Have you ever seen the movie Waitress? Fantastic movie, one of my favorites. (And that much more touching knowing the story of its late writer/director/supporting actress, Adrienne Shelly.) Waitress' main character, Jenna, bakes pies and gives them whimsy names according to what's going on in her life: "I Don't Want Earl's Baby" Pie (aka Bad Baby Pie), "Pregnant Miserable Self Pitying Loser" Pie, etc.
Well I decided to name my apple pie! I made this pie before Christmas and froze it, keeping it for a special night where it would be the perfect cap to a great meal. Fast forward to April. After having delicious Maple-Brined Pork Loin with Pesto Pasta and Sautéed Zucchini, I popped this baby in the oven. But just as it was ready, Steve left to run errands and he missed out on warm apple pie... So here you have it - "My Honey Has Left Me" Pie!
Step 1 - Maman's Pie Crust (also known as the Tenderflake recipe)
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 lb tenderflake lard
1 egg, stirred slightly
1 tablespoon vinegar
7/8 cup cold water
Stir the flour and salt together. Cut in the lard with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the shortening is in pea size pieces. In a measuring cup, combine the egg and vinegar. Add enough cold water to make one cup. Stir the liquid into the flour mixture, adding just enough to make the dough cling together. Stir the water in with a wooden spoon until mixed thoroughly, then gather the dough into a ball, and separate into 6 portions. Cover and refrigerate for one hour, you can chill overnite, covered, providing you leave it at room temp for 15 mins before rolling.
Lightly flour surface and roll into circles, then pat the dough into pie pans, following pie recipes. Be careful not to stretch the dough.
Yield: 6 pie shells or 3 double pie shells
Step 2 - The Filling
3 pounds assorted apples (I used Granny Smith apples), peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
In a large bowl, toss together the apples, lemon juice, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; arrange in the chilled pie shell. Dot with butter.
Step 3 - The Sum of All Parts
Brush the rim of the pie shell with egg whites. Place the second piece of dough on top, and gently press over the apples. Gently press the top and bottom pieces of dough together to seal. Using kitchen scissors, trim the top piece of dough to a 1-inch overhang all around. Tuck dough under, and crimp edge as desired. Cut three vents in the top to allow steam to escape.
Freeze until firm, about 30 minutes (or until ready to eat). Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 F. Place pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet, Bake until the crust begins to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 F. Continue baking, rotating sheet halfway through, until the crust is a deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling and have thickened, 40 to 50 minutes more. Transfer pie to a wire rack to cool completely.
Yield: 1 pie
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