My Mom's Apple Pie with All Butter Flaky Pie Crust
Makes one pie
For the filling
6 to 8 tart apples, peeled, cored and cut into ¼-inch slices (6 cups)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
¾ to 1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Place apples and lemon juice in large bowl; stir to coat apples. Add brown sugar, cinnamon, salt and flour. Toss to coat. Melt butter in large saucepan and add apples mixture. Sauté until barely tender and juice is slightly thickened. Remove apples and chill.
350 grams (2-2/3 cups) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 sticks butter, cold, cut into small pieces
5 to 6 ounces iced water
8- or 9-inch pie pan
Crust dust: 1½ teaspoons each, flour and sugar
Egg wash: egg, 1 tablespoon water
Sift flour and salt into a large bowl. Add butter pieces to bowl and "pinch" them in loosely. You need to see pieces of butter. Make a well in the bowl and pour in about two-thirds of the cold water, mixing just until you have a rough dough, adding extra water only if needed.
Cover with plastic wrap and leave to rest for 20 minutes in the fridge.
Turn out onto a lightly floured board, pressing together gently and form into an 8-x-11-inch rectangle, roughly the size of a sheet of paper.
Rolling dough in one direction only, until 3 times the width, about 8-x-18 inches. Keep edges straight and even. Don't overwork the butter streaks; you should have a marbled effect.
Fold the top third down to the center, then the bottom third up and over that. Give the dough a quarter turn (to the left or right) and roll out again to 8-x-18 inches. Fold as before, cover with cling film and chill for at least 20 minutes before rolling to use.
Remove dough from refrigerator and cut in half, rewrapping unused portion.
To make lattice top: On floured surface, roll remaining dough out to similar size as first, also ¼-inch thick. Using a section large enough to cover the top of your pie, cut strips of dough with a pizza cutter. To replicate my pie cut 14 -- ½-inch strips and 4 -- 1½-inch strips, using a ruler as your guide.
Now here is the trick: place a piece of parchment on the "back" of a cookie sheet. (No sides on your pan.) dust with flour. Place one row of dough strips, side by side leaving about 1/8-inch space between each, on the parchment in the following order: 2 thin, 1 thick, 3 thin, 1 thick, 2 thin. To create the lattice, you will need to begin by folding back every other strip you just put down, half way, or to the middle of the strip. Place a thin strip across this area, and fold down the pieces you just lifted. Continue by lifting every other strip again, but this time it should be the ones you did not lift last time, folding them back toward the center, and the strip you just laid down. Continue this process, remembering the "thin and thick" order listed above, until you have achieved a complete crust. (To make this easier -- simply use equal sized strips.)
Once your lattice top is assembled, feel free to cut some decorations for the top of your pie out of the remaining dough using cookie cutters, in my case it was a maple leaf. In order to adhere them to the lattice, using a pastry brush, apply a small amount of egg wash to the area of the lattice where your decoration will go, and place your decorative pieces on top. If you'd like to add sparkling sugar to your decorations, brush with a little egg wash and sprinkle on the sugar. Place cookie sheet in refrigerator for 10 minutes.
Place remaining dough on floured surface and roll out to ¼-inch thickness in as round a shape as possible to accommodate your pie pan. Carefully fold dough into quarters and place on top of pie pan. Unfold and gently press into pan. Using scissors, trim crust to the edge of the rim of pan, being careful not to press down on crust edges. Using a fork pierce bottom of crust roughly 10 to 15 times, this is a technique known as docking. Place in refrigerator. (If you are using a ceramic or glass pan you will need to blind bake your crust at 350 degrees full of pie weights or beans for 15 minutes, remove weights and continue to bake 10 additional minutes to ensure a crisp bottom crust.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
To assemble your pie, sprinkle approximately 2 teaspoons of "crust dust" into the bottom of the crust. Place filling into prepared bottom crust. Brush edges of crust with egg wash.
Remove lattice crust from refrigerator and place pie in front of you. Holding the cookie sheet underneath with your dominate hand, as if you were a waiter, gently pull the parchment forcing crust to move toward the edge. Hold pan over the pie and continue pulling parchment under the pan (like a conveyor belt) forcing lattice on top of awaiting pie. If you are careful, you can get the lattice to land perfectly on top of your pie, but don't worry if it lands a little off, as since the lattice is cold it can be easily adjusted. Trim edges with scissors, very gently pressing lattice into the bottom crust edge. Do not press too much or try to create a fancy edge, or you will lose all the layers. Brush entire pie with egg wash and sprinkle with a sanding sugar if desired.
Place pie on parchment lined baking sheet and bake in preheated oven 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting.
Recipe tip: Leftover trimmings should be stacked up and chilled or frozen for another use. Don't scrunch them together in a ball or you will lose the layers. To reroll, allow to come back to room temperature.
Pie crust adapted from Gordon Ramsey's Rough Puff Pie Crust