Apple pie is a timeless dessert. It also happens to be one of my very favorites! The tartness of the apples combined with the buttery flakiness of the crust, makes this one delicious treat.
Finding a "negative" attribute of this dessert is hard to come by. However, one drawback I have encountered over the years is the dreaded soggy crust. I've put the Baking Steel through the paces, and I'm excited to say - problem solved!! Placing the pie plate directly on top of the Baking Steel will create a perfectly cooked bottom crust. If you own a Baking Steel, do yourself and your friends a favor-bake a pie today. You wont get the same results from a regular pizza stone. The only problem you'll have is deciding who gets the last piece!
Create some love!
It's been a while since I have made an apple pie, so i'm referring to a couple of my favorite peeps to give me some help. For this basic apple pie, i'm adapting a recipe from Alexandra Stafford from Alexandracooks.com fame...
2 rounds pie dough 8 apples, whatever you like, I used Granny Smiths 3/4 cup to 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons butter (cold or room temperature) 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon cream for the egg wash (use whatever egg wash you like)
1. Place your Baking Steel on the middle rack and preheat your oven to 400ºF . We're going to use parchment paper on the steel to allow for spillage. *original temp called for 425 F, I reduced 25 degrees for the heat retention of the steel. Preheat for 30 minutes.
2. Peel the apples and cut into large chunks. Place in a large bowl and toss with the 3/4 cup of sugar, the cinnamon, and the juice from one lemon. Set aside
3. On a lightly floured work surface, place one pie dough round in the center. Roll it out into a circle two inches larger in diameter than your pie plate. Fold the circle in half and in half again. Place in your pie plate and unfold. Press down gently so that the dough fits into the corners. Place pie plate in the fridge while you roll out the second round. Roll the second round out in the same fashion, making it a touch larger in diameter than the first round if possible.
4. Dump the apples into the center of your pie plate, distribute evenly. Take some butter and cube, scatter over the apples . For the top layer, cut out some interesting shapes (I made little circles, let the creative juices flow). Lay the second round of pie dough over top. Using scissors, trim the overhanging dough and set aside.
5. Time to crimp, this can be a little tricky. I practiced with my kids play dough. Basically, we trying to merge the top and bottom layer together by pressing them together. The fancy pants pie experts do this beautifully, it just takes a bit of practice.
6. Brush the surface of the pie dough with an egg wash, paint the entire top layer.
7. Launch into the oven onto a parchment lined Baking Steel and bake for 20 minutes at 400ºF. Reduce the temperature to 350ºF and continue baking until golden all over, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour longer depending on your oven. I finished mine off with 2 minutes under the broiler to give it a nice brown lid.
* I wish I stuffed more apples inside
Adapted from Kenji at Serious Eats.com
One thing I learned from both Alexandra and Kenji is that our pie ingredients need to be cold, cold, cold. I threw all the ingredients into the freezer for a good 30 minutes after I had cut and measured them.
12.5 ounces all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pats
6 tablespoons cold water
1 Combine 2/3rds of flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse twice to incorporate. Spread butter chunks evenly over surface. Pulse until no dry flour remains and dough just begins to collect in clumps, about 25 short pulses. Use a rubber spatula to spread the dough evenly around the bowl of the food processor. Sprinkle with remaining flour and pulse until dough is just barely broken up, about 5 short pulses. Transfer dough to a large bowl.
2 Sprinkle with water then using a rubber spatula, fold and press dough until it comes together into a ball. Divide ball in half. Form each half into a 4-inch disk. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before rolling and baking