Before we get to the pie, the most incredible apple pie in the world, I have a culinary confession. The mister, who dearly loves mashed potatoes, put in a request for them and then paced around the house in ernest anticipation. I peeled, boiled, mashed, just like always, then added butter, salt, pepper and a bit of cream and, and, and...the result was inedible. The mister slopped them onto his plate, gave a taste and asked, "What in the hell happened to this?" I had no answer - I made them just like I always do and they just didn't work! Stuff happens - even in my kitchen! The mister was trying to be a good sport, plus he was hangry, so he lifted forkful after forkful, but because he's the mister he let loose with a comment before each bite. The man may be barely house-broken but he does know his mashed taters so when he said he makes better mashed potatoes than I do, I tried not to take offense, even though those are fighting words because, well, he did have a point. But I couldn't help myself and without thinking I replied, "Oh yeah?? Well I make better apple pie, so there!" Deep, no? Potato/potata/apple pie...do you follow my logic? Naw, me neither...if I rubbed my two I.Q. points together I doubt I could even get a spark, let alone a fire, and I should know better than to tangle with the mister when he is right...but, but, but...after my insipid response he smugly said, "Prove it." So I did.
Apples have been on my brain ever since I was gifted this huge box of apples from Nancy...thank you so much! I've made applesauce, apple butter, THREE apple pies and one Apple Sharlotka...that recipe coming soon! But back to the pie...pastry, apples, spices...what's not to love? It's pretty basic and everyone is usually happy with a slice of apple pie...but THIS pie...manomanalive...it is better, richer, MORE flavorful because of one little addition:
B O I L E D C I D E R !!!
While I was at King Arthur Flour Baking Education Center (and store) I purchased a bottle of their Boiled Cider - not really knowing what to do with it. Well, now I know! Boiled Cider can be used in anything that has to do with apples...it's a thick, molasses-like liquid that adds intense fresh picked apple flavor to whatever you're baking...and I don't know if I can ever live without it again!
Me saying Boiled Cider makes this apple pie better than any apple pie in the history of apple pie, is not hyperbole/filibustering/grand-standing...it's the God-honest-truth. Amen. So trust me and order yourself a bottle...I promise you it will be worth the shipping charges! I'm already on my second bottle because I not only used Boiled Cider to make pie, I used it when I made pumpkin donuts, apple pancakes, and apple cider caramels...each time I reach for the Boiled Cider I feel like I have my own personal Emeril Lagasse in my kitchen: One tablespoon of Boiled Cider = one B A M!
After the pie is baked it HAS to cool...if you cut it too soon it will run, bleed, fall apart faster than you can say As American as Apple Pie. Patience Grasshopper. Let is cool for at least TWO hours - then you can cut into it and board the Apple Express to Apple Pie Heaven! This one is dang good my friends, as in FIVE dangs on the Ol' Dang Meter - cut me a slice, roll me over and bring on the coma, this pie is worth it!
Apple Pie - Adapted Slightly from King Arthur Flour
1 recipe of this Pie Crust, or you can use purchased refrigerator pie dough
8 cups peeled, cored, sliced apples (the thinner you slice the apples the prettier the sliced pie will be)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup boiled cider (or you can use undiluted apple juice concentrate)
2 tablespoons butter, diced in small pieces
Optional: milk and coarse sugar for brushing/sprinkling on pie top before baking
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie pan that's at least 2 inches deep. This makes serving the pie easier after it's baked, the slices come up clean and easy.
In a large bowl, combine the apples and lemon juice, tossing well to coat. In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt and spices. Sprinkle the mixture over the apples, and stir to coat them. Stir in the boiled cider or apple juice concentrate.
Roll out half of hte pastry to a 13-inch circle. Transfer it to the prepared pan, trim the edges to they overlap the rim of hte pan by an inch all the way around. Spoon the apple filling into the pan. Dot the top with the diced butter.
Roll out the remaining pastry to an 11-inch circle. Cut decorative vent holes, if desired, or you can weave a lattice with the remaining pastry. Do whatever bobs your apple. Carefully place the pastry over the apples.
Roll the overhanging bottom crust up and over the top crust, pinching to seal the two. Flute the edges of the pie. Lightly brush milk over top of pie crust, then sprinkle with coarse sugar, not necessary but this will provide a nice little crush and a bit of sweetness to the crust. Place pie in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to firm up the crust.
Place the pie on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake the pie for 20 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 40 minutes more, until you see the filling bubbling inside the pie. Check the pie after half an hour of baking time, and cover the edges with foil or a pie shield to keep them from browning too quickly.
When pie is done, remove from the oven and cool completely before slicing. Serves 8.