Sunday, September 21, 2008

the best apple pie

I'm not what I would call a pie person. I will gladly eat pie, but I don't crave it the way some people do. There is only one apple pie I love though, and that's the one they bake at the Big Apple Farm in Wrentham, Massachusetts. Somehow it always seems to stay warm long after we bring it home, which I'm sure adds to my fondness for it.

We haven't visited the Big Apple this fall though, so I thought I would try to make my own. I used King Arthur Flour's The Best Apple Pie recipe (slightly different on the website from my version, which is from the cookbook). In my version, I used King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour (my regular go-to flour; my grocery store didn't have pastry flour anyway), and substituted vegetable shortening for half the butter called for in the crust. Also, my recipe made a bit more crust than the recipe on the website. In the filling, I used a combination of McIntosh and Gala apples. They weren't my first choice, but were the only apples my grocery had that day that were grown in the U.S. (i.e. "local"). I omitted the rum, and used apple cider instead of boiled cider. I also used cornstarch instead of the King Arthur Pie Filling Enhancer listed on the website, as that was how the recipe was written in the book.

The pie turned out very rustic looking (due to my lack of finesse with the crust). The apples were heaped to overflowing before the pie went in the oven but cooked down appropriately. Note to self: next time put a cookie sheet on the bottom oven rack to catch the drips. The oven was smoking for the last 30 minutes and I ended having to run the self-cleaning cycle right away so I'd be able to use the oven the next day without succumbing to the fumes.

So the result of all this drama is that the pie was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S, worthy (or perhaps superior to?) of being a Big Apple pie substitute. L. and I had it for breakfast (and dessert) for the next several days (it was an enormous pie, even for 2 adults and a teenager to consume).

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