My son, Justin, has always loved my apple pie and when the sky opens up, the wind whips across the Bay and all hope of taking the boat out is lost in a roll of thunder and a flash (or two) of lightning–that pie (and a James Bond or Star Wars movie marathon) will have me tripping over him in the kitchen! It seems it is one of those ultimate comfort foods for the foiled fisherman (or disgruntled golfer)!
Rainy Sunday Deep Dish Apple Pie
1 carton (two rolled up crusts) of refrigerated readymade pie crust
6 Large (7 medium) Granny Smith apples–peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
1/3 cup all purpose flour (plus a little more for dusting counter for rolling out pie crusts)
1/3 cup + 2 T. sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon (+ additional for sprinkling on top of finished pie before baking)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2 T. chilled, unsalted butter cut into cubes
1 T. raw sugar (for sprinkling on top of finished pie before baking)
Place apple slices in a large mixing bowl, in a small bowl mix together dry ingredients–flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Toss dry ingredients with apple slices in large mixing bowl–ensuring that slices are well and evenly coated. Set aside.
Remove pie crusts from the refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature about 20 minutes before handling. Wipe the counter with a damp cloth (not wet) and sprinkle the “extra” flour on the dampened counter. Spread out the flour to about 12″ across in any given direction and fully unroll one of the pie crusts in the center of the floured countertop. Using a rolling pin and starting in the center of the dough and rolling out, smooth out all bumps, etc.–always slightly lifting the rolling pin as you reach the ends of the dough to make certain it is the same thickness throughout. Be careful NOT to make the dough too thin while making a circle of the dough about 11″ across.
Fold the pie crust in half, dust off the flour on the bottom and carefully drape the crust across 1/2 of the 9″ glass pie pan. Unfold the draped pie crust to cover the rest of the pan and working from the top of the sides down, gently move the crust down into the corners of the bottom of the pan while ensuring there is about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch of the pie crust remaining above the top rim.
Slowly begin to pour the apple slice mixture into the pie crust lined pie pan–evenly and firmly distributing the slices as you go and ensuring that there are no large gaps between the slices or the sides of the pan. Finish with a center mounded, well rounded distribution of the apple slice mixture. Dot the top of the slices with the cubed butter.
Roll out the second pie crust just as you did the first. Place the half moon of pie crust on one half of the fruit and unfold to cover both the fruit and the protruding ends of the bottom crust. Gently fold the ends of the top crust over and then under the bottom crust edges and then firmly press together as you go around the entire pie. Once you have the edges done you will need to crimp the edges of the pie. Taking the forefinger of your left hand (and pointing to the outside of the pie) press down on the edge of the piecrust and then taking the forefinger and thumb of your right hand press down and on either side of the lefthand forefinger–first wedge made! Continue on around the pie until encircled with wedges.
You always need to cut vents in the top of the pie crust for steam to escape. I usually cut three leaf shapes out and (moistening the backs of the “leaves” with a tiny bit of water so they will stick to the piecrust top) and curve them slightly and then place between the cut outs. Sprinkle “extra” cinnamon and the 1 tablespoon of raw sugar across the top of the finished pie. Place a 2″ collar of aluminum foil around the edge of the pie crust to protect the edges from over browning.
Place the pie in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Remove from the freezer and place pie on a baking sheet or pizza pan with a square of parchment paper on it. Place the pie in a preheated 425 degree oven on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Bake for 40-50 minutes–remove the aluminum foil collar and then finish the pie in the oven for about 10 more minutes to ensure an even golden browning of the pie crust. Place the pie on a cooling rack, cool and serve while still warm.
Guaranteed to chase away any rainy day blues–fishermen, golfers or otherwise!