10/29/2011

#36 Original Sin Apple Cider Pie

Posted by Chrisi


It’s a Saturday morning at the end of October and the first snow is falling.  It seems awfully early in the season for snow!  The autumn leaves are still on the trees.  Nonetheless, as I sit and watch it fall, warm and cozy with my Peet’s coffee, I’m reminded that it is prime pie season and, yet again, I am woefully behind with my blog.  But I’ve been baking and those I love have been eating sweet summer corn custard pie, broccoli cheddar quiche, chess pies, chocolate brownie pie, maple pumpkin pie, and this one… apple cider pie.

Virginia, particularly the Shenandoah Valley, is a beautiful place to be in the Fall.  Every weekend in October my husband and I hit the country roads to take in the fall foliage and the bright green, rolling farmland dotted with innumerous cows.  Twice we found ourselves headed north on Highway 42, passing through Broadway (pop. 3200) and Timberville (pop. 1800) toward even less substantial “towns” like Forestville and Mt. Clifton.  A detour on 263 landed us in Basye (pronounced like “Daisy” with a “B”) and the Bryce Mountain Resort.  Along the way, in Quicksburg, VA (there’s nothing quick about it unless it’s the speed that you drive through it), we found Paugh’s Orchard and met Grandpa Paugh.  He and his wife were selling pumpkins, gourds, herbs and lots and lots of apples.  We filled a half-peck bag with varieties like Virginia Gold, Empire, Nittany and Granny Smith—all of which are featured in this pie.

I cooked the apples prior to filling the crust—a first for me.  Now, it’s unlikely that I’ll do it any other way.  Look at the picture!  The layers of apples, densely packed, resemble strata of sedimentary rock.  Because the apples are already cooked down, there’s no fear of the top crust collapsing as the pie cools.  The author of the recipe, Nancy Byal, is a genius… so is Ken Haedrich for including the recipe in Pie.  Of course, I had to take a little license and use hard cider.  Original Sin is my favorite.  It’s not too sweet and a little dry.  I also used freshly grated spices, which makes all the difference in Fall pies.

Crust: 9” double crust.

Filling
·       7 large apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced with a food processor
·       3/4 cup Original Sin hard cider
·       3/4 cup of raw sugar
·       1 cup organic sugar
·       1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
·       1/2 teaspoon freshly grated cinnamon
·       1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
·       pinch of sea salt
·       1 tablespoon butter cut into small pieces

Directions:
Roll out the bottom crust, place it in the pie dish and chill it in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.  Also roll out the top crust on parchment paper and chill.  Note: Here is where I made a mistake.  I rolled out the bottom crust and added the filling.  Then I rolled out the top crust.  The juices made the bottom crust soft and it was hard to assemble the pie.  In hindsight, I should have rolled out the crust and put it in the fridge while I prepared the filling.  Then, prior to assembling the pie, I should have removed each crust from the fridge and allowed it to warm so that it was malleable but not too soft.  Lesson learned.

Bring the apples and cider to a boil in a pot, reduce the heat slightly and cook for~5 min. with occasional stirring.  Drain the apples and reserve the juice.  Then, in a saucepan, reduce the juice to 1/4 cup.  Re-combine the apples and juice and let the mixture cool.  Combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl.  Add the mixture to the apples.

Add filling to the pie crust.  Dot the apples with butter and assemble the pie.  Poke several steam vents in the top crust.  Brush the pie with milk and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.  Bake for ~50 min. at 375F.  Allow the pie to cool before serving.



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