Full moon apple pie

Sometimes Saturdays are filled with train adventures and you don’t get around to making the pie you promised for a party until quite late at night.  Sometimes you forget to pick apples in the morning when the sun is shining.  Lucky for me, there’s a full moon and it was surprisingly a clear night in Ireland.  Picking apples by moonlight–magical.    I did make this pie crust this morning so it had time to compose itself :}  This is a delicious, delicious recipe for those who are indecisive about apple crumble or apple pie.  It’s the very best of both.   The best part of it all is that I get to fall asleep with the scent of nutmeg, cinnamon, sugar and butter floating in the air.   Sweet dreams indeed!

One should never leave home without a good cast iron skillet. This one is now a world traveller. Thanks Papa and Nana!

Awesome Pie Crust


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, chilled and diced
1/4 cup ice water

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter until mixture
resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in water, a tablespoon at a time, until
mixture forms a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours or
Roll dough out to fit a 9 inch pie plate. Place crust in pie plate.
Press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of the pie plate.

Excellent crust! I’ve made this crust many times, and I finally
mastered the techniques to make it flaky (not recipe’s fault but b/c
inexperience). Previously, I over-worked the dough, used too much
water, and/or didn’t keep the dough cold enough, which made the crust
tough and soggy. Tips: keep it cold & work it sparingly. Chill water
in the freezer until ice crystals begin to form. Cut very cold
UNSALTED butter into cubes & cut it in the flour & salt with a pastry
blender (or pulse in food processor) until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Transfer to large bowl & gently toss water into crumbs 1 tsp at a time
with a fork. Do not use food processor to incorporate water – it’s too
easy to overwork the dough. The dough should have small bits of butter
– this makes the crust flaky. Cool off hands under cold water, pat
dry, gather the crumbs into a flattened ball, wrap in plastic, and
refrigerate. Refrigeration is necessary b/c it allows the gluten to
relax and prevent shrinkage. You may need to roll out the dough twice.
First roll out is usually crumbly, uneven, and has large breaks.
Gently gather in edges to form another ball, flip it smooth side up,
and roll out again. Smooth, round, even crust should be easier the
second roll out.

Dutch Apple Pie with Cinnamon Streusel 


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