Thursday, July 30, 2009

Apple Pie Specifics

Continuing with Apple Pie Tips, here is Rose Levy Beranbaum's ratio for pie filling.

2 1/2 pounds apples (about 6) peeled, cored and sliced
(suggested apples - Macoun, Winesap, Cortland and Jonathan, Granny Smith or Golden Delicious)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon (+/- 1/2 tsp depending on your own taste)
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 T butter, unsalted
1 tablespoon + 1 tsp cornstarch

Beranbaum combines the apples with the lemon juice, spices, sugars, salt and let's sit at room temperature for anywhere between 30 min and 3 hours.
She suggests then transferring apples to a strainer to capture the liquid which will be approximately 1/2 cup.
Boil down the liquid with the 2 T butter to caramel like and thick about 1/3 cup. She suggests swirling, not stirring the liquid.
Meanwhile transfer the apples to a bowl and toss with the cornstarch to thicken.
Pour into pie crust, top with syrup, top crust.
Chill for 1 hour before baking to allow the crust to relax.
Bake at 425 for 45 - 50 min on a cookie sheet to catch any spillage.

My variations include:
1- A mixture of apple varieties
2- I use all brown sugar, not a combination of white + brown sugar. You can also use honey, maple syrup or agave nectar. This is strictly personal choice, but I also taste the apples and if they are sweet, I use less sugar and if they are tart I use additional sugar.
3- I use 2 teaspoons of cinnamon - we like cinnamon
4- I don't always use nutmeg.
5- I use flour, not cornstarch to thicken, again, personal choice.
6-If I think the apples are "dry" as opposed to juicy, I will add apple cider to the apples or orange juice or even lemonade to the macerating fruit. I think this gives the pie an additional layer of flavor and I just reduce the sauce further.

Pie Crusts are an entirely different discussion! I am studying up on those for the future.

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