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Jenn's Birthday Apple Pi(e)


I have been friends with Jenn since we were in high school. And while most teenagers were probably out on dates on a Friday night, you could usually find me and Jenn at home. Most Friday evenings, we'd have dinner, bake an apple pie, and watch movies. Yes, we were hell-raisers, weren't we? Apple pie and movies...

So, when Jenn realized that we were celebrating her birthday on Pi Day (that's 3.14 - March 14th!), we settled on pies as the theme. Naturally, she asked for an apple pie. Done.

Ingredients makes one 9" pie

Crust
  • 2 C flour + more for rolling
  • 1/2 C organic powdered sugar
  • 3/4 C butter
  • 2 T vodka
  • 1 T Calvados (apple brandy, or more vodka)
  • 1 T cold water
  • Also needed: parchment paper, rolling pin, pie pan


Filling
  • 3 to 3-1/2 pounds apples, approximately 8 medium apples (I used organic Gala apples)
  • 1/2 C  organic light brown sugar, divided
  • 3 T flour
  • 2 T Calvados (apple brandy, or more vodka)
  • 2 t freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 t kosher salt
  • 1" knob fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 t ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 t ground cardamom
  • 1/2 t ground nutmeg

Procedure

Crust
In a food processor, combine the flour and sugar, pulsing 3 to 4 times. Add the butter and pulse until the texture looks mealy. Sprinkle in your liquids and pulse until combined. Remove the dough and press into a ball. Divide the dough in half and wrap each ball tightly with plastic. Refrigerate for at least an hour.

Filling
Peel and core the apples. Slice into wedges. Toss all of the apples with 1/4 C of the sugar, place in a colander set over a large bowl and allow to drain for at least 90 minutes.

Pour the drained liquid to a small saucepan. Simmer until it's reduced to 2 T. Set aside to cool. Toss the apples with the remaining sugar, flour, Calvados, lemon juice, salt, and all the spices.


Assembly
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove one disk of dough from the refrigerator. Place the dough on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper.


Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and roll out into a 12" circle. Place dough into pie pan. Gently press the dough into the sides of the pan, crimping and trimming the edges as necessary. Set a pie bird in the center of the bottom of the pan.


Layer the apples into the unbaked pie shell in concentric circles starting around the edges, working towards the center and forming a slight mound in the center of the pie. Pour leftover liquid that remains in the bowl over the apples. Roll out the second pie dough.


Place this dough over the apples, pressing the pie bird through the top crust. Press the edges of the dough around the rim of the pie.


Brush the top crust with the reduced juice.

Place the pie on a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake on the lowest rack of the oven for 30 minutes. Transfer to the middle rack of the oven and continue to bake another 20 minutes. Remove to a rack and cool for a minimum of 4 hours. I let mine chill for about 8 hours.


And while the apple pie was the requested birthday dessert, I stuck the candles into the lemon pi(e). That recipe will be coming soon.


Loved celebrating over three decades of friendship. Happy birthday, Jenn! Happy Pi Day 2020!!

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