Is there any food more synonymous with comfort than apple pie? The image of a sweet grandma placing a piping hot apple pie in the windowsill to cool comes to mind, although I’ve never had a grandma who baked apple pie. Or cooled anything in a windowsill. I really wish I did though. I really love the textural contrast of a Dutch apple pie. There’s something about getting both a flaky, buttery pie crust and a sweet, crumbly streusel topping in one bite that makes my mouth water. Not to mention the thick, soft, creamy apple filling. However the aroma of the apples cooking and the pie baking is pure happiness. Although apple pie isn’t just for the holidays, it sure makes its way around holiday dessert tables. It’s hard to choose when there’s apple pie, pumpkin pie, or perhaps something chocolate.
What’s your favorite, most comforting holiday dessert?
P.S. – If you’re more into traditional apple pie, here’s a recipe for Double Crust Apple Pie.
Taste: So familiar yet scrumptious. Tart apple, warm cinnamon, rich buttery crust, and sweet streusel topping.
Texture: The crust is flaky, the filling is luscious, and the topping is crunchy and crumbly.
Ease: A little more challenging than most of the recipes I post. If you have never made pie dough before, I’d watch a couple of videos on youtube to see what’s going on (like “how to roll out pie dough” or “how to flute pie dough”). The nice thing is that the dough can be made ahead of time. Read through the recipe entirely before embarking! You can do it
Appearance: Is there anything more enticing than an apple pie?
Pros: Comforting, scrumptious, perfect for any occasion especially the holidays.
Cons: Quite a few steps, dirties a few dishes. So worth it though.
Would I make this again? Absolutely.
Dutch Apple Pie
Yield: 8 servings
1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4-5 tablespoons ice water
5 large Granny Smith apples (about 2 1/2 pounds)
4 large McIntosh apples (about 2 pounds)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups (6 1/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornmeal
pinch of salt
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the pie dough:
Process the flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor until combined. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture; cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with butter bits no larger than small peas, about ten 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into a medium bowl.
Sprinkle 4 tablespoons of the ice water over mixture. With a rubber spatula, use a folding motion to mix. Press down on the dough with the broad side of the spatula until the dough sticks together, adding up to 1 tablespoon more ice water if the dough will not come together. Flatten the dough into a 4-inch thick disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 2 days before rolling.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable). Roll the dough on a lightly floured work surface or between 2 sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to a 12-inch circle. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate by rolling the dough around the rolling pin and unrolling it over the pan. Working around the circumference of the pie plate, ease the dough into the pan corners by gently lifting the edge of the dough with one hand while gently pressing it into the bottom of the pan with the other hand. Trim the dough edges to extend about 1/2-inch beyond the rim of the pan. Fold the overhand under itself; flute the edges using your thumb and forefinger or a fork. Refrigerate the dough-lined pie plate until firm, about 40 minutes, then freeze until very cold, about 20 minutes.
Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Remove the dough lined pie plate from the freezer, press a doubled 12-inch piece of heavy-duty tin foil inside the pie shell, and fold the edges of the foil to shield the fluted edge; distribute 2 cups ceramic or metal pie weights over the foil. Bake, leaving foil and weights in place until the dough looks dry and is light in color, 25-30 minutes. Carefully remove foil and weights by gathering the corners of the foil and pulling up and out. Continue baking until deep golden brown, 12 minutes more. Transfer to a wire rack. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
For the apple filling:
Meanwhile peel, quarter, and core the apples; slice each quarter crosswise into 1/4-inch thick pieces. Toss the apples, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl to combine. Heat the butter in a large Dutch oven over high heat until foaming subsides; add the apples and toss to coat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, covered and stirring occasionally, until the Granny Smith apple pieces are tender and the McIntosh apple slices are softened and beginning to break down, about 10 minutes.
Set a large colander over a large bowl; transfer the cooked apples to the colander. Shake the colander and toss the apples to drain off as much juice as possible. Bring the drained juice and the cream to a boil in the now-empty Dutch oven over high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and a wooden spoon leaves a trail in the mixture, about 5 minutes. Transfer the apples to the pre-baked pie shell, pour reduced juice mixture over and smooth with a rubber spatula.
For the streusel topping:
Combine the flour, sugars, cornmeal, and salt in a medium bowl; drizzle with the melted butter and toss with a fork until the mixture is evenly moistened and forms many large chunks with pea-size pieces mixed throughout. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the streusel in an even layer on the paper. Bake until golden brown, about 5 minutes; cool the baking sheet on a wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle the streusel evenly over the pie filling. Set the pie plate on the now-empty baking sheet and bake until the streusel topping is a deep golden brown, about 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature and serve.
From The New Best Recipe