Northwest NEWS

November 1, 1999

Home & Garden

Dining In: 'An apple a day...'

Apple Pie

The Best Apple Pie Ever

Crust:
   2-1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
   3/4 tsp. salt
   1 c. (2 sticks) butter, cut into 1/4 inch cubes and frozen for 30 minutes or longer
   6-8 Tbsp. cold milk, buttermilk or water

Filling:
   10 c. peeled, sliced tart apples, such as Cortland or Granny Smith (about 10 apples)
   2 Tbsp. butter
   1 tsp. cinnamon
   1/8 tsp. allspice or ground cloves
   2 tsp. vanilla
   1 Tbsp. lemon juice
   1 Tbsp. dark rum (optional)
   3/4 c. sugar
   1/3 c. unbleached all purpose flour

   Crust: Combine flour and salt in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the frozen butter using two knives, or a pastry blender until the flour forms coarse, uneven crumbs. (Note: for the flakiest crust, leave some chunks of butter larger than the others.) Add the milk and stir until the pastry starts to come together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and pull it together into two balls. (If the dough won't hold together; sprinkle it with a little extra milk or water.) Flatten each of the balls into a disk, wrap well, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

   Filling: Melt the butter slowly in a large saucepan. Toss the apples with the remaining ingredients and add to the saucepan; cook on medium-high heat, stirring often, for about 15 minutes. When the apples are crisp-tender and the juice is thick, remove them from the heat, and cool.

   Assembly: Remove one dough disk from the refrigerator. Flour both sides and roll it into a 12-inch round. Fold it in half, then in quarters. Gently place it in a 9-inch pie plate. Unfold and gently pat into place. Roll out the other piece of crust as directed above and set aside. Preheat oven to 425. Spoon the filling into the bottom crust, and cover with the remaining crust, sealing and crimping the edges. Brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. Cut several small slashes in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven heat to 375 and bake for an additional 35 to 40 minutes, until the top is brown and the filling bubbly. Remove from the oven and cool for 1 hour (or longer) before slicing. Makes 10 servings.

Apple Crumb Coffeecake

   1-1/4 c. all-purpose flour
   1/2 c. sugar
   1 package yeast
   1/2 tsp. salt
   1/4 c. water
   1/4 c. milk
   1/3 c. butter or margarine
   2 large eggs
   2 cooking apples, cored and sliced
   Crumb Topping (recipe follows)

   In large bowl, combine 1 c. flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, and salt. Heat water, milk, and butter until very warm (120-130 degrees). Gradually add to dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed with a electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally. Add eggs and 1/2 c. flour. Beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in remaining flour to make a stiff batter. Spread evenly in greased 9-inch square pan. Arrange apple slices evenly over batter. Sprinkle crumb topping over apples. Cover; let rise in warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes or until done. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool on wire rack.

   Crumb topping: Combine 1/3 c. sugar, 1/4 c. all-purpose flour, 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, and 3 Tbsp. cold butter or margarine. Mix until crumbly. Note: For best results, use a pastry blender to cut in the cold butter or margarine. Mix ingredients until coarse crumbs form. Makes 12 servings.