Well, I did it. A Year of Pie has officially begun and I’m officially obsessed. I want to make pies all day, every day. Despite being a little nervous since it was my first attempt at pie baking, I found the whole process very soothing and cathartic. You know … like the scene from Bridesmaids when Kristin Wiig’s character makes the cupcake. Something like that.

As you can tell from the title of this post, I decided to start with a pretty traditional pie – apple.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

Surprisingly, apple pie isn’t among my favorites. However, a warm slice with a giant scoop of vanilla ice cream is not something I would turn down.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

I originally intended to make this a caramel apple pie. Basically, that would involve topping the apples with caramel sauce before adding the top crust. However, I got so excited when placing on the top crust that I completely forgot about the caramel. These things happen.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

While my mom has a fabulous pie crust recipe, I have decided to try a few others before tackling the family favorite. To make this pie I ended up two different recipes. For the crust, I used the All-Butter Crust recipe from The Four and Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book. For the pie filling, I used the recipe from Honeysuckle Catering. She recently did two YouTube videos with Margo True of Sunset Magazine showiing how to make pie dough and apple pie. After watching both of those videos, I was a little more confident about tackling this recipe. Be sure to check them out.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

Throughout this year I plan to experiment with different pie dough recipes until I find the one I like best. However, I do realize that pie dough is kind of a personal thing and people have their favorites. Be it thin, thick, flaky, buttery, etc. – I recommend testing different recipes to find your own preferred variety. Kind of like what I’m doing.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

And, since I am documenting this for my own reference, I will leave a few notes at the end of the post detailing my thoughts about flavors, etc. So if you are curious about my personal taste notes, you can find those there.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust

Here’s what you will need:

All-Butter Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 cup ice

Apple Filling

3 1/2 pounds apples (6 large or 7 medium), peeled and sliced (1/8th inch thick) I used a mix of Granny Smith and Honey Crisp
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons of flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
1/4 cup milk and sanding sugar for garnish

Let’s get baking:

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and sugar. Then add the cold butter pieces. Use a spatula to coat the butter with the flour mixture. With a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Be careful not to over mix.

Then in a small bowl combine the water, ice, and cider vinegar. Sprinkle about 4 tablespoons of the ice water mixture over the flour and butter mixture and incorporate with a spatula. Continue to add more of the ice water mixture, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, using the spatula and / or your hand until the dough comes together into a ball. If necessary, add small drops of the water mixture to any remaining dry bits.

Split the dough in half and shape each piece into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. (This dough can be refrigerated for 3 days or frozen for 1 month.)

Next, we want to make our apple filling.

Place your peeled and sliced apples in a large bowl. In a medium-sized bow whisk together sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt. Sprinkle this mixture over the apples and mix with your hands or a large spoon to combine. Add the lemon juice and mix again.

Remove your chilled dough from the fridge. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured work surface. (To make this process a bit easier, I rolled mine out between two sheets of waxed paper.) Roll out the dough to 1/8 inch thickness. The dough should be two inches wider in circumference than the size of your pie pan. Use the wax paper or your hands to transfer the dough to your pie pan. Trim the dough leaving about 1/2 inch overhang. Chill the bottom crust while you roll out the top.

Now, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Position your two oven racks on the two lowest levels. On the bottom rack, place a cooke sheet to catch any drips from your pie.

Next, pour your prepared apples into the pie shell. Then, scatter the thinly sliced butter on the top. Next, add the top crust to your pie. I decided to try a lattice top. Instead of explaining how to do that here, check out this awesome tutorial via YouTube.

For a standard top crust, carefully center it on your filled pie. Fold the edge of your top crust over the edge of the bottom crust so it’s flush with the pan. Crimp the edge to seal with your fingers or a fork.

Slash a few decorative steam vents in the top crust. Brush the top crust with milk and sprinkle with sanding sugar.

Set the pie onto the second to lowest rack in your oven. Bake at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F. Bake until the pie is a medium golden brown. You can test the doneness of your apples by sticking a knife into a vent hold. They should feel tender. Let the pie cool at least an hour before serving.

And that my friends is one awesomely delicious pie.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

Served with a heaping scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, this really is perfection.

I’ve never knowingly had a crust with cider vinegar in it. It does add a really unique and tangy flavor. I liked it! However, I will cut back a bit on the amount next time I make this crust. Maybe 1/6th of a cup instead of 1/4th. With that being said though, this dough is bananas! (Bananas = super good). It’s flaky, flavorful, thick, and all around wonderful. I could have just eaten the dough with the ice cream.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

My apples were still a little crisp, so I assume I didn’t cut them quite thin enough or didn’t bake it long enough. It wasn’t enough to bother me, but something I’ll keep in mind next time. My mom also suggested a different apple. She prefers Cortland.

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

My pie also had a fair amount of liquid. I did cut into it a little bitter sooner than I should have. (I was in a bit of a hurry as the sun was setting and I needed to photograph this bad boy. (You may be surprised to learn that I took most of the cut pie pictures in an almost completely dark kitchen. The magic of a good camera and a tripod!) As the pie continued to set, I noticed things thickened up. So, a lesson to you – patience is a virtue. Also, the Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book talked a little bit about using apples in pies. Apparently, there is a way to release some the the liquid in the apples before baking. I may also give that a try next time around.

With all that being said though, the flavors of the pie were still wonderfully delicious and enjoyable. I’m calling this pie a winner!

Apple Pie with All-Butter Crust | Inspired by Charm #ayearofpie

For not being a big Apple Pie fan, I was really pleased with my first attempt at pie. Not only did it turn out beautifully, but it tasted equally delicious.

One down, many more to go! What type of pie would you like to see me tackle next?

Well, I did it. A Year of Pie has officially begun and I’m officially obsessed. I want to make pies all day, every day. Despite being a little nervous since it was my first attempt at pie baking, I found the whole process very soothing and cathartic. You know … like the scene from Bridesmaids […]




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Join the conversation.






 

Can I share a secret with you? I’ve never made a pie crust from scratch. Never. I think I’ve had a fear of it similar to my previous fear of yeast. I think my fear might stem from the fact that it took my mom a few attempts to learn how to make pie crust like my grandma’s. Mom still gets teased about it to this day. Though, I will say, at this point, my mom’s pie dough is pure perfection and I would happily eat any pie she prepared.

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

Though technically not a pie, I can officially say I conquered my fear with this fabulous crostata. And what better way to do it than a classic apple filling. There is something quintessentially American about pie, especially apple pie. With Independence Day just around the corner, I thought this would be the perfect treat for an impromptu porch party. Don’t you think?

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

My favorite part about this particular crostata is the cheddar crust. Apples and cheese are a match made in heaven. Plus, cheese is an American favorite. Cheese and apple pie are so deeply ingrained in our culture that some people can’t picture life without them! Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but you get what I mean. Anyway, cheese and apple pie are the perfect combination for a Fourth of July celebration. Plus, this recipe is as easy as … well … pie!

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

This recipe comes from Martha Stewart. (Thanks, Martha!) You can check it out here. I adapted it slightly to suit my needs. The pie dough comes together in a food processor, which makes it almost foolproof. I also opted to use Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese because I wanted to be able to see specks of orange in the crust. Plus, this particular cheese is so amazingly rich, creamy, and delicious – it was a perfect addition.

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

IMG_9676All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

I know that some of you may be thinking that cheese is a weird addition to pie, but don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. It’s pretty subtle, but it adds a really unique depth of flavor to the dessert. It’s quite wonderful. And to make things even better, your guests will think you are pretty fancy for having cheese baked into your homemade crust.

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

All right, enough chit chat, time to bake!

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust

Here’s what you’ll need:

For The Crust

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for surface
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
1 cup shredded Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten for egg wash
Coarse sanding sugar, for sprinkling

For The Filling
2 tart apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup apricot preserves, warmed

Let’s get baking!

Pulse flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor until combined. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. Drizzle 1/4 cup water evenly over mixture. Pulse until mixture just begins to hold together (dough should not be wet or sticky). If dough is too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse. (I ended up using almost ½ cup of the water) Add cheese; pulse until combined.

Shape dough into 2 disks, and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes or up to overnight. (You can freeze your other disk of dough for up to one month.) Roll out dough to a 13-inch round, about 1/8 inch thick, on a lightly floured surface. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Toss together apples, granulated sugar, flour, lemon juice, and cinnamon. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread filling over dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Fold edges in to form a crust; brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sanding sugar (I didn’t have sanding sugar, so I just used standard sugar. I also sprinkle a little cinnamon on the top of the crostata.)

Refrigerate until edges are firm, about 30 minutes. Bake crostata until apples are tender and crust is golden, about 1 hour 20 minutes. (Mine baked for about 1 hour. I also covered it with a piece of aluminum foil about 40 minutes into the baking to prevent any burning.) Let cool slightly. Brush apples with apricot preserves.

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

That’s it! As you can see, the recipe is fairly straightforward and simple. Be sure to factor in your dough cooling times. They may seem silly, but they are important. While, I’m no pie crust expert, I think my mom would be proud of how well I did on my first attempt.

All-American Apple Crostata with Cheddar Crust via Inspired by Charm

Now, I’m off to dig into this new American classic! What do you think of crostata? Will you be adding some cheddar to your piecrust?

 

  Can I share a secret with you? I’ve never made a pie crust from scratch. Never. I think I’ve had a fear of it similar to my previous fear of yeast. I think my fear might stem from the fact that it took my mom a few attempts to learn how to make pie […]




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Join the conversation.