Pie Baking Spectacular

27th October 2009

Due to the pouring rain this weekend we were forced to stay inside, so we had an apple pie baking contest (big dorks, I know, but we had SO much fun!). Four entries were made – all incredibly different (mini pies, pie with vanilla bean and cream, etc). I’m proud to admit that my friend Karen and I won the grand prize with this amazing cheddar cheese crust recipe from Martha Stewart (great find, Karen!).

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Ingredients – Pie Crust

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for rolling
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar (6 ounces)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Directions

  1. In a food processor, briefly pulse flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter and cheddar; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, with a few pea-size pieces of butter reamining. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons ice water. Pulse until dough is crumbly but holds together when squeezed (if necessary, add up to 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon at a time). Don’t overmix.
  2. Divide into two disks. Turn dough out onto a large piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic over dough; press to shape into a 1-inch-thick disk. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour (or up to 3 days). See Cheddar-Crusted Apple Pie for rolling and fitting instructions.

Ingredients – Pie

  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 pounds Granny Smith apples
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, with rack in lowest position. On a floured piece of parchment paper, roll each disk of dough to a 14-inch round with a floured rolling pin. Transfer one round to a baking sheet for top crust; refrigerate. Wrap second round of dough around rolling pin; unroll over a 9-inch pie plate for bottom crust. Gently fit into bottom and up sides of plate (don’t stretch dough).
  2. Place lemon juice in a large bowl. Peel, quarter, and core apples; thinly slice crosswise, tossing with lemon juice as you work. Add sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt to bowl; toss to combine.
  3. Fill bottom crust with apple mixture; lightly brush edge of crust with water. Place top crust over filling; press all around edge to seal with bottom crust. Using kitchen shears, trim to a 1-inch overhang; fold under itself to form a rim, and press to seal. Using thumb and forefinger, crimp rim.
  4. With a paring knife, cut five small slits in the center of pie; place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes; reduce heat to 375 degrees, and bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, 45 to 60 minutes more. If rim browns too quickly, cover it with aluminum foil. Let cool completely on a wire rack, at least 4 hours (or up to overnight) before serving.

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