Tuesday, August 27, 2019

French Apple Pie by Edna

I created this recipe in September 2007, attempting to duplicate the wonderful French Apple Pies that I remember from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s when I was growing up in Maryland. My husband remembers it being served often in the dining hall when he was a Midshipman at Annapolis. He says it was always accompanied by a slice of American cheese.

The Crust:
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or Splenda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick chilled unsalted butter (4 ounces), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 5-7 tablespoons cold milk or ice water
Mix flours, sugar and salt in bowl. Cut in butter until the mixture is consists of pea size lumps. With a fork stir in the oil and liquid. When dough is moist and holds together, form into two balls. Place each ball of dough in a plastic kitchen bag and flatten into a disk. Wrap and chill until dough is firm enough to roll out, about 30 minutes.

Food Processor Method: Mix flour, sugar and salt in processor. Cut in the butter using six on/off pulses, or until the mixture consists of pea size lumps. Pour the combined liquid and oil into the running food processor, just until moist clumps form, adding more cold liquid if the dough seems too dry.

Roll out the chilled dough on a lightly floured work surface. Transfer dough to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Fold overhang under. Crimp edges decoratively. (If the crust is prepared ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to two days.) Makes one 9-inch double crust.

The Filling
  • 4-5 large fresh washed apples (2 ½ pounds), peeled, cored and thinly sliced. (I usualy leave some peel on the apple as it gives a bit of a crunch to the texture of the filling.)
  • 5 tablespoons corn starch (corn flour)
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground dry ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup raisins soaked in 1/4 cup rum, brandy or orange juice
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
Begin preheating your oven to 425 degrees F. In a bowl, mix the sugar, corn starch and spices.

Place one of the chilled dough disks in a 9 inch pie pan, preferably ceramic. Sprinkle about five tablespoons of the sugar-spice mixture into the pie crust and place a layer of apple slices, one slice deep, on top. Sprinkle some of the rum raisins on that. Continue layering the sugar-spice mix, apples, and raisins, keeping all snug so the air space is minimized. The apples cook down considerably, therefore they should be piled between 1 - 1.5 inches above the top of the pan. Place the top crust and seal and crimp edges and slice steam holes. Put the pie in the oven and cook at 425 degrees F for ten minutes. Turn the heat down to 375 degrees F and cook for another 45 minutes to one hour.

The Icing
When pie has cooled, beat until smooth 1 egg white with 1 cup of confectioners sugar and 1 tablespoon of liquid (rum, vanilla or orange juice). Spread or pour on cooled pie and sprinkle with toasted walnuts.