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The Quintessential Apple Pie

Ingredients:

  • About 10 cups heritage apples (skin on), quartered and cored, to mound up high in the pie pan
  • ½ cup (100 grams) sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (3 grams) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) cinnamon
  • 2 gratings nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) allspice
  • 1 tablespoon (12 grams) artisan apple cider vinegar or 1–2 teaspoons (5–10 grams) freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1–2 tablespoons (15–30 grams) calvados or other apple liqueur (optional but really good)
  • ½ cup (73 grams) flour
  • 1 recipe double-crust pie dough (Recipe included)
  • 1 knob butter, the size of a small walnut, cut into small pieces for dotting the top of the filling
  • 1–2 teaspoons (4–8 grams) sugar, for sprinkling on top of the pie
  • Egg Wash
  • 1 egg white plus 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water, fork beaten


Procedures:

I don’t peel apples as most skins become soft in the baking, plus their tannins add flavor to the pie. If there is an apple with skin you find too thick, it’s just “off with their jackets! ” as Henry Ward Beecher wrote. A mix of six to eight different varieties, some for tart, some that hold their shape, and some that don’t, will give you a pie with exceptional flavor and texture.

Slice the apples into ½-inch (1.5 centimeters) thick slices, or chunk them up into pieces you can comfortably get into your mouth.

In a large mixing bowl, put the apples, sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, vinegar, calvados, and flour, and mix lightly until most of the surfaces are covered with what looks like wet sand.

Pour the mixture into an unbaked piecrust, mounding high, and dot with butter.

Roll out the remaining dough, lay it over the fruit, and cut 5 to 6 vents on top. Trim the excess dough from the edges and crimp.

Cover the pie and chill in refrigerator while you preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).

Lightly brush some of the egg white wash over the entire pie, including the edges, and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 375°F (190°C) and bake for 30 minutes longer. 8. Open the oven and carefully sprinkle sugar evenly on top of the pie, then continue baking for 10 minutes more.

Look for steam and a slight bit of juice coming out of the vents before removing the pie from the oven. Get your ear right down almost to the top of the pie and listen for the sizzle-whump, which some call the pie’s heartbeat.

Cool the pie for at least an hour.

Kate McDermott and Andrew Scrivani

 
 
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