Jack's Apple Pie
There is no better combination that warm apple pie and vanilla ice cream. The warm cinnamon apple filling and flaky crust combined with a scoop of vanilla ice cream is the definition of comfort food. One of our group members, Jack recently shared his recipe of apple pie using our very own Tahitian Vanilla. You can see Jack's post as well as many other delicious recipes on our Facebook group, Making Vanilla Extract by VanillaPura.
In Jack's words, here's how to make the apple pie.
Here is the recipe I really like for apple pie.....
Apple Pie Crust
- 2 cups King Arthur Pastry Brand (227g) or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour (240g) or similar.
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 Tablespoons (113g) unsalted butter, cold – I like using French style butter with 82% butterfat – Plugra or the Kerrygold brand are excellent.
- 3 to 5 Tablespoons (43g to 71g) ice water
- 1.5 teaspoons of cider vinegar – This will help prevent gluten from forming and making your pie crust tough.
- Whisk together the flour and salt.
- Cut the cold butter in with a pastry cutter or fork until it resembles coarse lumps. (You can also use a food processor, but be VERY careful to not overwork the dough.)
- Drizzle the ice water in slowly, and add the Apple cider vinegar starting with 3 tablespoons and adding more as you need it, until the dough comes together in a ball.
- Gather it together, divide it in half and press each half into a disc, and refrigerate (wrapped in plastic wrap) for at least 30 minutes.
Apple Pie Filling
- 9 medium apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (about 10 cups or 1531g) juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Apple Pie Spice (a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves)
- 1/4 cup (85g) Boiled Cider– you can also make your own but I prefer King Arthur’s.
- ¼ to 1/3 cup (46g) King Arthur Pie Filling Enhancer (or substitute 1 to 2 tablespoons Instant Clearjel or King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 cup (149g) granulated sugar (increase sugar if you really want a sweeter pie.
- Begin by prepping your apples (peeling, coring and slicing and placing them in a large bowl. I like using a mix of varieties to keep the flavor and texture interesting. Apple pie will be delicious regardless, but I suggest finding the best apples you can get your hands on. Granny Smith are a good choice but feel free to add a couple of other varieties as well.
- The main concern with fruit pies is a soggy crust. This happens because the fruit filling releases lots of liquid as the pie bakes, which soaks the crust and prevents it from staying crisp and flaky.
- Most recipes include a thickener in the filling to help firm up all that liquid. This recipe calls for Pie Filling Enhancer which is a type of starch combined with sweetener and ascorbic acid. You can also use Instant Clearjel (the same type of starch), or you can just use flour if you want.
- Flour has slightly less thickening power, but it will still be effective.
- Add in one extra step to prevent a soggy crust. Slice the apples and toss them with just the sugar, salt, spices, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I like VanillaPura vanilla beans that have been extracted in white rum – Tahitian is a favorite here) and lemon juice (no boiled cider, no thickener). Then I let them sit and macerate for up to 2 hours. If you're in a hurry, you can absolutely skip this step, or just let them sit for as long as you can.
- While they sit, the apples will start to release some of their juices. When you're ready to bake, take the liquid at the bottom of the bowl and put it in a small saucepan (you can also do this in the microwave). Depending on the type of apples, you may have as little as 1/4 cup or as much as 1/2 cup. It doesn't look like much, but it makes a difference! Add the boiled cider and one vanilla bean – split and the caviar scraped into the saucepan and cook the liquid until it has reduced by about half and thickened into a syrup. Don't let it get too thick: It should be easily pourable. Remove the vanilla bean pod.
- Now, add the flour or Pie Filling Enhancer to the sliced apples. Roll out your crust and place the prepared apples into the crust. Drizzle the syrupy reduced apple liquid over the filling – then tops with a few pats of butter and then top with the second crust.
- This method proactively reduces the amount of liquid that the apples will release while baking, and it also adds a wonderful concentrated, almost caramelized, apple flavor to the filling. The boiled cider adds an additional depth of apple flavor, creating a pie that's far more rich and decadent tasting than a regular apple pie, without adding extra sugar or anything else!
- Even if you don't follow this extra step of reducing down the liquid, this particular recipe will still be more flavorful than most because of the boiled cider.*
- When you top the pie with your second crust, you can either use a full crust or decorative topping like lattice or a design.
- Be sure to cut slits in the top of your pie if you use a full top crust. This allows steam to escape, which prevents the top crust from getting soggy and soft.
- Brush with an egg wash and top with sparkling sugar or even better some Vanilla Sugar.
- Bake the pie in a preheated 425°F oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F and bake for an additional 45 minutes. You may need to use a pie crust shield or use some aluminum foil to protect the crust from getting too brown during the baking. The pie is ready when it's golden brown and the juices are bubbling.
I suggest you bake your pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet to help catch any overflow of juices from the baking of your pie. Enjoy!