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Apple Pie


Can it be an American Thanksgiving without apple pie? I would wager there would be open rebellion if I did not bring my apple pie to Thanksgiving; it’s classic, delicious and seeing it on the table is very comforting.  By getting to bake it, my house gets to smell beautifully seasonal, full of apples and spice. 
I think the biggest challenge with apple pie is selecting the right apple. The apple needs to keep its shape when cooked; although I love them, it rules out Macintosh, which mushifies when exposed to heat. Granny Smiths are commonly used but a pie with just them can be a little bit too tart; Golden Delicious is another traditional selection but those pies can be a little too sweet. My solution was to use half and half. Bingo! A perfectly balanced pie!
I love double crust pies because then I can have a lot of fun with the top crust. For apple pies to be served at Thanksgiving, I love to use my leaf cookie cutters and cover the pie with crust cut; it looks like a crust of fall foliage. The added benefit is that the crust sinks with the apples as it bakes, preventing that strange hollow dome that happens to most double crust pies as the fruit bakes and shrinks.
Serve this up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and finish the Thanksgiving feast with a bang! 

Ingredients:
3 granny smith and 3 golden delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced and tossed in one teaspoon lemon juice
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
Egg wash
Sparkle sugar, for decoration

Crust:
3 cups of Pastry Flour
18 Tbsp Cold Butter, cut into cubes
½ tsp Salt
6 to 10 Tbsp of Ice cold vodka

Method:
In a food processor add the flour and salt, pulse once to incorporate.
 Add the butter, pulse about 10 times or until the butter is about the size of peas and distributed evenly.
While pulsing add 1 tablespoon of vodka at a time until the dough comes together when pinched between your fingers.
Dump the dough in a lightly floured surface and quickly form into two disks.
Wrap dough and pop it in the fridge for about half an hour before using. 

Roll each disk out into a ¼ inch thick circle and place one into a 9 inch pie plate. If you like, cut out dozens of leaves with special cookie cutters for the topping. Trim and crimp the edges of the bottom pie and pop it and the leaf cut outs into the fridge for 30 minutes before baking.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Toss the apples, spices, salt, flour and sugar together, making sure to coat the apples evenly. Pour the apple mixture into the pie plate, and cover with the cut out pie crust leaves. Brush them with egg wash and sprinkle the sparkle sugar on top.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour, coving the edges with foil if they start to brown prematurely. Cool the pie on a wire rack for 2 hours before serving. Enjoy!

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