Attention to detail is a hallmark of the recipes found in The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie, and this apple pie is no exception. The filling is pure apple pleasure, macerated with sugar, lemon, and a bit of Chinese five spice, basted in its own syrup and baked in an all-butter crust.
Excerpted from The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie by Paula Haney and Allison Scott (Paula Haney). Copyright © 2013. Photograph by Steve and Anne Truppe.
- Yield:makes 1 9-inch pie
- Active time: 1 hour
- Total time:6 hours, or overnight
- 1 double-crust All-Butter Pie Dough shell (ingredients follow)
- 8 cups (960g) apples, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (10g) tapioca starch
- 1 tablespoon (9g) cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon (2g) Chinese five-spice powder
- 1/2 teaspoon (1.5g) kosher salt
- Crust Dust, for sprinkling
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- Pie Wash, for brushing the top of the pie
- Double-Crust Dough Shell
- 1 3/4 sticks unsalted butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 2 1/4 cups (333g) all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (6.5g) kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon (6.5g) granulated sugar
- Crust Dust
- equal parts granulated sugar and flour
- Pie Wash
- equal parts whole milk and cream
Make the dough: Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Freeze 5 tablespoons (70g) for 20 minutes or overnight; chill the remaining 1 1/8 sticks in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Stir the red wine vinegar into the cold water and set aside.
Combine the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times to combine.
Add the chilled butter and mix for 25 to 30 seconds, until the mixture resembles coarse meal.
Add the frozen butter and pulse 15 to 20 times, until the butter is in pea-sized pieces.
Add 6 tablespoons of the vinegar water and pulse 6 times. The dough should start to look crumbly. Test the dough by squeezing a small amount in the palm of your hand. If it easily holds together, it is done. If not, add 1/2 tablespoon of the vinegar water and pulse 3 more times. Repeat this process as needed until the dough holds together.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead together until smooth; dough should never come together in the food processor.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts and roll each into a ball. Flatten the balls slightly and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator until ready to use, at least 20 minutes but preferably overnight.
Make the filling: Place the apples in a medium bowl. Add the lemon juice and toss with a spatula until the apples are well coated.
Place the granulated sugar, brown sugar, tapioca starch, cornstarch, Chinese five-spice powder, and salt in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl of apples and mix until the apples are again well coated. Set aside to macerate for at least 25 minutes.
Place a colander over a medium bowl and transfer the macerated apples to the colander, making sure to scrape down the side of the bowl to get all the juices, sugars, and starches. Let the apples drain for 25 minutes.
Pour the drained juice into a small saucepan, scraping down the side and bottom of the bowl to get every drop. Bring the apple juice to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and continue to boil the apple juice gently until it thickens, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Once it is room temperature, chill the saucepan in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes.
While it chills, roll out the balls of dough. Each one needs to be rolled into a 14-inch circle, 1/16 to 1/8 inch thick.
Lightly coat a 9-inch pie tin with cooking spray and dust with flour. Rotate the tin to coat the side. Turn the tin over and tap out any excess flour.
Pick one dough circle up firmly by the edges and center onto the prepared pie tin. Tap the pie tin on the counter several times until the dough settles into it. Gently press the dough into the corners of the pie tin with your fingertips.
Sprinkle Crust Dust into the empty pie shell. Pour in the apples, making sure to scrape out any dry ingredients or juices that stick to the side of the bowl. Make a well in the middle of the apples and pour in the thickened apple juice. Gently smooth the pie filling with a spatula and dot with the butter.
If you are cutting decorative shapes out of the top crust, do it now. Try to keep the cutouts toward the center of the top crust. Otherwise, they will get pulled into the crimp and stretched out of shape.
Center the top pie dough round over the pie. Line up the edges of the top and bottom crust and gently roll them under with your thumb and index finger. Work your way back around the pie, pinching the rolled edge up. Make sure the edge is resting on the rim of the pie tin.
Crimp the dough: Grab the edge of the pie shell with the thumb and index finger of each hand, about 1 inch apart. Bring your right hand toward you and to the left as you push your left hand away from you and to the right.
Place your left hand 1/2 inch to the right of the first crimp and repeat the process until you have worked your way around the pie shell. Place your index finger behind each crimp and squeeze the point on the outside of the pie shell with your thumb and index finger.
Vent the pie: follow this step if you haven't already made cutouts. Three or four simple slits in the top crust will do the trick, although pie bakers have used the vents as decoration for centuries, coming up with all kinds of pretty patterns. At the pie shop we use the vents as guides to easily slice the pies into six pieces later.
Freeze the assembled pie for at least 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Brush the top of pie with Pie Wash and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, rotating 180 degrees every 20 minutes, until the crust is dark golden brown and the juices are bubbling thickly through the vents.
Cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.