March 14, 2014

Dutch Apple Pie

It's National Pi Day where mathematicians celebrate that fancy little symbol that represents something I never understood in school. I was never any good at math (sorry, Mrs. Wegerer!), but I can make good crust and good conversation. So that's gotta count for something, right?! So today we celebrate PI(e) Day the Euna Mae way!

Although I have reallllly been itching to make coconut cream pie with Easter on the horizon and warmer, sunnier days, I felt like the most appropriate pie for National Pi Day should be something more American, more classic...a pie that you can make and eat year round. So Dutch Apple pie is it! It's a little bit crust, a little bit crumble, and a whole lotta cinnamon-sugary apples. Dutch Apple pie somehow spans the seasons being perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas as well as lakeside in the summer with a big melty scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. It's one of my very absolute favorites. And it might be delicious for breakfast with a cup of coffee before everyone wakes up. Not that I would know. So. Good.

So Happy Pi(e) Day and have a good weekend! Be sure to follow @EunaMaes on instagram and follow along my trip to the International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago this weekend! 

{makes one 9 - 9.5" pie}

-for the crust-
Recipe for 1 homemade pie crust OR 1 premade pie crust 
-for the filling-
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
4 Pink Lady, Gala, or Honeycrisp apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup flour
 1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

-for the crumble topping-
 Recipe for My Favorite Brown Sugar Crumble Topping

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Position your oven rack to just one rung below middle.

Fit a single pie dough disc into the bottom of a 9 or 9.5" pie dish. Do not use a 10" pie dish. Press into the dish, crimp edges, and put in the freezer while you make the filling and crumble.

Next, follow instructions for the brown sugar crumble topping; set aside.

For the filling, place sliced apples in a large mixing bowl and toss them with the lemon juice. Stir in the 1/2 cup flour and stir to coat the apples. Be sure apples are coated nicely.  In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt. Pour over the coated apples and stir together well.  Remove the chilled crust from the freezer and spoon the apple mixture into the pie dish, making sure that every bit of the sugary/floury stuff in the bottom of the bowl gets in the pie. I always use my (clean) fingers to reposition the apples, making sure they lie nicely in the dish. The apples should fill up the dish. Dot the pie filling with butter pieces. Then spoon the brown sugar crumble topping onto the top of the pie, making sure to cover all of the apples all the way around the top of the pie. Be very liberal with the topping. It might secretly be my favorite part of this whole pie! 

Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Then reduce the temperature to 375 degrees and bake another 35-40 minutes until the pie filling is bubbling and the crust/topping is golden brown. Check the pie occasionally to see if the crust/crumble is browning too much; if so, just lay a loose piece of foil over the pie to shield it from getting any darker. Then let it continue to bake. 

Remove from oven and allow to cool on the sheet pan until the filling stops bubbling; then move to a cooling rack to cool for 3 hours before serving.