LESSON 1: BASIC PIE RECIPE
The perfect crust meets a simple filling to master a basic staple.
2 ½ cups Anita's Organic
all-purpose flour, chilled
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp organic evaporated
1 cup unsalted butter,
cubed and very cold
¼ cup ice water
Stir together cold flour, salt and evaporated cane syrup. Using a pastry blender, cut cold cubed butter into the flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly add water. Turn dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and bring together into a round. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
On lightly floured surface, roll out 60 percent of chilled dough into a round 13 inches across and about 1/8 inch thick. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate and chill until firm (about 30 minutes). Roll out remaining dough into an 11-inch round. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and chill. During this time, make the filling.
3 lbs organic Okanagan
¼ cup brown sugar
2 tbsp Anita's Organic
1 tbsp organic
syrup, reserved for the
top of the pie
Peel and core apples and slice into thin wedges. Toss apples with sugar and flour. Fill pie shell, arranging apples into a nice dome shape. Brush dough edges with water and place chilled 11-inch round of dough on top of apple dome. Seal edges. Trim excess dough, keeping a generous amount to make a decorative edge if desired.
Brush pie top with water and sprinkle with reserved evaporated cane syrup. Cut decorative vents in top of crust for steam to escape. Chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place chilled pie on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes, lower temperature to 350°F and bake for another 45–50 minutes. Filling should bubble and crust should be a deep golden brown.
Cool and serve.
To make a perfect apple tart, peel the apples, then cut in half, core and slice into half-moons. Once the filling is made, shingle the apples into the pie shell. This will prevent gaps that could cause hollow spots to appear in your pie during baking.
NEXT LESSON: Banana Cake with Caramel
Chocolate Glaze >>
5 steps to perfect pastry with Wendy Boys
MEASURE PROPERLY This isn't cooking, so no dash here, dash there nonsense. Measure everything correctly, and get organized before you start baking. The French call this "mise en place."
KEEP IT COOL Everything about the pastry should be as cool as possible—that includes the ingredients, the bowl and, yes, even your hands. If my hands are very warm, I'll fill a bowl with ice water, plunge them in for a few moments, then dry them thoroughly.
HANDS OFF Handle your pastry dough as little as possible: just enough to mix and not a minute more.
WATCH THE HEAT Make sure your oven is at the correct temperature. That means using a stand-alone thermometer (available at any kitchen store) and not just trusting your oven's display. Always allow enough time for your oven to preheat.
THE SHEET For a crisp base for tarts and pies, always cook on a preheated baking sheet. Also, pies bake best if cold pastry goes into a hot oven. This will create a golden and flaky crust.