7 Fuji or Sonya apples–cored, peeled, and thinly sliced (reserve peels and cores)
2 tablespoons of cornstarch
1/4 cup light-brown sugar (or more, according to your taste)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup of cold water
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
1 additional half stick of butter
An extra 2 tablespoons of sugar, either white or brown
One cup of water
1. Make the dough: put one stick of cold butter into a large mixing bowl, together with the 3/4 cup of chilled lard and a teaspoon of salt. Add flour gradually, working it into the butter and lard. Add approximately 3/4 cup of cold water, then cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough forms small pea-shaped balls, and when formed into a large mound, it holds together. Sometimes less cold water is required–believe it or not, the amount needed to make a pie dough with this recipe depends upon the moon.’s current phase. Mix this by hand, since machine will create a tough pie crust. I use an old-fashioned wire potato masher and a wooden spoon. When the dough sticks together but doesn’t stick to your hands, shape it into 2 balls, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
2. Put all of your apple peelings and cores into a saucepan on the stove with a cup of water and two tablespoons of sugar, and boil until the liquid becomes syrup. Strain liquid from solids and reserve it. The peelings can then be eaten or ground into applesauce–it’s important not to waste any edible part of your apples.
3. Assemble the pie: heat your oven to 425°F. Roll out one ball of dough into a 12-inch round about 1/8-inch thick, on a lightly floured surface. Fit the dough into a 9 or10-inch pie pan. Place one layer of apple slices into the dough-lined pan. Cover them with two tablespoons of cornstarch and a quarter-cup of brown sugar. Repeat this process with apples, sugars and cinnamon. Distribute the half-stick of butter on top of the apples after slicing it into bits. Add your apple syrup over the top of the pie. Alternatively, I sometimes skip the step of creating syrup from my apple peelings, and just use some apple juice concentrate (found in grocery frozen juice section).
Roll out the second ball of dough for the top crust. Brush the edges of the bottom crust with water or milk, and lay the top crust down, pressing the edges together to form a tight seal. Use your imagination to pierce or slice a design into the top of the pie to allow steam to escape. Bake for ten minutes at 425*F, then lower your oven heat to 350* and bake for another hour. Let the apple pie cool for a minimum of two hours before serving.
Elegant Apple Pie Recipe Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2008
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