Blueberry Apple Lattice Pie
I like to mix other fruits with apples in my lattice-top pies, in part because with plain apples, the crust and filling are essentially the same color, so the lattice effect is not too striking. Berries and other colorful fruits provide a darker background and accentuate the lattice look.
Even though there’s a gap between fresh local blueberries and apple season in most growing areas, at the urging of my better half—Bev, a diehard blueberry lover if there ever was one—I mixed the two in this pie, using juicy Granny Smith apples and the first of the fresh blueberries coming out of New Jersey. The combination made for a delicious pie whose filling is tinged a gorgeous light blue. Be sure you take the time to do as instructed, arranging some of the blueberries on top of the apples. Otherwise, they may all get buried underneath, and you won’t get the full effect of their pretty color.
1 recipe All-American Double Crust,* refrigerated
7 cups peeled, cored, and sliced Granny Smith or other apples
1 pint fresh blueberries, picked over
1/2 cup sugar
2-½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1. Prepare the pastry as directed, making half of the pastry just slightly larger than the other. Shape the larger half into a disk, and the other half into a square; both should be about 3/4 inch thick. Wrap the pastry as usual and refrigerate it until firm enough to roll, about 1 hour.
2. On a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the disk of pastry into a 13-1/2-inch circle with a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan. Center it, then peel off the paper. Gently tuck the pastry into the pan, without stretching it, and sculpt the overhang into an upstanding ridge. Refrigerate.
3. Prepare the filling by combining the apples, half the blueberries, the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice in a mixing bowl; toss well. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
4. On a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the remaining pastry into a 12 x 10-inch rectangle. With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut the pastry into 8 lengthwise strips, each 1-¼ inches wide. (In other words, you should have 8 strips measuring 12 inches long by 1-¼ inches wide.) Set aside.
5. Turn the filling into the refrigerated pie shell, moistening the rim of the shell slightly. Smooth the top of the filling, then scatter the remaining blueberries on top.
6. Lay 5 pastry strips vertically across the pie, evenly spaces. Fold back strips 2 and 4, and lay another strip directly across the center of the pie.
7. Unfold the folded dough strips, then fold back strips 1, 3, and 5. Lay another perpendicular strip across the pie.
8. Unfold strips 1, 3 and 5, then fold them up the other way. Place another perpendicular strip across the pie, then unfold strips 1, 2, and 4. Trim the strips, then pinch the ends of the strips onto the edge of the pastry. Lightly brush the pastry strips with milk and sprinkle the pie with sugar.
9. Place the pie directly on the center oven rack and bake about 25 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and place it on a large, dark, baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Return the pie on the baking sheet to the oven and bake just until golden brown and any visible juices bubble thickly, another 40 to 45 minutes.
10. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and let cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.
YieldMakes 8 servings
*All-American Double Crust
To my mind, an all-American crust should include butter, for great flavor; vegetable shortening, for tenderness and flakiness; and white flour, not whole wheat. The recipe also must be generous enough to make a top and bottom crust, because a big double-crust pie is what I believe most people envision when they think of the classic all- American apple pie. This recipe meets all of those criteria. You can make this pastry by hand (directions follow), but I nearly always make mine in a food processor. This is about as large a pastry recipe as I would recommend preparing in a food processor, for the simple reason that an overcrowded processor will not mix the pastry evenly, likely resulting in tough crust. To prevent this from happening, whenever I stop the machine, I “fluff” the ingredients with a fork to loosen anything that may have begun to compact under the blade.
If you’ve made other pastry with vegetable shortening, you may have noticed it doesn’t firm up quite like a butter pastry does; it remains softer, which can make the pastry slightly more difficult to roll, especially in warmer weather. To counter this tendency, I like to put the fully refrigerated pastry in the freezer for about 10 minutes before I roll it.
It makes a difference.
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 tablespoon salt
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1/4 cup cold vegetable shortening, cut into pieces
1/2 cup cold water
1. Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor; pulse several times to mix. Remove the lid and scatter the butter pieces over the dry ingredients. Pulse the machine 5 or 6 times to cut the butter.
2. Remove the lid and fluff the mixture with a fork, lifting it up from the bottom of the bowl. Scatter the shortening pieces over the flour mixture and pulse the machine 6 or 7 times. Remove the lid and fluff the mixture again.
3. Drizzle half of the water over the flour mixture and pulse the machine 5 or 6 times. Remove the lid, fluff the pastry, and sprinkle on the rest of the water. Pulse the machine 5 or 6 times more, until the pastry starts to form clumps. Overall, it will look like coarse crumbs. Dump the contents of the processor bowl into a large mixing bowl.
4. Test the pastry by squeezing some of it between your fingertips. If it seems a little dry and not quite packable, drizzle a teaspoon or so of cold water over the pastry and work it in with your fingertips. Using your hands, pack the pastry into two balls, as you would pack a snowball. Make one ball slightly larger than the other; this will be your bottom crust. Knead each ball once or twice, then flatten the balls into 3/4-inch-thick disks on a floured surface. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before rolling. About 10 minutes before rolling, transfer the pastry to the freezer to make it even firmer.
To mix by hand
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl. Toss well, by hand, to mix. Scatter the butter over the dry ingredients; toss. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut the butter into the flour until it is broken into pieces the size of split peas. Add the shortening and continue to cut until all of the fat is cut into small pieces. Sprinkle half the water over the dry mixture; toss well with a fork to dampen the mixture. Add the remaining water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and continue to toss and mix, pulling the mixture up from the bottom of the bowl on the upstroke and gently pressing down on the downstroke. Pastry made by hand often needs a bit more water, so add it 1 to 2 teaspoons at a time—if it seems necessary—until the pastry can be packed. Form the pastry into balls, as instructed above, then shape and refrigerate it as directed.
Apple Cherry Pie with Coconut Almond Crumb Topping
Sweet summer cherries, coconut, and almonds make for an irresistible pie combination. I can’t get sour cherries often, but when I can, I like to use them here, increasing the sugar just slightly. As for pitting the cherries, there are various gadgets for doing so, and I’ve seen a trick for using a paper clip. But I just put them in a large bowl—to keep the splatter contained—and press down on the end of each cherry (the end opposite the stem) with my thumb. If the cherries are the least bit ripe, the pit will come right out.
1 recipe Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry,* refrigerated
5 cups peeled, cored, and sliced apples
3 cups pitted and halved fresh cherries
3 tablespoons amaretto
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Coconut Almond Crumb Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
1 tablespoon milk or light cream
1. If you haven’t already, prepare the pastry and refrigerate it until firm enough to roll, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
2. On a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the pastry into a 13-½ inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Invert the pastry over a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan. Center it, then peel off the paper. Gently tuck the pastry into the pan, without stretching it, and sculpt the overhang into an upstanding ridge. Put the pie shell in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
3. To make the filling, combine the apples, cherries, amaretto, vanilla, and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl; toss well. Mix in 1/2 cup of the sugar. Set aside for 10 minutes. Preheat the over to 400 degrees.
4. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with the cornstarch. Sprinkle over the fruit and toss well. Turn the filling into the frozen pie shell. Smooth the filling with your hands to even it out. Place directly on the center oven rack and bake for 35 minutes.
5. While the pie bakes, make the topping. Put the flour, sugar, salt, almonds, and coconut in a food processor and pulse several times to mix. Remove the lid and scatter the butter pieces over the dry ingredients. Pulse the machine repeatedly, until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Add the milk and pulse again until the crumbs are more gravelly in texture. Refrigerate.
6. After 35 minutes, remove the pie from the oven and place it on a large, dark baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Carefully dump the crumbs in the center of the pie and spread them evenly with your hands. Press on the crumbs gently to compact them. Put the pie on the baking sheet back in the oven and bake until the juices bubble thickly around the edge, another 35 to 40 minutes.
7. Transfer the pie to a cooling rack and let cool for at least 1 hour before slicing.
8 to 10 servings
*Flaky Cream Cheese Pastry
I love this fine, tender pastry. It’s about the only pastry I use to make hand pies (turnovers), and it’s the perfect choice for thin, delicate, double-crust pies. Unlike the other pastries in this collection, the fats are incorporated into the dough not by cutting them in, but by creaming them together, then blending them into the dry ingredients, a method that ensures even distribution. One thing you should know about this crust is that a cream cheese dough, once you start to roll it, gets soft quicker than an all-butter pastry—so don’t delay when you’re working with this crust. For that reason, I prefer to make this pastry in the cooler months, not in the middle of summer. No matter when you make it, though, here’s a little trick: if the dough starts to get soft and sticks to your rolling pin, simply slide the pastry—waxed paper and all—onto a baking sheet and put it in the fridge for 5 minutes. Then take it out and continue to roll. This recipe is written for a large stand-up mixer fitted with a flat beater. If you don’t have one, use the hand method.1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1. Put the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a large stand-up mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment. Blend for 30 to 45 seconds on medium-low speed.
2. Sift the flours and confectioners’ sugar into a medium-size mixing bowl. With the mixer on low, add the dry mixture to the creamed mixture about 1/3 cup at a time, blending reasonably well after each addition. You don’t have to wait until the previous addition has been entirely incorporated before adding the next, but do give it some time.
3. When all the dry ingredients have been added and the dough starts to ball up around the beater, stop the machine. Remove the bowl and scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough gently 3 or 4 times, then shape it into a ball. Place the ball on a lightly floured sheet of plastic wrap and flatten it into a disk about 3/4 inch thick. Wrap the disk in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1-1/2 hours, until firm enough to roll.
To mix by hand:
Using a wooden spoon, cream the butter and cream cheese together in a medium-size bowl. Sift the dry ingredients together, as instructed above, then add them to the creamed mixture, stirring well after each addition. When the dough coheres, proceed as directed above.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.