Tuesday, September 25, 2007

An American Classic

Here she is. The latest in my pie adventures.

Good Ol' Apple Pie. Exquisitely simple. Extremely delicious.

Now that I've earned my "dough chops," so-to-speak, pie has become a whole new ball game.

The obnoxious child in me wants to get decorative and crazy.
But, something in my inner being told me to start where everything starts, at the beginning.

And, just like A starts the alphabet, so Apple starts the pie list in the sky.

So, I eventually told my overzealous alter-ego to calm the fuck down, and I went out and got some Granny Smiths and Fujis. Mixed them with some lemon zest, cinnamon, allspice, sugar, flour, and threw them into this bad-boy.


Simplicity. It's always a good place to start.


pinknest said...

beautiful! beautiful! bravo! so what are your tips for pie dough? do you do it all by hand and with your favorite pastry cutter or what?

i'm about to go on my pie orgy as well!

Brooklyn Bitch said...

Pinknest- Thank you, thank you! I am so pleased with myself.
As for tips, USE A PASTRY BLENDER to cut in all your ingredients, then, add ice water while STIRRING with a FORK. I found this to be much better than using my hands. Sometimes the flour/butter mixture takes more water than you expect. And, when you make dough discs (before chilling), don't worry if it's a little crumbly. That was where I was going wrong. Just mix it enough so that it forms a mass. Then Chill it! GOOD LUCK! I love pie! You best be postin' pictures!

Marc said...

Fabulous! It looks great, and you should be pleased with yourself - you have mastered crust, which is 3/4 of the magic of pie!!! Aren't pastry blenders great? Woo-hoo! Now any recipe I give you will seem like child's play! But you need to make this one now that you are a crust expert.

Meringue is not quite as hard as mastering crust...but so few people know how to make a good meringue...pity.

This is one my favorites. And you will love it, 'cause you get to use your microplane.

Lemon Meringue Pie
2 c. warm water
1/4 tsp. salt
7 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/4 c. sugar
6 eggs, separated, at room temperature
1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
1/3 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (2-3 lemons)
1 Tbsp. butter
Pre-baked single pie crust

When separating eggs, there must be absolutely no yolk in the whites. If a yolk breaks into your whites, you must start over (because fouled whites won't beat into meringue), so work carefully. You will only use three of the yolks, reserving all six whites for the meringue.

Put crust into pie pan and prick bottom and sides with fork. Begin baking crust when you start the filling so that crust will still be warm when filling is completed. Bake bottom crust until lightly browned.

Using a whisk, mix cornstarch with sugar and salt in saucepan. Slowly whisk in the warm water and place saucepan on medium heat. Cook until mixture thickens and is glossy, about 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly. Mixture should just be at the point of boiling. Stir a small amount of the hot filling into the three beaten yolks. when mixed, return yolk/filling mixture to filling and stir, cooking for about three more minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in lemon juice, lemon rind and butter. Pour into warm baked pie shell and top with meringue.

6 egg whites, at room temperature
dash of salt
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 c. marshmallow creme
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Beat the egg whites with the salt and cream of tartar until whites start to form soft peaks that disappear when you lift the beaters. Add marshmallow creme and beat just until blended, then add sugar and beat until stiff peaks, that hold their shape when the beater is lifted, form. Add vanilla and stir in by hand with spatula.

Heap meringue in a ring at the edges of the pie, working carefully and quickly to preserve volume. Ease the filling to the edges of the crust with a spatula to seal the filling in. When filling is completely covered, work the meringue carefully into the center of the filling, being careful not to form air pockets between the filling and meringue. Now using the back of a fork or spoon, lightly press into the meringue and then lift away, forming curled peaks all over the meringue. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned all over. Cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate.

I'll give you my cherry pie recipe if you'd like it - it rocks.

Brooklyn Bitch said...

Marc- Are you kidding?! I'd LOVE your cherry pie! I'm actually planning on making one tonight, but, I'll be making a lot of pies in the next few weeks methinks.

Reid Hawkins said...

This Apple Pie was terrific.....Growing up a southerner I ate A LOT of apple pie and yours is up at the top of the list. Thanks for letting me enjoy a piece!