The Pie Diaries – Tourtely Apple Pie

Skipping straight to the ending – this is a classic all-American apple pie which I found in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home To Yours (who else?). If you’re looking for a dessert that really shows how hard you’ve worked on it – this is it. The crust is wonderfully golden, crumbly and sweet but not achingly so. The filling has officially converted me from an apple-pie-hater to a full blown fan. The apples must be cooked till they’re soft and the cinnamon and raisins lend a wonderful flavor to the tarty apples. I’m so looking forward to making this pie with peaches next time like Joe here.
So after the recipe, I’ve tried to make this recipe as pictorial as possible. I hope it lends you a hand during your first pie making!
    Pate Sablee Dough
    Yields: Enough for a double crusted 9″ pie
    Adapted from: Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home To Yours
    360g all purpose flour
    200g caster sugar
    1/2 tsp salt
    250g butter, cut into cubes and frozen
    2 egg yolks
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract, added to yolks
  1. Grease a 9″ pie dish and set aside. Separate the eggs and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour and sugar is using.
  3. Remove butter from the freezer and using just your fingertips, rub the butter chunks into the flour and sugar mixture. Keep rubbing it in till the mixture is grainy and a cheery, buttery yellow. Don’t worry about all the butter granules dissolving in – they should roughly look like the size of oats and peas.
  4. Beat the yolks with extract to combine and add them a little at a time to the flour mixture. Use your hands to bring the dough together with the help of the egg. Incase the dough starts clumping, stop the addition of the egg. I didn’t face any trouble and used both yolks without difficulty. Divide the dough into two parts. Wrap one tightly in parchment paper or clingfilm and refrigerate.
  5. In between two sheets of parchment paper or clingfilm, roll out the remaining dough into a large circle which is about 1/4″ thick. Unwrap the top parchment and working quickly, lift the dough using the bottom parchment sheet and turn it over the pie dish. Press the dough firmly but gently onto the dish. Take off the excess dough from the sides and keep it aside incase some skill full patchwork needs to happen later. Freeze in the piedish for at least 30 minutes before baking.
  6. To bake the crust:
  7. Pre-heat oven to 400oF.
  8. Using the prepared tin, add a sheet of foil over it and pour some uncooked rice or beans onto the foil sheet until the foil starts weighing down.
  9. Blind bake for 20 minutes.
  10. After 20 minutes, remove foil and rice/beans and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes till its lightly browned. Cool and set aside.
  11. To make the Apple Filling:
    5 medium sized Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
    67g brown sugar
    2 tbs water, cider or apple juice (I used apple juice because I had it lying around)
    3tbs butter
    Pinch of nutmeg
    Pinch of cinnamon
    1/2 cup raisins
    1/3 cup ground almonds (I used a mix of slightly ground and chunky)
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  12. While the crust is cooling, make the apple filling by adding peeled, cored and chopped apples to a large sauce pan. Add brown sugar and apple juice, cider or water. Cover and bring to a boil. Cook till you can lightly mash the apples with the back of a spoon. Remove cover and stirring constantly, cook for another few minutes till the liquid evaporates.
  13. To a microwaveable bowl, add 3 tbs butter, a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of cinnamon and vanilla extract. Heat in 10 second bursts till butter has melted. Stir to combine ingredients and immediately pour over apple mixture. Add raisins and ground almonds and stir again. Taste the applesauce at this point and if you’d like a bit more cinnamon or spices, go ahead. Finally, set aside to cool.
  14. Getting ready to bake:
  15. Pre-heat oven to 425oF. Remove 2nd half of chilled dough from the refrigerator for the top half of the crust and roll into a thick, even sized circle in between 2 sheets of parchment paper/clingfilm.
  16. Fill the ready crust with applesauce mixture and smoothen the surface. Dip your fingers in iced water and lightly moisten the edges of the crust with water. (I skipped this step because I overlooked it.)
  17. Using the same method for placing the crust onto the tin, place the top crust dough over the applesauce. Trim off the excess from the sides.
  18. Bake for 20 minutes. Then, turn the heat down to 325oF, remove the pie and working quickly, cover it with a foil tent (domed or peaked at the top). Bake for another 20 – 25 minutes, monitoring closely until crust is golden. Transfer onto cooling rack but serve warm with a generous scoop of vanilla ice-cream.  
  19. The base crust wasn’t perfect – in fact it even shrunk a little so I used up some of the ‘scraps’ aka excess trimmings from earlier and stuck them in places I found were shrinking.
    After everything, I’m hooked! I’m definitely making pies again and again!

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