Monday, July 1, 2013

Pie #2: Double Crust Apple Pie

Rose Levy Berenbaum's cream cheese crust

Cream Cheese Pie Crust Recipe

This pie doesn't have many photos because it was eaten up almost as soon as it could be cut. I think I took a few shots of the leftovers the next morning, but they didn't turn out. This is one of the best apple pies I think I've ever eaten. Or maybe my palate has just changed in a pie-positive way.

The crust is Rose Levy Beranbaum's cream cheese crust which I've been interested in for a while. I will definitely make it again as I loved the flavour. I didn't find it to be as much of a dream to roll out as others have mentioned, but I think that's mostly due to my small, sagging rolling pin and my general inability to roll crusts. This was my first double-crust pie, too. Wait, that's a lie. This was my first double crust fruit pie, but I've made a couple of double crust meat pies before so I don't really have a good excuse for its homeliness.

I don't think I used a particular recipe for the filling, although I did use Rose's method of boiling down the liquid that macerates out of the apples into a thick sauce and adding it back, to avoid a soggy crust bottom. Ingredients-wise, I think I just peeled and cut up some Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples and tossed them with a bit of sugar, a fair amount of cinnamon, a pinch of nutmeg and some lemon juice (possibly a shake of cornstarch? Likely a pinch of salt) before letting them macerate for about an hour before straining out the liquid for the boil-down. Then I tossed the fruit and syrup into the pie crust, finished off the top crust, and baked it all for about 45 minutes at 425F. There are all sorts of fancy techniques for perfecting your pastry baking as well as just its making. Rose's Pie and Pastry Bible is definitely on my wish list.

Best Apple Pie Recipe

Rose Levy Beranbaum's 
Cream Cheese Pie Crust Recipe

You'll need:
10 oz (284g) AP flour
6 oz (170g) Butter
4.5 oz (128g) cream cheese
1 oz (28g) ice water
¼ tsp salt
.5 oz (14g) white vinegar
¼ tsp baking powder

Rose recommends a method where you dump the dry ingredients into a heavy duty ziplock bag with cubes of frozen butter and then use a rolling pin on the bag until the dough is at that nice crumbly stage, before adding the water and vinegar to the bag and kneading it into a disk. I was out of big ziplocks, so I just used my usual method:
Put all of the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk them until you think the baking powder is evenly dispersed. Toss the bowl in the freezer while you cube the butter (and, in this case the cheese). Add the butter into the bowl and let it all get really cold in the freezer for half an hour or so. If you have hot hands, run them under cold water and dry them off before taking the bowl out of the freezer, parking yourself in front of the TV, and cutting the butter into the flour with a sort of snapping motion to make little butter leaves. When the mixture reaches the right consistency, add in the liquid and shape your two disks for over-night chilling. 

Take the cold dough out of the fridge about 20 minutes before rolling it out.

"Rachael from pizzarossa was our lovely June 2013 Daring Bakers’ host and she had us whipping up delicious pies in our kitchens! Cream pies, fruit pies, chocolate pies, even crack pies!"

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