as much as i love pie and as tasty as apples are…i don’t love apple pie. not even close. not even these pies…cute as they are! i wish i were awesome enough to love this american icon…but i’m not. i love all manner of berry pies, pies made w/ stone fruits of all varieties, sour cherry pie…omg l-o-v-e!
i mean, i’ve tried many an apple pie. some with blackberries and sour cream, caramel or topped with delicious crunchies…but, apple just ain’t doin’ a thing for me. i had a few spoonfuls of this pie, spiced with candied ginger and while i wasn’t put off by any one element or combination thereof, i just wasn’t wowed. i never am with apple pie.
i know, i’m ashamed. it puzzles me too.
so, now that i’ve tried my hardest to make these pies sound as unappetizing as possible, i’ll mention the crust. ohmy. ohmy…is it ever good! i used dorie greenspan’s recipe for “good for almost everything pie dough” and well, the title speaks the truth…except i thought it was better than just good 😉
good for almost everything pie dough
from dorie greenspan
usually i’m an all-butter kind of gal…but i tried this recipe, which has mostly butter and i loved it. i used non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening here with great results. also, if your feeling adventurous you can add a few grates of fresh nutmeg to the dough like i do. i’m a fan of the food processor, but lately i’ve been using a pastry blender with wonderful results…kickin’ it old school 😉 feel free to use either method.
makes enough dough for four ramekin pies with top crusts or for a single crust 9-inch pie.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces and chilled or frozen in the freezer
2 1/2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, chilled or frozen
1/4 cup ice water
2 tablespoons half and half
place all ingredients except for water and half and half in a large bowl. using a pastry blender (fork tines, or even cold fingers) cut the butter and shortening into the flour until you have varied sized chunks of fat (yum!), oaty-looking crumbs and pea-sized balls. add ice water (not ice) about 1-2 tablespoons at a time and blend until dough comes together when pinched.
scrape the dough onto a smooth work surface and shape into a disk. there should still be chunks and streaks of butter visible throughout the dough. wrap with plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.
for ramekin pies, divide the dough into 8 pieces and roll out four pieces of dough to fit inside the ramekins, add filling. roll out remaining dough and top and seal each pie. cut an X in the top of each pie, brush with half and half and sprinkle with sugar(i used sanding sugar for visual appeal) and bake at 350 until the crust is golden brown and the insides are bubbling (for my oven, about 40 minutes).
apple pie filling
i used pink lady apples, i think that granny smiths are better for pie though. use what you prefer.
4 medium apples, peeled, cored and cut into a rough dice
4 pieces of candied ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/2 cup sugar (this will depend on the tartness of your apples)
the juice of half a lemon
combine all ingredients in a large bowl and fold to coat well.