I took Ilva's advice and made something yummy for myself last weekend. I haven't been doing too much real cooking or baking lately, but my son perked up when I suggested that maybe we should bake a pie.
I used a couple of recipes from America's Test Kitchen...their all butter pastry for the crust and their recipe for Deep Dish Apple Pie. It turned out well, and I even liked it better cold!
All-Butter Pie Pastry
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces), plus additional flour for work surface
1 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon sugar
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), cold, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen for 10 minutes
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/3 cup ice water , or more if needed
1. For Pastry: Process flour, salt, and sugar together in food processor until combined, about 3 seconds. Add butter and pulse until butter is size of large peas, about ten 1-second pulses.
2. Using fork, mix sour cream and 1/3 cup ice water in small bowl until combined. Add half of sour cream mixture to flour mixture; pulse for three 1-second pulses. Repeat with remaining sour cream mixture. Pinch dough with fingers; if dough is floury, dry, and does not hold together, add 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water and process until dough forms large clumps and no dry flour remains, three to five 1-second pulses.
3. Turn dough out onto work surface. Divide dough into 2 balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk; wrap each disk in plastic and refrigerate until firm but not hard, 1 to 2 hours, before rolling. (Dough can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. Let thoroughly chilled dough stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before rolling.)
Use a combination of tart and sweet apples for this pie. Good choices for tart are Granny Smiths,
Empires, or Cortlands; for sweet, we recommend Golden Delicious, Jonagolds, or Braeburns.
Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 24 hours. To reheat, remove the wrap and warm the pie in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
1⁄2 cup (31⁄2 ounces) plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1⁄4 cup (13⁄4 ounces) packed light brown sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon juice and 1⁄2 teaspoon grated zest from 1 lemon
1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
21⁄2 pounds firm tart apples (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices (see note)
21⁄2 pounds firm sweet apples (about 5 medium), peeled and cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices (see note)
1 recipe Foolproof All-Butter Pie Pastry
1 egg white, beaten lightly
1. Mix 1⁄2 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, zest, and cinnamon in large bowl; add apples
and toss to combine. Transfer apples to Dutch oven (do not wash bowl) and cook, covered, over
medium heat, stirring frequently, until apples are tender when poked with fork but still hold
their shape, 15 to 20 minutes. (Apples and juices should gently simmer during cooking.) Transfer
apples and juices to rimmed baking sheet and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. While apples cool, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place empty rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Remove 1 disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out between 2 large sheets of parchment
paper or plastic wrap to 12-inch circle, about 1⁄8 inch thick. (If dough becomes soft and/or sticky,
return to refrigerator until firm.) Remove parchment from one side of dough and flip onto 9-
inch pie plate; peel off second layer of parchment. Working around circumference, ease dough into plate by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing into plate bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs plate in place; refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, roll second disk of dough between 2 large sheets of parchment paper or
plastic wrap to 12-inch circle, about 1⁄8 inch thick. Refrigerate, leaving dough between parchment
sheets, until firm, about 30 minutes.
4. Set large colander over now-empty bowl; transfer cooled apples to colander. Shake colander
to drain off as much juice as possible (cooked apples should measure about 8 cups); discard
juice. Transfer apples to dough-lined pie plate; sprinkle with lemon juice.
5. Remove parchment from one side of remaining dough and flip dough onto apples; peel off
second piece of parchment. Pinch edges of top and bottom dough rounds firmly together. Following illustrations 1 through 4, trim and seal edges of dough, then cut four 2-inch slits in top of dough. Brush surface with beaten egg white and sprinkle evenly with remaining teaspoon sugar.
6. Set pie on preheated baking sheet; bake until crust is dark golden brown, 45 to 55 minutes.
Transfer pie to wire rack and cool at least 11⁄2 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.