I am writing penance for once again, not following Martha Stewart’s recipe to a tee. This time it is because of changes I made to her Double-Crust Apple Pie from her massive new book Martha’s Entertaining: A Year of Celebrations published by Random House Canada.
I decided to make an apple pie for Jamie and Justin’s visit and I wanted everything to be perfect and I dared question Martha’s recipe! I just did not want anything to go wrong for this important visit and I questioned Martha’s wisdom. Will I ever learn?
I began innocently enough by making her Pâte Brisée. In a food processor I added 2 1/2 cup flour, 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp sugar. I pulsed everythin together.
I added 1 cup of cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes.
I pulsed sparingly until the mixture was crumbly.
I added around 1/2 cup of ice water very slowly, pulsing gradually until the mixture was still crumbly but could hold together.
I brought the dough together on a floured board and then cut in half. You could see the pastry layers, I love that!
I shaped each piece into a disk, covered with plastic wrap and chilled in the fridge for an hour.
Here is where I changed the recipe… Sigh…
You were supposed to peel and core 3 lbs of a variety of apples. I used green and MacIntosh. You were supposed to cut them into 1/2″ slices. Um… that seemed kind of thick to me. I hate crunchy apple pies and hesitated. Then I stupidly decided to cut them into 1/4″ slices instead and tossed with 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice. Oh Suzie…
In a small bowl I stirred together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/2 tsp coarse salt. I added this to the apples and tossed to evenly distribute.
I was looking at that bowl of all those apples and I thought to myself, those are never going to fit into a regular pie plate. I cleverly thought to myself that I would use a springform pan instead because the sides would be tall enough. I rolled out the dough and sure enough, there was more than enough pastry to go up the sides. I greased and floured the pan and got to work.
I moved the bottom layer to the pan, filled with the apples and dotted the top with butter. I felt vindicated at this point. I rolled out the other disk of dough and draped over the filling.
I folded the edges over the bottom dough underneath and then pressed to seal and added a kind of decorative edge. I added an eggwash to the top and sprinkled with natural sugar.
I cut five slits on the top to allow for venting, baked in a preheated 400F oven for ten minutes. Then I reduced the heat to 375F and baked until golden brown. Martha suggests 60-75 minutes but mine was getting too brown around 50 minutes.
Remember the Baker Street Handcrafted Apple Pies I reviewed in May? How they were domed on top and the apples reduced way below the crust? That is exactly what happened to my pie! And the apples, because they were sliced so thinly, got a tad mushy. Ugh!!!
But! Wow, it was still delicious! The spicing and seasoning were perfect and, despite the oddness of my pie that was entirely my fault, we loved this apple pie. In fact I think flavour-wise, it is one of the best I have ever had. So yes, I will make it again and this time cram it into my small pie plate and not mess with the recipe at all.
Martha’s Entertaining: A Year of Celebrations is not just a cookbook though. It is an updated version of her original book on entertaining that is divided up according to the time of day you want to have a get together. From blueberry breakfast to picnic at the sea to Thanksgiving at Bedford. Filled with information about holidays and stories about Martha’s own parties, this appears to be the book on celebrations. I look forward to sharing more of her ideas with you soon and yes, I promise to follow the recipes 100% from now on!