about that dark crunchy crust, as it crumbles apart with every bite?
And then when should you eat it? On a summer picnic? After the meat and potatoes have moved along? Or maybe sneak some at breakfast before everybody wakes up? It really doesn’t matter, the moment is now.
It's the only one I'll ever truly love to eat. It's the only one I truly love to make. It's the best version of an everyday fruit that I can think of. It’s one of the most difficult ones to make just right. And though this sounds pretentious, I really only love my own. I’m so sorry to the other’s I’ve tried. But don’t just run away and cry, I’ll be happy to share my love with you. Let me tell you how to make my apple pie.
...and here's the recipe!
- 2 cups (10 oz) all purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons (3/4 oz) granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon (2.5 oz) vegetable shortening, preferably chilled
- 1 Stick (4 oz) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
- 1/8-1/4 cup (2-4 oz) cold water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla*
Yield: Crust for one 2-crust pie or two 1-crust pies.
- Using stand mixer, blend flour, sugar, and salt with paddle attachment in mixing bowl. Slowly add shortening and butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add vanilla. Slowly add water until dough just comes together and is slightly wet.
- If mixing by hand, blend flour, sugar, and salt with a fork. Add the shortening and butter and blend with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Add vanilla. Slowly add water and blend with your fingers until dough just comes together and is slightly wet. Be careful that your hands do not warm the dough too much.
- Form dough into a flat disk, wrap with plastic and let dough chill for about 1 hour or overnight.
- Dough can be stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, or frozen for up to a month. Crusts can be rolled out and stored in the freezer as well.
- 2 each Golden Delicious (about 1 lb)
- 2 each Granny Smith Apples (about 1lb)
- 1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
- 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Peel and core apples* and cut into ½” chunks. Toss in granulated sugar and cinnamon and blend with lemon juice. Pour into unbaked pie crust and top with 1 cup streusel or second crust. Bake 40-50 minutes until mixture is bubbly.
*Peeling apples is optional.