Happy Fourth of July my friends! This year I decided to start a new tradition for myself: competing in the Annual Apple Pie Baking Competition here in town!
I'll admit it was a bit ambitious... seeing as I had NEVER baked an apple pie by myself before. In fact, I've only ever baked one pie before, a pecan pie, for Thanksgiving two years ago. Don't worry, I'm already planning on practicing my pie making skills more often!
When looking for a perfect pie crust recipe, I decided to go with the all butter crust from the cookbook, "Art of the Pie" by Kate McDermott. Kate is a master pie baker who happens to be from the little town that we live in. Her all butter crust is flaky, but not too crumbly, and perfectly flavorful. I went to one of her book signings years ago and got her book so I was excited to put her recipes into practice! The crust recipe below is her, but I'm proud to say that the filling was my original recipe!
For the crust:
14 Tbsp cold butter
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup ice cold water
For the filling:
5 apples (Granny Smith or Fuji)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 Tbsp flour
For the bourbon caramel:
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp bourbon
In a large bowl, grate cold butter. Add flour and salt, then combine until mixture resembles a crumble. Add cold water and mix with a fork until mostly combined. Divide dough into two round disks, wrap with plastic and chill for at least 1 hour.
After the dough has chilled, place disk on a floured surface. Roll each disk out evenly into a large circle - large enough to cover the surface of the pie tin and over the edges. Place the bottom crust into the pie tin.
Peel, core & thinly slice apples into a large bowl. Toss apples with the rest of the ingredients. Add the apple mixture into the pie tin on top of the bottom crust.
For the sauce, melt butter in a saucepan. Add both sugars, bourbon and stir continuously until sauce begins to bubble. Let the sauce bubble for about 2 minutes. Pour the mixture over the apples. Place the top crust over the pie.
This is where the creativity comes into play. Seal the edges of the top & bottom crust together. Add a pattern or leave a rustic design (like me!). Add holes to the top crust for venting. Bake at 375 for 50-55 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
Serve warm with vanilla ice cream, or make the night before for an event with friends and family. This pie has the perfect balance of sweetness and spice with a perfectly flaky crust. I hope you enjoy baking it as much as I did!
-The Happy Egg