Brandy Apple Pie

I don’t know what else to say about this picture except that the pie is that good. I couldn’t even get a picture of the finished product before it was gone — I’ve never seen grown adults go through a pie so quickly.

Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you away from making this — it’s not difficult or more time consuming than regular apple pie — just a lot of little “pinches” of ingredients to heighten the flavor. The secret to this recipe is the brandy in the crust and the pie. It’s subtle but amazing. Our kids didn’t even notice its flavor, but the adults could sense a little je ne sais qois and we liked it. Very much.
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Brandy Apple Pie

Brandy Apple Pie

Ingredients

Adapted from Peace Meals

Cook's Note: This pie uses 8 whole apples! Make sure to use a deep-dish pie pan and pile 'em high in the middle.

Crust:

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for sprinkling on dough

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on dough

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 1/4 cups butter, chilled and cubed

1/2 cup shortening

1/4 cup brandy, chilled

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 egg

Filling:

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon allspice

4 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

1/4 cup brandy

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces

1 egg yolk, whisked

Instructions

Crust:

Sift flours, sugar, salt, baking powder and nutmeg into a large bowl. Use a pastry blender to cut in butter and shortening until pea-sized lumps form. In a separate small bowl, whisk together brandy, vanilla and egg. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir until dough is moistened and comes together. Divide dough in half and sprinkle both sides with flour and sugar. Flatten halves into round discs and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour.

Filling:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter and flour a 9 or 10-inch deep dish pie plate and set aside. Sift the sugars, flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice in a large bowl; set aside. Place sliced apples in another large bowl. Combine brandy and vanilla and pour mixture over apples. Add 3/4 of the flour mixture to the apples, tossing to combine.

Place one of the chilled discs on a well-floured surface. Roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle. Gently place dough in bottom of pie plate and trim edges to 1-inch. Sprinkle remaining flour mixture into the pastry-lined pie plate. Fill the crust with the apple mixture, heaping the apples in the center of the pie. Dot the apples with 1 tablespoon of butter.

Follow same process to roll out the second disc of dough. Gently place over top of pie and trim edges to one-inch. Seal and crimp edges as desired. Brush the top of the pie with egg yolk. Sprinkle the top crust generously with sugar. Place pie on a baking sheet with sides to catch and drips. Loosely cover pie with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Reduce heat to 375 and continue baking for another hour. Remove foil during last ten minutes of baking so crust turns golden.

Serve with vanilla bean ice cream.

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