Use firm, tart apples for the best results. Exceptional pie-baking
apples include Cortland, Crispin (Mutsu), Fuji, and Granny Smith.
6 to 8 apples (about 4 pounds), peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons brandy
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 tablespoons potato starch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
pie crust, recipe follows
1/4 cup ground almonds
1 egg white, beaten, for egg wash
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine sliced apples, lemon zest and juice, brandy, sugar, starch, salt, and spices.
On a lightly floured work surface, knead dough for a minute to develop a little bit of gluten, making rolling much easier. Sprinkle with flour if dough is too sticky. Roll out pie dough to 1/8-inch thickness. One rectangle should be slightly larger than the other.
Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with the larger of the two rectangles of dough. Spread ground almonds in the bottom of the dough-lined baking dish. Pour in apple mixture, spreading and compacting evenly. Cover with top layer of dough, tucking and pressing the edges together securely. To decorate the edge, use a cookie cutter or sharp knife to cut leaf shapes out of leftover dough, gluing them down using egg wash. Brush the top with egg wash. Cut slits for steam ventilation.
Bake pie on a sheet pan for 45 minutes to 1 hour. The crust should be golden brown and the filling bubbling. Cool completely before slicing and serving. Yield: 10 to 12 slices.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
3 large egg yolks
3 tablespoons sour cream
3 tablespoons dry white wine
Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Pulse to aerate.
Add butter and pulse for ten seconds or until mixture resembles course meal.
In a small bowl, mix together egg yolks, sour cream, and wine. With the food processor running, stream in mixture. Process until the dough comes together.
Divide the dough into two parts, one slightly larger than the other, and wrap in plastic wrap, forming squares. Chill for at least one hour before rolling.
--Recipe courtesy of Joseph Erdos