Wednesday, August 18, 2010

bourbon apple pie

if all the world were apple pie…


Prone to embellishing my pies with fanciful leaves and cutouts, I opted for the rustic look with this one.  The crust, based on a recipe from the ‘Tartine’ cookbook, has an overall texture and flakiness reminiscent of puff pastry.  It would work equally well as the base for a tart or fruit galette.  Brown sugar caramelizes with the bourbon, lending a butterscotchy quality, while crystallized ginger perfumes the apples with delicate spiciness.   

bourbon apple pie

yields 8 servings


1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup very cold water
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
10 tablespoons butter


2 - 3 pounds tart apples such as granny smith, peeled, cut in 1/2” pieces
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice 
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tablespoons bourbon (I prefer Maker’s Mark)
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cold butter, cut into small pieces



Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl, combine water and salt, to dissolve.  Place bowl in refrigerator until needed. 
Place flour in mixing bowl.  Cut butter into 1 inch pieces and scatter over the flour.  Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs with some larger pea-sized pieces.  Drizzle in chilled salt water, gently tossing with a fork until a shaggy dough begins to form.  Mix gently until dough comes together but is not entirely smooth.  Bits of butter should be visible throughout the dough.
On a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into a 1 inch disk.  Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or overnight.
Divide chilled dough in two and place half the dough on a floured surface.  Rewrap the other half and return to refrigerator until ready to use.  Roll dough to 1/8 inch thick, occasionally lifting as you go to prevent sticking.  Use additional flour, as needed.  Carefully transfer the round to a 9-inch pie dish.  Using kitchen shears, remove excess dough leaving a 2 inch overhang.  Cover in plastic wrap and chill while readying the filling.

Place filling ingredients, excluding butter, in a bowl and stir to combine.  Taste and adjust lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon as needed.  Set aside.

Roll out the second half of the dough on a lightly floured surface, to 1/8” thickness.  Pour filling into the crust.  Dot with butter.  Make a hole or ‘x’ in the center of the top crust and carefully place dough over the apples.  Using kitchen shears, remove excess dough, leaving a two inch overhang.  Crimp or flute edges according to preference.  Use dough scraps to decorate the crust or keep it rustic, as I did.

Place pie on a rimmed, foil-lined baking sheet.  Brush crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar.  Bake for about one hour, until golden brown and bubbly.  Tent with foil if crust browns too quickly.  Pie must set for approximately 1 hour.  Serve warm with good quality vanilla ice cream.

Crust adapted from the recipe for ‘flaky tart dough’ in the ‘Tartine’ cookbook by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson.

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