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Wolfgang Puck's Christmas Apple Pie



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~ Robert Greene, 'Arcadia', 1590

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Wolfgang Puck’s Christmas Apple Pie
Adventures in the Kitchen:
175 New Recipes from Spago,
Chinois on Main, Postrio, and Eureka
by Wolfgang Puck, © 1991, Random House, Inc.


In case you missed it on Good Morning America,
here it is...

Ingredients for pie:
Pâte Sucrée (Pie Dough) 2 pounds
(recipe follows)
5 pounds (about 10 large) Pippin or
Granny Smith apples
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon Calvados
1 tablespoon brandy
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 ounces (about 1/4 cup) chopped
dried prunes
1 1/2 ounces (about 1/4 cup) chopped
dried apricots
1 ounce (about 1/4 cup) chopped
dried figs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 egg white, very lightly whisked
1 1/2 tablespoons crystallized sugar

1. Divide the dough into two parts, one a little larger than the other. Wrap
the larger piece in plastic wrap and reserve. On a lightly floured surface,
roll the smaller piece into a round, 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, large enough to
overlap a 10 x 2-inch pie plate. Arrange in the pie plate and even with a
sharp knife, leaving about a 1/2-inch overhang. (Add the trimmings to
the reserved dough). Tuck the overhang back under, making a slightly
thicker edging. Chill for 30 minutes. If using a glass pie plate, remove
from the refrigerator 15 minutes before filling.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the reserved piece of dough into a
12-inch square, about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out a piece of cardboard,
1/2 inch wide and 10 or 12 inches long. Wrap the strip in plastic wrap
and use as a guide. With a sharp knife or a pastry cutter, cut the dough
into 20 1/2-inch strips. Lay 10 strips vertically on the back of a large
baking pan, leaving a very small space between strips. Weave a lattice
pattern by placing each of the remaining strips over and under hori-
zontally. (It’s easier to weave if the dough is not too firm, but it can’t
be too soft, either. If it's too soft, refrigerate for a little while and then
continue). To weave, turn back every other strip of dough (1, 3, 5,
etc.), lay a horizontal strip across, as close to the top as possible, and
return the turned-back strips to the original length.
3. For the next row, alternate the strips that you turn back (2, 4, 6, etc.)
and again place a horizontal strip across, close to the first strip. Repeat
this procedure until all the strips are used. Refrigerate just until firm.
Using a 9-inch cardboard round, a plate, or a pot cover as a guide, cut
out a 9-inch circle of latticework and refrigerate on the baking pan until needed. (Excess dough can be wrapped and refrigerated or frozen for
future use).
4. Peel, core and quarter the apples. Cut into 1/4 - inch slices. In 2 or 3
large skillets, melt the butter (2 or 3 tablespoons in each skillet, depend-
ing upon how many you use) and brown. The butter will have a slightly
nutty aroma. Divide the apples, arrange in the pans, and coat with the
butter. Sprinkle in the sugar and over medium-high heat, sauté the apples
until lightly caramelized and tender, 15 to 20 minutes, turning often so
that the apples cook evenly. Pour in 1 tablespoon of Calvados and the
brandy and cook until the alcohol burns off. Pour in the cream and stir
through. Transfer and spread over a large baking tray to cool.
5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and then warm the remaining
1/4 cup Calvados. Combine the chopped prunes, apricots, and figs
in a small bowl. Pour the Calvados over and let plump.
6. In a large bowl, combine the cooled apples and the plumped dried fruit.
Stir in the lemon juice, cinnamon, lemon and orange zests, and nutmeg,
and mix well. Spoon the filling into the prepared pie plate. Using a wide spatula, carefully transfer the 9-inch latticework circle and arrange on top
of the filling. Brush the latticework with egg white and sprinkle with the
crystallized sugar. Bake 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 350 degrees
F and bake 35 to 40 minutes longer, until the crust is golden brown.
Cool on a rack and serve warm. Serves 8 to 10 people.

Ingredients for Pâte Sucrée:
2 1/3 cups cake or pastry flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter,
chilled, cut into small pieces
2 egg yolks
1 or 2 tablespoons heavy cream

1. In a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine the flour
and sugar. Add the butter and process until the texture resembles
fine meal.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the yolks and 1 tablespoon of the
cream. Scrape into the machine and process until a ball begins
to form, using the additional tablespoon of cream, if necessary.
Remove the dough from the machine, and on a lightly floured
surface, press down into a circle. Wrap in plastic wrap and refri-
gerate for at least 1 hour.
Makes about 1 1/2 pounds or two 9-inch tart shells.

Featured Archive Recipes:
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Walnut Cream Tart

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