Saturday, November 15, 2008

Rose Levy Beranbaum's Designer Apple Pie

I made this for my boyfriend to share with his business school group. When I asked him how they liked it, he told me that he ate the whole pie himself.

Open-Faced Designer Apple Pie Recipe (slightly adapted) from: The Pie and Pastry Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum

1 recipe Flaky Cream Cheese Pie Crust
for 9-inch lattice pie
1 egg white, lightly beaten
2 1/2 lbs. apples; (about 6), peeled, cored, and sliced 1/8-inch (should equal 8 cups)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Make the dough. Remove one piece of dough from refrigerator. If necessary, allow it to sit for about 10 minutes until it is soft enough to roll. On floured pastry cloth or between 2 sheets of lightly floured plastic wrap, roll pastry 1/8 inch thick or less and large enough to cut 12-inch circle. Use expandable flan ring or cardboard template as guide and sharp knife to cut out circle. Transfer it to the pie plate. Trim the edge if necessary so that it extends 1/4 inch past edge of pie plate. Cover the pastry lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for minimum of 1 hour and maximum of 24 hours. Roll out the second piece of dough 1/8 inch thick and cut about twenty-six 2 1/2-inch leaves, using cutter or small sharp knife. Use small sharp knife to make veins. Cover and refrigerate.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees for at least 20 minutes before baking. Line the pastry with parchment, pleating it as necessary so it fits into the pan, and fill it with dried beans or peas. Bake for 20 minutes. Carefully lift out the beans with parchment. With fork, prick the bottom and sides and bake 5-10 minutes more or until crust is pale golden. Check after 3 minutes and prick any bubbles that may have formed. Cool the crust on a rack 3 minutes, so it is no longer piping hot, then brush the bottom and sides with lightly beaten egg white.

In large bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, sugars, cinnamon, and salt; toss to mix. Allow the apples to macerate for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 3 hours at room temperature.Transfer the apples and their juices to colander over a bowl to capture the liquid. The mixture will release at least 1/2 cup of liquid. Over medium heat, boil down liquid with butter until syrupy and lightly caramelized. Swirl liquid but do not stir it. I like to add 1 additional tablespoon brown sugar and butter to increase the amount of syrup. Meanwhile, transfer the apples to a bowl and toss them with the cornstarch until all traces of it have disappeared. Pour 1/2 of the hot syrup over the apples, tossing gently. (If liquid hardens on contact with apples, allow them to sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes or until moisture from apples dissolves it.) Arrange the apples, overlapping the slices in concentric circles in the pie shell, starting from the outside edge. Keep adding more apples, using the tip of a knife to help insert them in between the other slices, until you have used all the slices. Pour any remaining apple juices evenly over the apples. Brush the baked pie crust rim with egg. Brush the bottom of each leaf with egg and place the leaves on the border, tilting them and overlapping them slightly. Brush the top of the leaves with egg. Cover the pie loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 30 minutes before baking to chill the pastry . This will maintain flakiness.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F for at least 20 minutes before baking. Set an oven rack at lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on it before preheating. Place large piece of greased foil on top to catch any juices. Set the pie directly on foil-topped baking sheet and bake 15 minutes. Cut a round of foil to fit over the apples and the edge of the crust and crimp it in 3 or 4 places to create dome. Cover pie with the foil and cut 3 steam vents in the foil, about 3 inches long. Continue baking for 45 to 50 minutes or until the juices bubble and apples feel tender but not mushy when pierced with a cake tester or small sharp knife. Remove the foil and pour the remaining syrup over apples. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes more or until the top of apples is golden brown. Remove pie to a rack.

Serve warm or at room temperature

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