I celebrated this auspicious holiday by baking an apple pie completely from scratch. I felt an apple pie would be quite apropos considering according to legend the falling of an apple was what inspired Sir Isaac Newton to formulate the theory of gravity. This is a recipe from Food Network Kitchens. It’s a bit difficult and time consuming, so I ended up making the filling one night and the crust the next day.
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 3 lbs golden delicious apples, peeled and cored
- 2/3 cup sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- Pinch of nutmeg
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
- ¼ tsp salt
- 14 tbsp cold butter, diced
- 1 large egg beaten with 2 tbsp cold water
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
For the filling, put the lemon juice in a large bowl. Halve the apples then cut each half into four wedges. Toss the apples in the lemon juice. Add the sugar and toss to combine.
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the apples and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and begins to simmer, about two minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Let the apples cook until they soften and release most of their juices, about ten minutes. Strain the apples in a colander over a large bowl to catch the juice. Return the juice to the skillet and simmer over medium heat until thickened and caramelized, about ten minutes. In the large bowl, toss the apples with the reduced juice and spices. Set aside to cool completely. This can be made up to two days ahead and frozen for up to six months.
In a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the butter and pulse until it resembles corn meal mixed with bean sized bits of butter. Add the egg and water mixture and pulse once or twice. Do not let the dough form into a ball in the machine. If the dough is very dry add up to a tablespoon of cold water. Remove the bowl from the machine and extract the blade. Bring the dough together by hand and form into a ball. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour.
Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Take out the dough from the refrigerator and cut it in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half of the dough into a circle about eleven to twelve inches in diameter. Layer the dough between pieces of parchment or wax paper on a baking sheet and refrigerate for another ten minutes.
Line the bottom of a nine inch glass pie pan with one of the disks of dough and trim it so it lays about half an inch beyond the edge of the pan. Put the apple filling in and mound it slightly in the center. Brush the top edges with the beaten egg. Cover with the second disk of dough and crimp the edges together. Brush the surface of the dough with the beaten egg then sprinkle with some sugar. Pierce the top of the dough in several places to allow steam to escape during baking.
Bake the pie on the baking sheet until the crust is golden brown, about fifty minutes. Allow to cool on a rack before serving.