Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Macrina Bakery's Apple-Brown Sugar Pie

This recipe is from Macrina Bakery in Seattle, and it was published in Bon Appétit last fall. What sets it apart is that the apples are roasted before being baked in the pie, and that makes a big difference. The pie filling was rich from the sugar and margarine and ended up having a consistency halfway to applesauce – I enjoyed it, but I know some people like chunky apples in their pie, so this recipe isn’t for them. The drawback is that, even though I baked the pie on the lowest rack, the bottom center of the crust was still a bit raw. The top, however, was so done that I took it out of the oven early (so the raw bottom crust might be my fault, but I did it to save the top, because even with my trusty silicone ring, I was afraid it wouldn’t make it). The solution might be to parbake the bottom crust, but I’ve never been fond of that for double-crusted pies. Maybe covering the whole pie with foil would be a better solution… Or you can always use your favorite lactose-free pie crust, including store-bought to save time. In any event, I enjoyed this pie, so it’s worth sharing!

For the dough
1½ tsp. kosher salt
2¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more
14 Tbsp. (1¾ sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup chilled shortening, cut into pieces
1/3 cup ice water, plus more

For the filling and assembly
4 lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled, sliced into ½-inch wedges
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
¼ cup plus 1 heaping Tbsp. all-purpose flour, plus more
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature (I used vegan margarine)
½ cup (packed) light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 large egg, beaten to blend

For the dough
Mix salt and 2¾ cups flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment on low speed to combine. Add butter and shortening and beat on medium-low until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Drizzle in ⅓ cup ice water, then beat, adding splashes of ice water as needed, until dough just comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently press together and flatten a couple of times, about 30 seconds. Divide dough in half; pat into disks. Wrap in plastic; chill at least 2 hours.

For the filling and assembly
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Toss apples, 1 cup granulated sugar, and ¼ cup flour in a large bowl. Divide between 2 rimmed baking sheets; bake, rotating baking sheets once, until apples are just tender, 25–30 minutes. (Turn off the oven at this point.) Let cool, then transfer apples and accumulated juices to a large bowl. Add butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1 heaping Tbsp. flour; toss to combine. Chill at least 1 hour.

Let dough sit at room temperature to soften slightly, about 5 minutes. Roll out 1 disk on a lightly floured surface to a 13" round. Transfer to a 9" pie dish. Lift up edges; let dough slump down into dish. Trim, leaving ½" overhang. Roll out remaining disk. Scrape apples into dish and place dough over top; trim, leaving 1" overhang. Fold edge of top crust under bottom crust, press together to seal, and crimp. Cut 8 slits in top to vent, brush with egg, and sprinkle with remaining 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar. Chill pie in freezer until crust is firm, about 30 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 400 °F. Place pie on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet; bake 30 minutes on the lowest rack (crust should be slightly golden). Reduce oven temperature to 350 °F and continue baking until juices are bubbling and crust is deep golden brown, 50–60 minutes (this is where I only baked it 30 minutes; cover with foil if necessary). Transfer to a wire rack; let cool at least 4 hours before slicing.

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