What better way to end an insanely busy week than with a slice of homemade apple pie. As Fall creeps into the background I can't help but feel a sense of coziness, warmth and quietness. The Summer partying is officially over. Now, it's all about family, week night television and enjoying a slower pace of life. That is, once you leave work for the day.
It feels so strange to be back in my hometown as the sense of familiarity of the seasons is laden with childhood memories, sights, smells, and sounds. A little weird yet so comforting. So why apple pie? A classic for really any season, but Fall is when the Engel apple tree has branches covered in fruit. It's pretty amazing to see, as this Gordon variety Apple tree is seasonally consistent with its fruit production. It keeps not just my Dad happy with Apple Crisps, pies, and cobblers but also the birds that frequent it for the overripe apples that have fallen to the ground.
This pie is a combination of several recipes. Never am I one to follow a recipe, so why not multitask and incorporate three? The crust is from Julia Child; we use Crisco & butter.
Classic Apple Pie with Streusel Crumble Topping
for the crust... Baking with Julia
5 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter cut in cubes
1 3/4 cups solid vegetable shortening, chilled
1 cup ice water
for the Oat-Wheat Germ Streusel Topping... The Perfect Pie
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
a pinch of salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter diced, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a large bowl combine everything with your hands. This is the fun part!
apple filling... The New Basics Cookbook
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
(or maybe a tad more, this is my fav addition)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Egg Wash for Dough
tablespoon of water
Peel and slice the apples and combine everything in the apple filling list together in a big bowl. The cornstarch will thicken the apple filling while the zest will bring out some juices in the apples.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Place into a pie dish. I believe this dough will make two pies, so you can always freeze one of the round discs. Brush the egg wash on to the pie dough and pre-cook the dough for about 8 minutes, or until dough is set.
Let cool. Next add the apple filling. Cover the apples with the Streusel Crumble.
Bake for about 1 1/4 hours, or until the filling is bubbling and the crust edges are golden brown.
phew... that was a lot of direction! Last but not least, Dig In!