Jackie and Jillian’s Apple Pie

Over the weekend, my friend, Jackie, and I decided to go on a weekend adventure upstate to pick some apples and get fresh air.? We realised that we do not really do all that much on weekends, so we made it our goal to have some adventures, like going to the NYC Medieval Festival a few weeks back.? Anyway, after some apple baseball and corn maze, we ended up with 42 lbs of apples and 3 pumpkins, which is a rather ridiculous amount of produce, but hey, you only go apple picking once a year! When we returned home, we decided that it might be fun to bake an apple pie.? Jackie had the brilliant idea of putting a J on the top for our names!

apple pie

Jackie and Jillian’s Apple Pie
For the crust
10 tbs cold unsalted butter
6 tbs cold vegetable shortening
2 2/3 c all-purpose flour
2 tbs sugar
1/2 tsp salt
8 tbs ice water

6-7 apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
4 tbs butter, melted
2 tbs flour
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Cut the butter and shortening into 3/4″ pieces. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt. Scatter the butter and shortening pieces over the mixutre and toss with a fork to combine. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter and shortening in until the mixture forms large, coarse crumbs the size of large peas. Drizzle the ice water over the mixture and toss with the fork until the dough is evenly moist and comes together in a mass (but not a ball). Transfer the dough to a work surface. Shape into 2 6″ disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well-chilled, at least 1 hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 375oF. Roll out each of the disks to about 1/8″ thick. Line a greased pie plate with one dough round and refrigerate.
3. In a large bowl, mix the apples, butter, flour, sugars, cinnamon and lemon juice. Pour into the pie plate. Cover with the remaining dough round and pinch the edges of the dough rounds together to seal. Prick the top layer of dough all over with a fork.
4. Place the pie in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes, until the top is golden and filling is bubbly. Remove from the oven and transfer to a rack to cool.

Makes 1 pie

French Apple Tart

It’s Rosh Hashanah, so of course, that calls for a Rosh Hashanah dinner party (which, for my friends and me, is very similar to our Passover dinner party, with even less religion because Rosh Hashanah does not have fun games like the afikoman hunt). We even reprised much of the menu, although this time, I was less involved in the cooking due to my immense amount of work this week. Given the fact that I have this lovely little baking blog going, I was only assigned dessert – I chose to make an apple tart [in a pie plate, though – less clean up] for several reasons:

1. It contains apples, which are symbolic of a sweet (a.k.a. good) new year.
2. I like tarts better than pies.
3. The top is pretty and fun to make.

apple tart

French Apple Tart
*Contains 3 parts: pastry, filling and topping

Tart Pastry
1 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c cold unsalted butter, cut into 3/4″ pieces
2 large egg yolks
1 tbs heavy cream

1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, confectioners’ sugar and salt. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixtur and toss with fingers or a fork to coat in the flour. Using a pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in the butter untill the mixture forms coarse crumbs about the size of peas.
2. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks with a fork, then stir in the cream until well-blended. Drizzle this over the flour mixture and stir with the fork until the dough is moist and comes together in a smooth, well-mixed mass.
3. On a work surface, shape the dough into a 6″ disk. Wrap in lastic and refrigerate until firm, at least 45 mins or up to overnight.
4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Lightly dust the work surface and a rolling pin with flour. Roll out the chilled dough into a round about 13″ in diameter and 3/16″ thick. Work quickly to prevent the dough from becoming too warm.
5. Line a 9 1/2″ tart pan with a removable bottom with the rolled out dough and freeze crust until firm, about 30 mins. Preheat the oven to 400oF. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork all over and line it with foil and fill with dried beans, uncooked rice or pie weights.
6. Bake the crust until it dries out, about 15 mins. Remove the weights and foil. Lower the oven temperature to 350oF and continue to bake the crust for about 5 mins longer, until the edges are lightly browned. Remove and let cool completely.

5 apples (2 lbs), peeled, cored and cut into 1″ pieces
2 tbs sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp fresh lemon juice, strained
1 tbs unsalted butter, melted

1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375oF.
2. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together the apple pieces, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and melted butter until well mixed. Spread the mixture in the prepared pan.
3. Bake the apples until they are soft, about 20 mins, stirring once about halfway through. Remove from the oven and scrape the apples into a bowl. Using a spoon, mash the warm apples until there are only a few chumks left and they resemble chunky applesauce. Let cool to room temperature and spread in the prepared crust.

2 c (1/2 lb) peeled, cored, thinly sliced apples
1 tbs unsalted butter, melted
1 tbs sugar
1/4 c apricot preserves

1. Arrange the apple slices in 2 circular rows on the filled tart pan, slightly overlapping them to cover the filling completely. Drizzle with the melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
2. Bake the tart until the apple slies are soft when pierced with the tip of a knife or a toothpick and the edges of the crust are browned, 45-50 mins. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
3. In a small pan over medium heat, warm the apricot preserves until melted, about 3 mins. Strain through a medium-meshed sieve and, using a pastry brush, brush the apple slices with the preserves. Unmold the tart and serve at room temperature.

Makes one 9 1/2″ tart