Happy Pi(e) Day! I have so many more things to share with you in the coming weeks, but I had to offer you a delicious pie recipe for this holiday. For those of you who aren't math geeks or pie enthusiasts, today, March 14, is celebrated as Pie Day because the mathematical approximation of the digit π. And why would you want to celebrate Pi without Pie?
This is a Dutch apple pie, which means instead of a top crust it has a crumb streusel topping. It's a fun alternative to the classic - I'm not sure I can really pick a favorite between the two. Each has something different to offer depending on your mood.
Tip of the Day: You can use any variety of apple you'd like (I make my suggestions below) but keep in mind that many red-skinned apples tend to brown quicker and look less appealing, so switch to green (or yellow) or start cooking them quickly!
Recipe: (adapted from America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book)
1 1/4 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons shortening, cubed and frozen
5 tablespoons butter, diced and frozen
2 to 4 tablespoons ice water
8 to 9 apples - about 4 pounds (I used half Granny Smith, half Golden Delicious)
½ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp cinnamon
11/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornmeal
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Place the flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine.
Sprinkle the shortening and butter over the flour, and pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs or wet sand.
Add 2 tablespoons of ice water and continue pulsing until it comes together. Add a tablespoonful more at a time if necessary. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about an hour.
Roll the pie dough out on a well floured surface to a 12" circle and fit in to a 9" pie plate. Trim the edges. Cover loosely with saran wrap and freeze for 20 minutes.
Core, peel, and slice the apples.
In a saucepan, stir together with the sugars, lemon juice and cinnamon.
Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until just tender.
Remove from heat and let cool.
Prick the pie crust with a fork in several places. Grease a piece of foil and fit it against the pie crust, and fill it with dried beans or pie weights. Bake the empty crust at 375 F for 25 minutes.
Mix the flour and sugars for the topping together. Pour the melted butter on top and stir with a fork until completely combined.
Remove the pie shell from the oven and fill with the apple mixture about about 1/4 cup of the liquid. Sprinkle the streusel mixture on top.
Bake on 375 for an additional 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.