Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Laboring Fruit -or- "I Am Emily"

Jake says to me, "We have way too many treats around the house. Why do you want to make a pie?"
"Because this pie is so gooooood! We have to make it."
Later I pretend that I want to go hiking just to go hiking. But really I want to make a pie. So when he asks me which Hauula loop I want to go on, I pick the one with mountain apples, even though I know he'll have to duck under lots of branches with Amaya on his back, and will probably complain about it the whole time.
"There probably aren't any mountain apples you know. Mike went there a few weeks ago and they were still green."
"Whatever." I silently pray that there will be ripe mountain apples, or at least enough for Jake to scavenge for them.
I borrowed a book from the library for Amaya last week called "Yummers" by James Marshall. I remembered reading it as a kid and thought, "Oh, this is a great book." I read it again and realized why I liked it so much as a kid. The pig, Emily, knows that she is too fat and out of shape, so decides to start exercising. She hates it, of course, so the turtle, Eugene, suggests that they go out walking, because it's exercise, good for you, and doesn't seem like exercise. On their walk they get hungry, and Eugene suggests that they stop at his favorite sandwich vending machine. Emily can't decide what to get so she gets two sandwiches. They proceed to see many more yummy foods along the way, stopping at a restaurant, tasting booth, roadside stall, ice cream shoppe, etc. You get the idea. Eugene wisely stops himself from eating more food by the time they get to the second place, but Emily's call is "Yummers!" She gets sick to her stomach and has to stay in bed, where Eugene advises plenty of rest and food, much to Emily's happiness.
I guess James Marshall has met me somewhere.
On that note, here's my mountain apple pie. This crust recipe is basically the most perfect one there is, and if you don't agree I will never trust your food taste again. I wasn't formerly obsessive about crust, but now I will be. The texture is perfectly buttery and shatters in your mouth without all of that sinking around that butter crusts do. I compared the recipe to The Joy of Cooking and the basic difference? More sugar, more butter, chill before baking. Thank you, Baking Illustrated, and your millions of hours of test kitchen work.

Basic Pie Dough (makes 1 double crust 9 inch pie)

2 1/2 C flour
1 t salt
2 T sugar
1/2 C shortening, chilled
12 T cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
6-8 T ice water
Whisk dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add shortening and use a pastry blender (the hand held C shaped cutting tool) to process the mixture until the shortening is incorporated into a crumb-like mixture. Scatter the butter pieces into the flour and cut the butter in until the butter is no larger than small peas. (You can also do all of this in a food processor.)
Sprinkle 6 T ice water over the mixture and fold in with a spatula. Eventually combine the dough into a ball (using 2 T more icewater if it's not sticking). Divide dough into two and flatten into disks. Wrap and put in refrigerator for about one hour. (I only used 1/2 an hour.)

Apple filling (In my case, mountain apple)
Enough Mountain apples to fill the pie, sliced thinly.
(if you're doing a regular apple pie, 3 large granny smith, and 4 large mcintosh is their suggestion)
1 T lemon juice and 1 t grated zest
2 T flour
3/4 C sugar (I used 1/2 C)
1/4 t fresh grated nutmeg
1/4 t cinnamon
1/8 t allspice (I didn't have any)
1/4 t salt
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 T sugar for sprinkling

1. Adjust oven rack to the lowest position, place a rimmed baking sheet on it, and heat the oven to 500 degrees.
2. Roll out one disk of dough and put in pie plate.
3. Toss apple with lemon and zest. Whisk flour, sugar, spices, and salt together in a bowl. Toss dry ingredients with the apples. Turn the whole thing into a pie shell, mounding in the middle.
4. Roll out second piece of dough and place on top, pressing edges with the bottom crust. (you can flute the edges or just press down with tines of fork. I just tucked it in to the pie pan so I wouldn't have to worry about it burning on the edge.)
5. Make four slits on the top of the pie. Brush the top crust with beaten egg white, and sprinkle with sugar. Put the pie in the oven (on the baking sheet), reducing the heat to 425 and cook for 25 minutes (until top crust is slightly golden). Then reduce heat to 375 and bake for 30-35 minutes longer, until the crust is deep golden brown.

Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool.
Yummers!


6 comments:

Damaris said...

this is so not o.k! you can't post a recipe for mountain apples when we live so far away from Mountain apples. That's just mean.

Mariko said...

Why do you think I did it? :)

Jesse said...

Yummers. That does look good. Although people say you can find any kind of food in Tokyo, I am willing to bet that mountain apple pie is not on that list. So we'll see you guys in February when I am there for my job interview. I suppose if I wanted to ransom my first child, I could make a nashi pie. Hmmm.

Smiths said...

Mom mentioned this pie to me and how she can't get over it- it was that fabulous. You are so clever: of coarse you could use mountain apples in an apple pie recipe. Looks like you've done it agian Jackson.

Kaity DeMartini said...

Thanks for the new crust and pie recipe. I have been obsessed with apple pie lately making it at least once a week and have only done the joy of cooking recipe. I am definitely going to try this one.

iMaLLheaRt said...

Hey Mariko! I found your blog through some one's blog and blog and here I am! I just wanted to comment especially on this post because that pie looks delish!! yes, it's school time but my kids schedules got mixed up and blah blah, here I am trying to get organized but instead, I'm here on blogger reading blogs.