As I sit at my desk on this grey and gloomy morning, a hot cup of tea in hand. I await restlessly for what unknown havoc hurricane Sandy is bound to bring. Are we really supposed to be getting storms like this here? I think to myself. The world is changing and mother nature is showing her true colors. I hear sirens in a distance, I hope everyone is alright.
There was a quiet eerie energy to the streets as I walked around yesterday. The police drove by announcing evacuations over the loud speaker. People sitting in their cars listening to the radio, leaves crunching along the sidewalks, it felt like a movie. For most people, myself included, fear the unknown. I'm supposed to be packing and getting ready to move into my new apartment, as for most New Yorkers this is quite the disruption. Instead I sit cooped up indoors anticipating some wild winds, potential flooding and lots of rain. Hopefully we will all come out of this with little harm.
Glancing back at these photos it takes me to a happier time. Last week Yossy, Ellie and I headed upstate to go apple picking. The sun was shining bright, the leaves yellow, orange and red against the bright blue sky. East coast autumns truly are the best. We laid out a yummy picnic in the apple orchard, trekked through the pumpkin fields and visited with the chickens, goats and horses. What more could you ask for in a country outing? I leave you with this delicious and may I add beautiful apple pie recipe.
Check out Yossy's gorgeous post here.
Recipe by Yossy of Apt 2B Baking Co.
For the Crust
This crust comes to you from Brandi Henderson of I made that! and The Pantry at Delancey where she teaches a class called "How to be a Pie Ninja" and she is not messing around. This crust is made with a technique called fraisage which creates long sheets of buttery flakes throughout the dough instead of little pockets of butter.
12 oz pastry flour
8 oz cold butter
4 oz ice water
1t apple cider vinegar
1. Mix the flour and salt together, then pour the whole lot on a large cutting board or countertop.
2. With a bench scraper, cut in half of the butter until it is the size of lima beans, then cut in the
other half of the butter until it is the size of quarters. Add the apple cider vinegar to the water.
3. Using your fingers, flick the water on to the butter flour mixture and gently fold it in with your
bench scraper. You have added enough water when you can pick up a handful of the dough
and squeeze it together without it falling apart.
4. Then, you smear the butter into the dough. With the heel of your hand push a section of the
dough down and away from you. Scrape your sheet off of the board and place it in a bowl to
the side. Repeat until you have worked through all of the dough, pushing it down and away
from you in sections. Once you've gone through all of the dough gently remove it from the bowl,
press it together, then split it in half, and wrap each half in plastic wrap and form into a disk.
Chill the dough for at least one hour before using. I like to chill mine overnight.
For the Filling
4-5 large apples (about 3 lbs) I like mutsus, jonathans, and cortlands
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
zest and juice of one small lemon
zest and juice of half of an orange
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
Peel the apples and cut them into 1/2 chunks. Place the apples in a large bowl then add lemon and orange juices and zests, stir gently to combine. Add the rest of the filling ingredients (except the butter) and stir gently to combine.
For the Topping
1 egg, beaten
A few teaspoons of coarse sugar like turbinado or light demerara
To Assemble and Bake
Preheat oven to 400º
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of the dough into a 12’’ circle 1/4''-1/8'' thick and place it into a 9 or 10 inch pie pan. Place in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the pie.
2. Roll out the other piece of dough into a 12'' circle about 1/4''-1/8'' thick and place it in the fridge to chill while you prepare the filling.
3. Fill the prepared pie shell with the apple mixture, dot with the 2 tablespoons butter, and top with the second crust, trim the edges so there is about 1/2’’ of overhang then crimp the edges and cut a few vents in the top.
4. If the crust seems soft or warm, slide the whole pie into the fridge or freezer for about 15min before you bake it. When you are ready to bake brush the top of the pie with a beaten egg and sprinkle with a healthy dose of coarse sugar.
5. Put the pie on a baking sheet to catch any drips and bake for 15 minutes on the lowest rack of your oven, then lower the oven temp to 350º and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the crust is deep golden brown and the apple juices bubble. For extra shine, glaze the pie with another coat of egg wash 10 minutes before you take it out of the oven, but keep a close eye on it to prevent