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Apple Pie: 100 Delicious and Decidedly Different Recipes for America's Favorite Pie Paperback – Bargain Price, September 13, 2011
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Featured Recipes from Ken Haedrich's Apple Pie: 100 Delicious and Decidedly Different Recipes for America's Favorite Pie
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
Haedrich (Home for the Holidays) has assembled a lively recipe collection that manages not to lag or become repetitive, thanks to his enthusiasm for his subject and to his clever but never outlandish ideas. Starting off with 10 pie crusts (from All Butter to Whole Wheat and Cheddar Cheese), Haedrich carefully explains his methods for reaching pastry nirvana. The pie-filling combinations that follow are both classic and inventive. They begin by reflecting the seasons (apple with pumpkin butter for fall, with blackberries for summer), and move on through special occasions (Apple and Dried Cranberry with Grand Marnier), and projects that can be done with kids (they should like the Apple, Marshmallow and Chocolate Chip Hand Pies). Along the way, there are pies made with specific apples, such as Granny Smiths or Paula Reds; open-faced, latticed and upside-down pies; apples stirred up with custard, boiled cider or Frangipane; and pies topped with gingerbread, coconut streusel and even cheesecake. Frequent sidebars comment on ingredients, techniques and equipment, and Haedrich's friendly advice accompanies each recipe.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I like this cookbook very much. I appreciate the simple, direct instructions. I did not have any real problems with the recipes I tried. Note that the author prefers streusel toppings over the traditional 2-crust pie. I find the instructions to remove a blazing hot, half-baked pie out of the oven and pressing toppings onto it with your hands dangerous and not advisable. The author has not solved the problem of a giant air gap under the top crust of a baked pie; he sidesteps the issue by usually recommending a streusel topping, to be applied halfway through baking. The author also lives in the northeast, so much of his comments about different apple varieties apply to those not usually available on the west coast.
On the other hand, there are a few missing elements, which is rather surprising for a book that is essentially only one recipe with 99 variations. One would expect some hints and problems that relate to most of the recipes in the book, yet none are forthcoming. Since all the recipes have apples, one would also expect an extended section about apples: seasons, different types, which to choose for which recipe, typical characteristics, etc. However, the information about apples is perfunctory. It should also have a section on preparing apples, rolling the crust, and how to flute the edges (some information on this does finally appear on p. 81 in an easily overlooked sidebar), but this information is mostly lacking; there are a few tips hopelessly scattered in random portions of the text where you will never find them when you need them. Information on slicing apples appears in a side bar on page 41. It would be helpful to have some sort of cross reference to tell you which recipe is best for different apples, for those who come home from the market with a bagful of a particular type of apple in peak season. I also object to the organization: the recipes are grouped into chapters, but the groupings do not make much sense. More disturbingly, all the ingredients are listed in volume measure, but do not include weight equivalents. The author lists flour amounts in cups only, but does describe what method he uses to fill the measuring cups (dip and sweep, spooning, sifting, etc.). The apple amounts are usually listed in cups of cut up apples; this is unfortunate, as one buys apples by the piece or pound, not by the cupful, in the market. The author does not supply equivalents or conversions.
All in all, I enjoy having such a large number of recipes for just one thing: apple pies, since I like them very much; you will never run out of new recipes to try. However, any single subject cookbook must be more than just 100 similar recipes jumbled together; it must also cover its subject and its aspects thoroughly and in depth. This book does not meet that standard.
Haedrich has delivered here nearly every conceivable apple pie permutation you can imagine. The purely apple ones include Baked Apple Dumpling Pie, Grated Apple Pie, Apple Cobbler Pie, Apple Upside-Down Pan Pie, Shaker Boiled Apple Cider Pie, and dozens of others. Then there are the pies which fudge the title a little bit and branch out into other fruits: Apple Cherry Pie with Coconut Almond Crumb Topping, Apple and Champagne Grape Pie, several pies combining apples and tomatoes (yes!), Cottage Cheese-Cheesecake Apple Pie, Apple Pie with Prunes and Port, and more. Haedrich even gives us the official recipe for New York State's Official Apple Pie (using McIntosh apples, an apple most knowing bakers would shy away from for use in a pie, as it gets smushy--but he says it's delicious in this particular recipe).
Of course Haedrich also supplies his readers with a broad variety of different pie crusts and gives, as always, all manner of helpful hints based on his extensive home-baking experience. He is a kindly and knowledgeable guide, and his avuncular voice is particularly well-suited to this book. The book boasts an attractive and easy-to-read graphic design (although I would prefer that the color used for headers and sidebars were something other than red, which can be hard on the eyes, it DOES make sense in a book about apples!).
The book includes "A Pie Maker's Guide to Apple Varieties." It would help if I could actually find more than four or five apple varieties at our store, of course. But at least it tells me the characteristics of the various apple varieties so I can substitute an appropriate variety for the exotic ones called for in some of these recipes. (It also helps that recipes often include notes such as this one from the grated apple pie recipe: "The original Pennsylvania Dutch recipe calls for Winesap apples, but any firm, juicy, tart apple, including Granny Smith, will do.") By the time you're done you'll be able to make whatever kind of apple pie you like best, whether that's mushy or firm, juicy or dry, sweet or tart. You'll also find little "helper" recipes in here, like various crust recipes, sauces, and so on.
The layout is clean and clear. Ingredients are delineated by crust, filling, topping, and so on. Direction steps are numbered and broken down into short steps. There's one short spread of color photo pages in the middle of the book, so you can stare at the frozen apple and peanut butter cloud pie and die of sugar shock. We have stumbled across one instance of slightly confused directions so far, but it was easy to figure out how to fix it, and that was the only incident. There's a good index in the back of the book (you can look up recipes by type of apple), and the table of contents lists out each individual pie with page number.
Every single recipe we've made from this book has come out completely and utterly delicious. I'm usually disappointed by apple pie, but not by the pies from this cookbook! Even when they aren't my favorite texture or taste, they're still so good that I don't mind! And they're creative and unusual, guaranteed to keep us from ever becoming bored with apple pie again (apple and brie hand pies, anyone?). So if you enjoy apple pie and don't mind straying a little from the beaten path, this cookbook truly is "Apple Pie Perfect."
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