Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lazy Apple Pie

Monday morning, heavy rain was falling. July is almost ending which bring us to the heavy rain and stormy season in little Manila. This means chilly mornings, damp afternoons and heavy rain at night. I don't mind this at all, so long as I'm indoors. There's something calming about rain when you're not under it. In fact, I like the sound of rain just as I'm about to sleep. I have this theory that if it's raining, there's less chances of a ghost, vampire or serial killer out my window to attack me. I figured that it's only in movies where killers attack their victims under heavy rain because in reality, it's such a drag! You can barely move under the rain and it'll be such a mess with all the mud.

But enough of my reasons on why I wouldn't attack on a stormy night, let's chow. For the past couple of days I have had an increasing craving for pie crust. Not for pie, although pie's good too, I just really want a good pie crust (I partly blame you, Roxy). My favourite part of the pie is the crust. Good, buttery crust that doesn't fall into pieces when you slice into it. Searching the web on a rainy morning, I found a pie dough post entitled The One Pie Dough to Rule Them All it's called Fro-Dough - okay, I'm kidding, that actually came form one of the comments, I just thought it was really funny.

Moving on, I just had to make this pie dough and upon opening the fridge, I saw a lonely apple and decided to make a lazy pie.


A lazy pie is like a tart, that it's open-faced and the crust is only for the bottom. As much as I would love to make a full pie with slits and crimps, I only had one apple to use, and the cold, rainy weather was making everything lazy. A lazy pie is simpler to make and it has a nice rustic feel to it since it's far from a perfect-looking crust. Perfect. 

Pie Crust
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 cup cold salted butter, cut into cubes
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp cold water


In a large bowl, mix the butter with the flour using your fingers (make sure your hands are clean!).


Pinch the butter cubes, incorporating them into the flour until they resemble cornmeal. 


Make a well in the middle and pour 1/4 cup water. Mix the dough until it comes together, adding the extra tablespoon of water halfway (when there's a little more loose bits that won't come together).


Wrap in wax paper and chill for 20 minutes.


Unwrap the dough when it's chilled and flatten with a rolling pin. Ideally, you'll want to roll and fold a couple of times to make buttery, flakey layers of crust. When the dough is rolled out, fold into thirds and roll again. When the dough starts to get wet, wrap in wax paper and chill for another 20 minutes.


Quarter the apples before coring and peeling. This makes the task so much faster, believe me. You won't miss the longest apple peel game. Slice them thin. Normally, I would use Granny Smith apples for pies because they're a lot more tart and it's easier to adjust the sugars.


When you're ready to bake the pie, take out the dough and cut just enough for your pie - I cut about 1/4 of mine since I would only be using 1 apple. Roll it out as thin or thick as you prefer, so long as there's enough space for the apples.

Layer the apples on the dough (it's best if you do this on the baking sheet already or a pan so you don't have to move it). Sprinkle with 1 tsp cinnamon and 2-3 tbsp sugar.


Roll the excess crust over the apples a bit, just enough so they would stay in place and give a good hold.


Bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Let cool a bit before transferring to a plate. Eat this however you like, with a dollop of crème fraîche or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. On this cold day however, I like it with a tall glass of milk. Yummy and comforting.


The crust was chewy and buttery and oh-so good. How could you ever go wrong with apple pie on a rainy day? Cinnamon, buttery crust and milk? Perfection! I have more pie dough as you would have noticed and I'm looking to bake more pies, or even pie pockets. Mmmmm. Now to think of a good filling. Any suggestions? 

As ever,
Isobel

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