There’s not much that’s more “American” than apple pie. In fact, when I think about iconic American culture, the first things that come to mind are baseball, hot dogs, apple pie… and Chevrolet? Wait, how did Chevrolet cars get on this list!? As a toddler, I used to watch this Chevrolet automobile advertisement on television, and can recall the jingle to this day! “Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevroloet.” Chalk it up to the power of advertising!
OK, back to food. In July, I wrote about Marta’s mixed-berry pie, which was to die for! This month, Marta went back to fruit pies and baked the traditional American-style apple pie. And it did NOT disappoint! It brought me be back to the days of eating apple pie with a bottomless cup of coffee at my favorite Brooklyn diners. Or Entenmann’s-brand traditional and snack-sized apple pies, both of which I associate with growing up in New York City.
The “star” of the fruit pie is the filling. And when it comes to apples, Poland is rich in both quantity and variety. For this particular pie, Marta decided to mix a couple of different semi-sweet varieties, which created great flavor and composition. And while the filling was mouth-watering wonderful, what really blew me away while biting into this baked beauty was the crust, which had a smooth, buttery-flavor that reminded me of butter cookies. It was like two desserts in one!
Try baking this recipe during the holidays and I can guarantee you will make your friends and family very happy! 🙂
200 g (7 oz., less than 2 sticks) butter
90 g (about 3 oz.) lard (or butter)
450 g (3.6 cups) flour
6 tablespoons powdered sugar
4-6 tablespoons ice cold water
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
pinch sea salt
6 large apples (less sweet type)
2 tablespoons brown non refined sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 teaspoon fresh thyme, very finely chopped
1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped (optional)
Prepare the crust from the ingredients listed on the left using the same method as in Flaky Galette Crust recipe. Adjust the amount of water used, start from 3-4 tablespoons and add more (one by one) if the dough is too dry and doesn’t want to come together. Form it into a ball, wrap into plastic wrap and place in the fridge.
In the meantime, prepare the apples. Peel them, cut in quarters, then core and slice them into 1/2 cm slices. Place everything in a bowl, add cinnamon, sugar, thyme, lemon zest and juice. Mix to coat the apples evenly.
Saute the apples on a large pan with a bit of butter over medium heat (around 5 minutes). Stir regularly so that the apples fry evenly. Take the pan off the heat when some of the juice evaporates and apples are still rather firm but caramelized a bit (light golden brown). Set aside to cool.
In the meantime preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F) and butter the pan you will use for baking (round, 23 cm).
Take the dough out from the fridge and divide it evenly into two pieces. Put one back to the fridge. Roll the remaining one to 3-4 mm thickness and try to keep the round shape. Delicately roll the dough onto the rolling pin and transfer it into the baking pan. Adjust it using your fingers, pressing gently so that it sticks to the edges and bottom. Cut off the excess dough (up to the height of the pan).
Distribute the apples evenly over the dough. Delicately cover them around the parameter of the pan with the dough stuck to the rim (simply un-stick the dough using your fingers and cover the apples).
Take the other piece of the dough from the fridge and roll it out the same way as the previous one. Transfer onto your pan and cover the apples. Cut the excess and delicately press with your fingers to stick the top and bottom layers of dough together.
Cut out the X shape incision in the middle of the pie (it will help the moisture escape). If you feel like decorating further, use cookie-cutters to make holiday shapes from the excess dough. Arrange them on your pie to your liking.
Place the pie in the oven, bake for around 45-60 minutes (depending on the oven, rather 45 minutes with the fan on). It’s ready when the top is a nice, light-golden brown.
Serve hot or cold with your favorite ice cream, chocolate sauce or simply a cup of coffee 🙂