spectating participant

February 23, 2006

Deep-Dish Apple Pie

Filed under: cooking, food — suzanne henderson @ 10:01 pm

While downloading some pictures off of my camera, I found some of an apple pie I made some time last year. I guess it is about time to write it up.

I used the “The Problem with Deep-Dish Apple Pie” from [Cooks Illustrated]’s September & October 2005 issue. Like all Cooks Illustrated articles, this one addresses many of the problems with a standard recipe as they test many ways to resolve them and to get the perfect* taste. The first thing I have to say about this recipie is that it takes a long time from start to finish. And, while I enjoy cooking and really enjoy good [food], I do have a limit to the time and energy that I will put into one dish — this recipe hit both of those limits by the time it was done.

First thing first, you must make the pie crusts. I know why I see so many shows and recipes talking about how simple a pie crust is; because, no matter how many times I try and how closely I follow directions, it never seems to work out right. Now, my crust did turn out nice in the end, but the time that it took to mix and mold and rest and roll and rest just took too long. Yes, it was far superior to what a store bought crust would have done, but I still find their connivence worth the reduced results. The image above shows off the beauty of the crust and I am impressed that it turned out so well; however, I don’t think I’ll bother to make the crust next time.

For the filling, you must pick the right apples, the right combination of apples. You need to balance sweet (golden delicious, braeburn, jonagold) with tart (granny smith, empire, cortland) apples. I think that I went with granny smith and golden delicious for my pie. So, you get 5 pounds of apples and start peeling and slicing. Luckily, I have an apple peeler, slicer, corer which made this task possible. Without it I would have given up before I even started. You actually cook the apples on the stove top before you fill the pie. In this step, you add minimal ingredients to the apples, cook, and then cool on a baking sheet. The seasoning on the apples is limited because the goal is to have a strong apple taste, not a sugary or overly spiced filling.

You then add the filling to the prepared crust, top it off with another crust, cut a few slits in the top, and brush on some egg white and sugar. It came out wonderfully. The crust was perfect and the slice shows that the apples retained just enough body and that there was no gap between the filling and crust (the double cooking of the apples was done to prevent this). Yes, it did taste quite wonderful, especially with a scoop of my favorite ice cream on top. However, I will not make this recipe again. I love apple pie and this certainly stood up to my standards on taste, but the effort involved was too much. Instead, I know a farmers market that makes wonderful deep-dish apple pies for much less effort on my part. That has the benefit of supporting local farmers and freeing up my time for other things.

* perfect is relative