This is the time of year that we make 1000 pies. You have no idea what it's like to make 1000 hand-made pies in one day! I only bake three varieties—Pumpkin, Apple and Pecan—otherwise it would get too crazy. We prepare all the pie dough about a week before so it can mature and the gluten can relax in our walk-in freezer. Today we will make the Pumpkin and Pecan fillings and they will chill in the refrigerator until very early tomorrow morning when the pies are filled and the oven madness begins. Twenty-five cases of fresh apples will arrive this morning and we will peel and slice them tonight. Early tomorrow morning the apples will be seasoned in small batches and the unbaked shells will be filled, shaped and topped with our delicious streusel. Each pie is handcrafted, just the way you would make them at home. This is an easy single-crusted covered pie— kind of resembles a big dumpling. You can make your own in your favorite pie dish, with my recipe that I posted recently in full detail —and here it is again. Or, if you have my book, open it to page 180 Oh, by the way, the recipe for my creamy Pumpkin Pie is also in my book.
This is what it looks like UNBAKED and then...
If you don't have time to make your own, let us bake one for you. This pie won the Macy's Best Apple Pie Bake-Off this year. Available at the bakery and by special order and can be picked up at all of our Sarabeth's restaurants. Sarabeth's Bakery, 75 9th Avenue, NYC. It is best to order in advance, so give us a call 212-989-2424. Don't forget to buy a jar of my Cranberry Relish to go with your Thanksgiving Turkey. If you stop by, please wave at me through our glass window and I will wave back. HAPPY THANKSGIVING
RUSTIC APPLE STREUSEL PIE
Makes 8 servings
(Sarabeth'a Bakery: From My Hands to Yours, Rizzoli 2011, Photos of pie Quentin Bacon
TENDER PIE DOUGH
BAKER'S NOTE: This makes a large batch of dough. Divide it in half and use both halves, or freeze one portion to use another time. Or make a Pumpkin Pie as well
14 tablespoons (1 ¾ sticks) unsalted butter, at cool room temperature, cut into
⅓ cup whole milk
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
BAKER'S NOTE: Be sure to slice the apples thin so that they cook in the amount of time needed to bake the crust—this isn’t a chunky filling. ( See photo in step 7.)
4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
⅔ cup superfine sugar
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
2 teaspoons pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Seeds from ¾ Plumped Vanilla Bean or ¾ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, well beaten with an electric hand blender
⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. To make the dough, beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment at high speed until the butter is smooth, about 2 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly dribble in the milk, occasionally stopping the machine and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber or silicone spatula. The butter mixture should be fluffy, smooth, and shiny, like a buttercream frosting.
2. In a small bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and salt together. With the mixer speed on low, gradually add the flour mixture and incorporate just until the dough forms a mass on the paddle and the sides of the bowl are clean. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead a few times until it is smooth and supple. Divide the dough in half. Shape each portion into a disk, about 1-inch thick. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap.
3. Refrigerate just until chilled, 30 minutes to 1 hour. (The dough can be refrigerated up to 1 day, but it will be very hard, and should stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes before rolling out. The dough can also be frozen, double wrapped in plastic, for up to 2 weeks. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight.)
4. To make the filling, toss the apples, sugar, flour, maple syrup, lemon juice, cinnamon, and vanilla in a medium bowl until well combined.
5. To make the streusel, combine the flour, superfine sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Stir the melted butter and vanilla together in another small bowl. Gradually stir the butter mixture into the flour mixture, just until evenly moistened (you may not need all of the butter). Squeeze the mixture in your hands until thoroughly combined. Crumble the mixture in the bowl to make fine crumbs with some small lumps. Set the streusel aside.
6. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper.
7. Lightly flour a work surface. Unwrap one portion of the dough (reserve the remaining dough for another use) and tap the entire circumference around its edge. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Roll out into a 15-inch round. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie pan, centering it in the pan, and let the excess dough hang over the sides. Heap the apples in the crust, mounding them high in the center. Bring up the edges of the dough, pleating the dough as needed around the circumference of the dish—the center of the filling will be visible. Brush the exposed crust with the egg. Sprinkle the streusel over the exposed filling to cover it, then scatter any remaining streusel over the crust.
8. Place the pie on the half-sheet pan. Bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the crust is golden brown and any juices that escape are thick, about 1 hour. If the crust is browning too quickly, tent it with parchment paper. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Cool completely and serve at room temperature.