Friday, February 15, 2008

French Apple Pie

This has been my favorite apple pie recipe for many years. It has a delicious crumb topping. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a foil covered cookie sheet in the oven to preheat as well.

Pastry Ingredients:

2/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon Crisco shortening
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-3 Tablespoons chilled water

If you have a food processor, place all ingredients, except water, in the processor bowl. Cover and pulse until consistency of cornmeal. Add ice water one tablespoon at a time, through port in processor cover, while on low speed, until dough forms a ball and cleans sides of bowl. If too much water is added, dough will become sticky.

[If you do not have a food processor, cut the flour and salt into the shortening (using 2 knives) until particles are the size of small peas. Then add the water, one spoonful at a time, etc.]

Remove dough from bowl and shape into a ball. Flatten ball to a thick circle shape and roll on lightly floured surface, to form a circle large enough to fit an 8" or 9" pie plate. I prefer metal pie pans. I think the bottom crust bakes more evenly in them. Place your crust in the pie pan and crimp or flute edges. Set aside until filling is ready.

Pie Filling:
1/2 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of salt
5 cups of pared and thinly sliced apples (I use Granny Smith)

1 cup flour
1/2 cup firm butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar

Add all of the topping ingredients to a food processor and pulse until coarse.

To Make Filling -
In a large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt. Add sliced apples to this and make sure they are coated well. Place this mixture in your prepared pie crust. Generously spoon topping over the top of the pie until the apples are completely covered. Use as much of the topping as you can heap onto the pie.

Place pie on the cookie sheet in preheated oven. Loosely place (really just set it on top of the pie-don't press down or it will stick to the topping ) a sheet of aluminum foil over the pie for the first 40 minutes of baking. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until topping is golden brown and juices are bubbling. Remove from oven, on the cookie sheet, and allow to rest for about 20 minutes before serving.

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