Thursday, November 18, 2010

Apple Pie in a Frying Pan

I LOVE apple pie! In fact, since I can remember, I'm the one that has always made the apple pie for my family for Thanksgiving.  It's always the same two crust pie, with apples covered in sugar and cinnamon.  I had a sudden burst of energy this weekend (probably after drinking my gingerbread latte)- and I went through stacks of old Cook's Illustrated magazines.  And this apple pie recipe jumped out at me.  I'm all about easy and one pan lately (wonder why).  I was skeptical about it once I read that there was maple syrup in the recipe, but decided to try it anyways.  Typically my apple pies have not turned out well in Japan and I have always blamed it on the apples.  This pie was scrumdiddliumptious!  This might be my go to recipe now (especially since I just realized I did not pour one whole cup of pure sugar over my apples).

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP vegetable shortening (crisco)
6 TBSP cold butter (they recommended unsalted, I had to use salted- noticed no difference)
3-4 TBSP cold water (yes, I actually, put ice in the water to get it colder- saw the tip online)

1/2 cup apple cider (I used apple juice- in the magazine, they tell you to use 1 cup juice and reduce to 1/2 cup, I did not and my pie was still delicious)
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 TBSP Lemon juice (I used fresh squeezed)
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp cinnamon
2 TBSP butter (again, they recommended unsalted, I used salted)
2 1/2 lbs apples (I used 4 large- you can use 5 or 6 medium)

For the crust, pulse flour, sugar, and salt in food processor, or mix with fork.  Add in the butter, cut into 1 TBSP sized pieces.  SInce the butter was cold, my kitchen-aid dough hook did not break it up, so I did put it in the food processor for a few seconds, then put it back in the kitchen-aid for the water addition.  After the butter is cut into the flour, and looks like crumble, add 3 TBSP ice water.  Mix until dough forms a ball- if necessary, add 1 more TBSP water.  Form ball of dough and wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 days).

***Before making the filling, preheat the oven to 500'.  Note:  I was worried my pan was not oven safe past 350', so I set it at 350' and increased the cooking time.  If the oven is at 500', cooking time was suggested for 20 minutes.  I left mine in for about 35 minutes at 350', until the top was golden brown.

For the filling, peel apples and cut into thin slices (1/4-1/8")- set aside.  In small bowl, whisk together cider, syrup, cornstarch, lemon juice, and cinnamon- set aside.  In an oven proof skillet, preferably 10-12 inch size, over medium-high heat, melt butter until bubbly.  Add apples into skillet and cook about 4-5 minutes, tossing occasionally.  Do not overcook.  After the 5 minutes, turn off the heat, add in the juice mixture and toss to coat all the apples.  While this is cooling down for a moment, get the crust out of the fridge.

Lightly flour the counter and roll out the dough to approximately 10" circle.  Place the dough on top of the apples in the skillet.  Using a sharp knife, gently score the dough down the center and then two cross cuts, so it looks like it is cut into six pieces.  The explanation is that the juices will bubble up over it and make the crust crispier.

Let cool, serve alone or with vanilla ice cream.

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