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Nancy Silverton's Deep-Dish Apple Pie



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Deep-Dish Apple Pie
by Nancy Silverton, 1986, Harper & Row


Makes one 10-inch deep-dish pie, serving 10 to 12

“When it comes to making apple pie, the most hotly debated controversy
is whether the apples should be cooked before they’re put into the crust.
Without taking sides, I will point out that Dana Farkas’s recipe – with
sautéed apple slices – has been called by more than one restaurant critic
the best they have ever eaten.”

Apple Filling:
6 1/2 pounds tart green apples
(about 15 apples)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 pound unsalted butter (4 sticks) plus
1 tablespoon to butter pie pan
3 cups Southern Comfort
2 cups heavy cream

1 recipe Flaky Pastry
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
1 tablespoon milk

Sautéing the apples

Peel, halve and core the apples and slice no thinner than 1/4 inch thick.
There should be about 22 cups. In a small bowl, stir together the cinnamon and sugar.
Sauté the apples in a large, high-sided sauté pan. (Depending on the size
of your pan, divide them into two or three batches and divide the other
sautéing ingredients more or less equally.) Melt the butter and let it bubble slightly over medium-high heat. Add the apples and cook until tender, 5 to
8 minutes. Sprinkle on the sugar mixture and stir together with a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium. As the sugar melts and the juice is released from the apples, a lot of liquid will collect in the pan. Continue cooking, stirring every so often to avoid scorching, until the juice and sugar have reduced to a thick syrup and the apples are translucent and completely caramelized but still firm to the touch, about 20-25 minutes. Remove
from heat. Add Southern Comfort and ignite, letting the alcohol burn until
the flames die down on their own. Add the cream and cook 5-10 minutes,
until it is reduced and thick.
Pour apples into a colander set over a large bowl to drain. (Reserve the
juices for making a sauce to serve with the finished pie.) When the apples
have drained, spread them in a wide pan or on a baking sheet so that they
cool rapidly and stop cooking. Sauté the remaining apples in the same
manner. Toss all the apples together in a large bowl and refrigerate
until cold.

Rolling out the pastry and lining the pie pan

Brush the pie pan with melted butter.
Divide the dough into two unequal parts; chill the smaller part.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the larger part into a round 1/8-1/4 inch
thick and large enough to overlap the edges of a 10-inch pie pan (with
1 1/4-inch sides) by about 1 inch. Fold the dough lightly into quarters,
and place the center corner of the folded dough into the pan. Unfold
and arrange evenly in pan, allowing the excess to hang over the edges.
Trim with a sharp knife so that about 1 inch of dough overlaps the edges
of the pan. Fold the overlapping dough up onto the edge of the pie, and
press the excess into the inside of the pan to make a flat thick shelf, with
the edge of the dough even with the rim of the pie pan. Refrigerate for
30 minutes.

Filling and assembling the pie

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter; set aside.
On a lightly floured surface. Roll out the rest of the dough into a 1/8- to
1/4-inch-thick circle big enough to generously cover the top of the pie;
set aside. Brush melted butter over the bottom crust. Fill with sautéed
apples shaped into an even, rounded mound. Dot the top of the apples
with 2 tablespoons butter cut into small pieces. Brush the edges of the
pastry with melted butter. Cover with top crust and smooth the dough
gently with your hand so that the crust adheres to the apples.
Pinch the top and bottom crust together into a sturdy, continuous wall.
Be sure to press hard enough to seal the pastry so the juices won’t leak.
With a sharp knife, trim the excess dough around the edge of the pan.
Insert a knife in the center of the pie and turn it to make a nice-size
steam hole. Cut four 1-inch slits in the top around the hole. Refrigerate
or chill in freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.
The pie can be made ahead up to this point and refrigerated for two to
three days before baking.

Baking the pie

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees [F]. Adjust oven rack to middle position.
In a small bowl, stir together the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Brush the top of the pie with milk and sprinkle evenly with the sugar mixture. Place
the pie on a baking sheet to protect the oven from drips and bake at 400
degrees [F] for 30 minutes; reduce heat to 350 [F] and bake 35 minutes
longer, until the top crust is golden brown.
The juices drained from sautéing the apples make an excellent sauce.
Reheat before serving and thin with a little cream if too sweet or too
thick. Pool a tablespoon of sauce on the dessert plate and top with a
warm slice of pie and a scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream or a thin slice
of cheddar cheese.

Featured Archive Recipe:
Nancy Silverton's Pastry Technique
and Sweet Tart Pastry

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