Is there anything better than apple pie with ice cream? The answer might be apple pie made with boiled cider, a caramely, appley addition that adds a lot of depth of flavor to the American classic. I would like to eat this pie with caramel ice cream…or, I suppose, vanilla will do…
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
Large pinch of salt (kosher)
1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter (I like cultured butter), chilled and cut into cubes
1/2 cup fresh lard (not hydrogenated lard), chilled and cut into cubes
5-6 tablespoons ice water
9-10 granny smith apples (or other pie apples), about 7 cups, peeled and sliced into wedges about 1/8 inch thick
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup boiled cider
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg white, lightly beaten, or water
Special Equipment: 9-inch pie plate
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Make the Crust:
- Whisk together the dry ingredients and add to the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and the lard, and pulse just until the mixture has a course, sandy texture. Add the ice water one tablespoon at a time, and continue pulsing. Stop adding water when the dough just comes together (you may not need to add all of the ice water).
- Remove the dough from the food processor and pat together to form a ball. Divide the dough in half and form both halves into a ball. Flatten each ball into a disk shape, then roll the disks’ sides on the counter to smooth (this will keep your dough from forming cracks when you roll it out).
- Wrap the dough disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a half an hour.
Make the Filling:
- Briefly heat the boiled cider until just pourable.
- Combine the apples, nutmeg, cinnamon, cornstarch, sugar, and cider in a large bowl. Toss with your hands to completely coat the apples.
Assemble the Pie:
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out one of the disks of dough to about 12 inches.
- Gently transfer the dough to the pie plate (you can roll the dough over your rolling pin, then gently unroll it over the pie plate). Gently press the dough into the corners of the pie dish, taking care not to rip the dough. You don’t have to trim the excess dough just yet.
- Fill the pie with the apples, mounding them in the center of the dish. Dot with the 1 tablespoon butter.
- Roll out the other disk of dough to about 12 inches. Gently transfer the dough to cover the apples. Trim the dough that hangs over the lip of the pie pan to about 1/2 inch (I use kitchen shears for this). Fold the dough rim underneath itself – this will seal the two layers of dough together. The dough lip should be flush with the top of the pie dish.
- Flute the edges of the dough with your finger (point your finger at the dough, pushing down slightly, then pinch the sides of the dough around your finger) or use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges.
- Cut slits in the dough top (this will let steam vent), brush the top of the dough with egg white or water, and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake the Pie:
- Place the pie on a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes at 400°, then reduce the temperature to 350° and bake another 40 minutes, or until the top of the pie is golden brown, and the apples are bubbly.
- If the crust starts to overbrown, cover with strips of tinfoil and continue to bake.