Saturday, March 14, 2015

Brown Sugar Apple Pie

Happy Pi Day!  Yep, it comes around once every hundred years -- 3.14.15 --- the beginnings of the number pi.  Not that anyone cares except nerdy math types and people who use this day as an excuse to bake/eat pie.  

I am both.  I shall confess here that I have been, at certain periods in my life, a nerdy math type.  Yes, I was in MathCounts.  If you don't know what that is, let's just explain it this way -- It's a math club.  Voluntarily staying after school to do math.  For fun.  Yeah.  In college I got all the way through Advanced Calculus before I realized I didn't really desire to have any sort of job related to math so I could probably just quit there.  So now you know.  Math nerd, right here.

I am also a person who loves to bake and eat pie.  I have even planned out in my head a pie shop that I will someday run.  This will probably never actually come to fruition, since my real desire is to develop pie recipes and make the shop look pretty. Someone else can do all the grueling work of the actual mass baking.  So, the pie shop being still just an idea on a back shelf in my brain, I will just develop the pie recipes for fun.  Like I used to do math.  For fun.  I know I'm weird. 

So here is my Brown Sugar Apple Pie recipe, which I had all perfected and tweaked until I LOST THE RECIPE and had to start over.  I think I've got it back to perfected status.  Buttery, perfect amount of sweetness, filling that holds up but isn't gluey, extra depth from the brown sugar and a little salt.  So here we go, I will blog for posterity (so I don't lose the recipe again!) and also for all you math nerds/pie people to enjoy.  

Happy Pi/Pie Day!

The Step-by-Step

So assuming you have a pie crust ready to go, the first thing we do is peel and slice the apples.  I like to quarter the apples and then slice the quarters into fairly thin pieces.

If you don't have a pie crust ready to go, try this one (or run to the store for one if you want... I won't tell).

Next, we dump the dry ingredients into the apples.  Stir it up so all the apple pieces are coated with the dry.

Now cut the butter into small chunks and gently stir it in.

Dump the mixture into the uncooked bottom crust.  Use a wooden spoon or your hand to gently pack the apples, so they are tight together and less air pockets are left in the middle.

Now add on the top crust in your preferred style.  I like the large lattice-weave myself.  Finish the edges.  My mom always did the "knuckle" method.  So do I.  Purely personal preference.

Whisk a tablespoon of water into an egg.  Beat it til it's fully blended.  Brush onto the crust.

Sprinkle some sugar on top.  If you have a coarse-grained sugar, use that.  If you live in Ukraine, like me, then your regular sugar will be coarse enough.

Bake 1 hour in a 325F (160C) oven.  Then divide the circumference by the diameter and compare that to the calendar and serve yourself up a golden, sweet, tart, buttery slice of delicious pie.  On Pi Day or any other day!

The Recipe 


One double pie crust, unbaked
8 cups sliced apples (I like Granny Smith, Honeycrisp or a combination)
2/3 cups flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter

1 egg
1 Tablespoon water
3 Tablespoons (coarse) sugar

Preheat oven 325F (160C).  

Place sliced apples into a mixing bowl.  Stir in dry ingredients so all apple pieces are coated with the dry ingredients.

Cut the butter into small chunks and carefully stir them into the apples.

Line a 9 inch pie pan with one pie crust.  Pour the apples into the crust, shape into a compact mound. Add the top crust lattice-weave or whatever way you prefer.  Finish the edges.

Beat the egg thoroughly with the water to make an egg wash.  Brush lightly onto top crust. Sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Bake 1 hour on middle or lower oven rack.  Let cool somewhat before slicing the pie.