I'm embarking on a rare re-blog with this apple pie recipe. I first made it in 2007 and didn't include the full instructions. I think I've made it once every year since and I'm starting to worry that one day Martha Stewart's web team will delete the page (they've shifted it once already) and I'll be pie-less forever more.
I'm not certain that I'd bookmark this recipe if I were to happen upon it for the first time now. It's completely unsharable with my vegan and gluten-free mates, with almost three cups of flour and more butterfat than our fridge has held since... well, probably since I made this pie last year.
But I've grown rather fond of it. The crust is crisp and unsweetened with an unfeasibly high proportion of butter. The filling has the usual pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, but it's the multiple varieties of apple that provide a surprising complexity (clever work, Ms Martha). And if the butter quantity seems unfeasible, the 1.8kg apple filling defies logic itself. It forms a mountain in the pie crust, threatening avalanche as you fit the pastry lid and a pie-splosion in the oven.
There are some pesky interim stages where you're supposed to freeze the crust and the pie, and I've concluded that they're worth it, somehow they even out the pie's baking. I'd deem the extra butter in the filling less necessary, as it was responsible for some unattractive oozing in my most recent pie.
Nevertheless, this buttery apple pie has taken a nostalgic hold on me. It's my Melbourne winter pie.
Martha's buttery apple pie
(a metricified, annotated version of this recipe)
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup ice water
1/3 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons cream
1-1.6kg assorted apples
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
To make the pastry, place the flour and salt in a food processor. Dice the butter and add it to the processor, blending only until the mixutre forms a coarse crumb-like texture. Add 1/4 cup water and blend again until the dough just starts coming together. It should look like this:
Add a little more water if it won't come together within a minute, and repeat.
Turn the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap. Form it into two balls and wrap them separately. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour.
Roll one of the dough balls out to fit a pie dish. Transfer the pastry into the dish, fit it as best you can, trim the edges and place the crust into the freezer for 30 minutes.
Set to work on the filling. Peel and core the apples, and slice the flesh into bite-size pieces. Place them in a large bowl with the lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
When the pie crust is ready, retrieve it from the freezer and spoon in the apple filling.
Dice the butter and distribute it across the pie filling.
Roll out the second dough ball to fit the pie as a lid. Place it over the pie, pinching togther the edges. Cut slits into the pastry top. Brush the cream over the pastry and sprinkle over the extra sugar. Freeze the pie for a further 30 minutes.
Preheat an oven to 200°C. Bake the pie until the crust begins to go golden, about 20 minutes. Turn the oven down to 180°C and continue to bake the pie until the crust is very golden and the juices are bubbling, about 35 more minutes.