(I'm sad to admit that most of the time I go with the pre-prepared crust; sad, because I think I lose out on the rewards that come from the craft of pie-making. My advice: take the extra time and roll out your own pie crust. That way if civilization ends and there are no more grocery stores, you'll still be able to have pie after a long day traversing the blackened landscape under a scorched and sunless sky.)
Dough for a 9-inch single-crust pie
3/4 cup, all-purpose flour
3/4 cup, packed, brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
9 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2-3 pounds tart apples (e.g. Granny Smiths), peeled, cored and slice 1/4 inch thick
Pinch ground cloves
Pinch ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons whiskey or bourbon (or scotch, if that's how you roll)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough and line pan. Prick dough with fork, then line with foil. Fill bottom with pastry weights or dry beans. Bake 8 minutes, remove foil and weights and bake 8 to 10 minutes longer, until pastry looks dry and is barely starting to color. Remove from oven and let cool.
2. Place flour, 1/4 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in food processor and process briefly to blend. Dice 6 tablespoons butter and add, along with pecans; pulse until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Set aside. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.
3. Melt remaining butter in a large skillet. Add apple slices and saute over medium heat about 5 minutes until a bit softened around the edges, with some just starting to brown. Remove from heat. Mix remaining brown sugar and cinnamon with a pinch of salt, the cloves and nutmeg. Pour over apples and fold together. Fold in whiskey.
4. Pour contents of pan into crust and top with crumbs. Place pie on a baking sheet, bake 10 minutes, lower heat to 350 degrees and bake 35-40 minutes longer, until topping browns and juices bubble. Allow pie to cool completely before cutting.
- I got this recipe from the New York Times' website, which is a surprisingly good place to find things to make.
- I never remember the pecans. Whatever.
- The part about waiting for the pie to cool completely before cutting is unreasonable. If you wait for the pie to cool, you'd probably be able to serve slices of pie to your guests that resemble slices of pie (the slices of pie would resemble slices of pie; your guests wouldn't). I've never actually done this, because it requires waiting and the pie smells so good.