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the pie isn’t a metaphor (it’s just pie)

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Dean’s Apple Pie

Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups / 300 g flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt (1/2 tsp if you’re using table salt)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 226 g unsalted butter (two sticks of American butter or one package European)
  • Ice water (set aside a cup of water with ice in it, but you won’t need the whole amount)

Filling:

  • 2 ½ pounds apples, peeled and cored, sliced into 1/4 inch thick slices
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch, or substitute 1 tsp cornstarch + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg, beaten + 1 tb sugar (preferably coarse) to top

For the crust:

Mix dry ingredients together. Chop butter into cubes and toss into the flour mixture til all sides are coated. Using a pinching/rubbing motion, break apart the butter pieces into the flour (being careful not to let the butter melt — if it starts to get too soft, stick the bowl in the fridge and wait for 10 minutes). Keep getting the butter into smaller, flour-coated pieces until the butter is mostly the size of raisins.

Starting with about 1/3 cup of the ice water, pour the water into the bowl (remove the ice cubes in advance, so they don’t fall in). Use a tossing mixture to incorporate the water into the mixture, adding more water a splash at a time when necessary until there is no dry flour at the bottom of the bowl. Err on the side of less water — you don’t want the dough to become sticky, just moistened enough that it holds together easily when pressed.

Work the dough gently no more than 3 times so it holds together smoothly with no cracks. Split into two halves, form each into a disc shape about 2 inches tall (being careful not to overwork as you shape it), wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least an hour.

For the filling:

Boil a kettle of water. Once apples are prepared, pour water into the bowl and cover (a sheet pan works great if you don’t have a lid large enough for your bowl). Let sit for 10 minutes, then drain. Toss with lemon juice, mix together sugars, starch and spices and add to apples. Mix with a spatula until apples are fully coated. Let this mixture cool (you may want to refrigerate) before assembling pie.

To bake:

Preheat oven to 425.

Roll out both crusts. Use one to line pan. Fill with apple mixture, and top with second crust. If you want to be fancy, find a youtube tutorial for a lattice crust — they really aren’t that tricky! Roll the crust edges together, rolling inward so the bottom crust rolls over the top crust. Using your thumb and index finger of one hand, pinch the dough around your other thumb to form a crimped edge.

If you’re still waiting for your oven to pre-heat, stick the pie in the freezer to chill before baking. (You can stop here and freeze a whole pie, actually! It will bake up beautifully straight from the freezer, as long as you add about 20 minutes to the baking time).

When ready to bake, brush the top of the pie with beaten egg, cut in steam vents, and sprinkle with sugar all over.

Place on a baking sheet, preferably parchment paper or foil lined — pie does bubble over. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, or until the top crust is evenly golden brown, then lower temperature to 325 and bake for about another hour. It’s done when you can see it bubbling through the steam vents in the middle.

Let rest for at least 3 hours before slicing.