Sunday, September 27, 2009

Apple Pie and Ice Cream

Recently, I had some unexpected time on my hands. So, my niece, great niece, and my daughters headed to the apple orchard. We picked apples, enjoyed the cool brisk air, and laughed. Nothing better than the great fall weather to get you in the mood for home cooking.

This recipe for Apple Pie is one that I created after doing lots of research and testing about different techniques for the filling. I wanted to eliminate the space between the crust and apples after the pie is cooked. The apples are compact yet still in tact. The bottom crust is tender and flaky, the top crust tender yet crunchy. Yummy! And, what goes better with Apple Pie than vanilla ice cream. Needless to say we pigged out!

Now, I am thinking about a pumpkin pie. What can I do to be creative with pumpkin?

Apple Pie

Begin Filling

8 to 10 Medium Apples (I like Granny Smith or Honeycrisp)
1 Cup Sugar

Peel apples. Cut apples into wedges. Place in large bowl and add sugar. Toss to combine. Place apple mixture in a colander and then place the colander into a large bowl. Let rest for about 1-½ hours.

Double Crust Pastry

3 Cups Flour
2 tbls. Sugar
1 tsp. Salt
½ tsp Cinnamon
¼ tsp Nutmeg
½ cup Crisco Shortening (well chilled)
½ cup Butter (well chilled)
¼ cup Ice water

Place all dry ingredients in the food processor. Pulse 5 or 6 times. Add chilled butter (I cut it into small pieces). Pulse 5 or 6 times. Add shortening (I cut it into small pieces) and pulse 5 or 6 times.

Drizzle half of the water and pulse fix or six times. Add remaining water and pulse until mixtures in course crumbs. At this point, I test the pastry to see if it hold together well. If it is not moist enough add water 1 tablespoon at a time. Divide dough in half and shape into disks. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Back to the Filling

1 Cup Sugar
1/4 cup Flour
1 tbls. Cinnamon (more or less according to taste)
½ cup Apple Cider

Put apples back in a clean bowl. Reserve liquid that drained from apples. Mix apples with flour, sugar and cinnamon. Set aside

Place reserved liquid in a saucepan along with apple cider in a small saucepan. Reduce until you have a thick syrup.

Roll piecrust and place in a 9” pie pan. Place apples in pie crust. Roll and top with second piecrust. Cut three vents in top crust. Brush with reduced syrup.

Place pie in a preheated 375 degree oven. Bake for 1 hour or until pie crust and golden and the apple are fork tender.

Cool completely before slicing. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Vanilla Ice Cream

8 Egg Yolks
2 cup Sugar
2 cups Half & Half
4 cups Heavy Cream
4 tbls. Vanilla Extract
10 Pounds Ice
Ice Cream Salt or Rock Salt

Combine eggs yolks and sugar in a medium bowl. Whisk until well combined and a light yellow color. Pour Half & Half in a medium saucepan. Heat milk until it bubbles gather around the edges of the pan. Do not boil. Gradually add the warm milk to the egg mixture, stir while adding to prevent eggs from cooking.

Return mixture to saucepan, cook over medium heat, until thick. This should take about 7 to 10 minutes. Chill mixture in the refrigerator for a minimum of 1 hour. I usually cool it overnight.

Just before your ready to freeze the ice cream, add the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Stir until well mixed. Pour into ice cream maker and freeze according the manufacturers directions.

This recipe makes 2 quarts.

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