Apple-Of-My-Eye Pie

I rarely bake. Zucchini bread aside, it's just not my strong suit. But given the crisp weather and the fact that there were apples in this week's farm shipment, it seemed like a good idea. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but I do like pie. This recipe turned out almost perfect - the crust was flaky and buttery, the filling was sweet (but not too sweet) and a little tart, and it tasted exactly like I imagine a classic apple pie should. The only complaint was that the recipe called to make holes in the top crust using a "small" bottle cap, so I did it using a soda bottle cap, but the holes seemed too big and made it look like a polka dot pie when it was done. I would recommend using a smaller cap, maybe the size of a small vanilla extract bottle, or just cut slits in the top using a knife. Relied on this recipe from Bon Appetit, with a few tweaks.

Total time to cook: 3 hours


For the crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/4 sticks of margarine, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, chilled and cut into 1-inch pieces
4 tbsp water

For the apple filling
3 lbs of apples (not sure what kind we got from the farm, but they were sweet, not tart), peeled, cored and sliced very thin
1/2 cup white sugar (plus a pinch extra)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp of juice from a lemon
1 tsp cinnamon (plus a pinch extra)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp milk
- In a medium bowl, mix the salt and flour. Add the margarine and shortening by hand until the mixture is crumbly. 
- Add the water and mix by hand again until it starts to clump together. Then, shape the dough into a ball.
- Cut the ball in half and flatten the two pieces into disks. Wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. 
- Once the crust is chilled, mix the apples, sugars, lemon juice, cinnamon, and vanilla extract together in another bowl. Let the mixture sit for about fifteen minutes to release the juices and then mix in the flour. 
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a pie pan (9-inch diameter) with some margarine or nonstick spray.
- Roll out one of the dough disks until its large enough to fit in the pan with a little hanging over the edge. Add the apple filling. 
- Roll out the other disk of dough until it's the same size as the first and then either cut ten slits in the top or use a (very) small bottle cap to cut out ten holes. Put the crust on top of the apple filling, and pinch and fold over the edges of the two crusts together. 
- Brush the top all over with milk. Sprinkle a pinch or two of sugar and cinnamon on top, enough to lightly coat the surface and edges.
- Put the pie on a baking sheet (some of the juice will likely spill over) and lower the heat to 350 degrees once it's in the oven. Cook until the top is golden brown and the inside is bubbling, about an hour and a half (check it every half hour or so). 
- Let it cool a little and serve warm, ideally with some vanilla ice cream.

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