Monday, March 19, 2007

The Apple Pie That Won The Judges Over

My sister is an avid magazine collector having started with fashion magazines and after she got married, have been obsessed with interior-design magazines. My love for mags like House Beautiful and Better Homes and Gardens actually stemmed from her and before I knew it, I had my own little collection that I keep reading and salivating back to whenever I get the itch to redesign the rooms in the house or just looking for inspiration and dreaming of my ultimate dream house! Im very partial to country designs, and loved the show Shabby Chic in the Lifestyle Network, which unfortunately does not show anymore.

But as I realized later on, I was looking less and less at the home designs and more on the recipe section usually found at the latter part of most home magazines. My favorite is Country Living, where not only do I like the home designs but the country, rustic recipes that almost always accompany it. This particular issue featured the Iowa State Fair, an annual event which gives out blue ribbons to winners of the best of the best of country cooking!

I was ever so curious to try out this recipe, which won the Best All-American Pie category and awarded the blue ribbon prize to a certain Christine Moltavo. Thanks Christine for this wonderful recipe! The apple pie crust was real flaky and the apples not mushy at all but chunky with just the right hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. Although I haven't tried that many a recipe of Apple Pie, I can clearly see this a winner!

All-American Apple Pie
Adapted from Country Living, August 2005

3 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups cold unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks), cut in cubes
6 tbsp coldvegetable shortening
3 cups Golden Delicious apples, cored, peeled and sliced
3 cups Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cornstarch

To make dough
: Place the flour and 3/4 tsp salt in a bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse to combine. Add 1 cup plus 2 tbsp butter and the vegetable shortening and pulse 6 to 8 times, until it resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle 4 tbsp cold water over hte dough and pulse 3 to 4 more times. Add more water until the dough holds together. Form the dough into 2 disks, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

To make the filling
: Combine the apples, lemon juice, sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg and remaining salt in a large bowl and toss. Let sit for at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours. Brain apples, reserving liquid. Toss apples with cornstarch, and set aside. Place 1/2 cup of the reserved liquid in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add remaining butter, bring to a boil and let cook until thick and syrupy. Do not stir. Add the syrup to the apples and gently toss to combine.

Bake the pie
: Heat oven to 425F. Roll out one disk into a 12-inch round about 1/8 inch thick, on a lightly floured surface. Fit the dough into a 10-inch pie plate. Trim dough, crimp edge, and fill with the apple filling. Roll out the second disk fo the top crust. Cut out leaf shapes (I cut out heart shapes) and place over the apples, each slightly overlapping the other, to form a top crust. Cut several slits to vent the pie. Bake until the juices bubble through the slits, 45 -55 minutes. Let cool for at least 4 hours before serving.

I couldn't wait four hours, the smell is just so invting and yummy! I served it still hot within one hour from the oven with a side of cold thick vanilla-infused whipped cream!


valentinA said...

I've no doubt why it won the award!
It looks simply delish Dee!
btw, I'm like you, I got hooked on mags thanks to my mum:)

Dee said...

Thanks Stella, it really was yummy! And yah, mags are quite addicting! :)

darlene said...

...ei sis! everything looks so yummy in here. i can use ur recipes esp now... i really wish dat we can work 2geder with our ideas.. . quit our jobs. do wat we really love n be fashionably domesticated. keep it up. CHEERS to your BLOG!

Dee said...

hey thanks! im sure with that new oven of yours, you'll also be hooked! and now we can swap recipes! :)