Getting My Pie On

I decided to get super-domestic this weekend and bake a pie. OK, it actually wasn't my idea; a couple of my friends decided that they wanted to bake a pie and, never having made real crust before, I mosied in on their action. First, to be ultra Martha Stewart about it, we went to the Apple and Arts Festival at EXPO NM to snatch up some fresh Dixon apples (and I scored some awesome creamed honey too, although that didn't go in the pie). Then, to continue in the Martha tradition, we grabbed a couple of her recipes from the web. A couple hours later ... whala! Fresh apple pie.

I would have taken a picture, but my brain wasn't working amidst all that cinnamon and butter. But, I've cut and paste the recipes below so you can recreate your own version. Let me tell you, Martha knows how to do pie. We all said a little prayer in her honor before digging in. I suggest you do the same.

A note: Martha's an ambitious lady, so her pie filling is for a 12” pie dish. Most are 9”. We went ahead and made the whole thing and had a little filling left over. My friends came up with a great idea and put it in a small baking dish, covered it with granola and warmed it up in the oven. Now that's what I call breakfast.

Thanks, Martha!

Pâte Brisée (Pie Dough)

Makes 1 double-crust or 2 single-crust 9- to 10-inch pies Pâte brisée is the French version of classic pie or tart pastry. Pressing the dough into a disk rather than shaping it into a ball allows it to chill faster. This will also make the dough easier to roll out, and if you freeze it, it will thaw more quickly.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup (sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

1. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds. (Note: we didn't use no stinkin' food processor. You can also use a pastry blender, or a fork or knife.)

2. With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

3. Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator, and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.

Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Serves 10 to 12

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

Pâte Brisée

12 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (or Dixon, if you can manage)

3/4 cup sugar, plus additional for pie top

zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

pinch ground cloves

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large egg, beaten

1. Heat oven to 375°. On a lightly floured surface, roll out pâte brisée into two 1/8-inch-thick circles to a diameter slightly larger than that of an 11-inch plate. Press one pastry circle into the pie plate. Place the other circle on waxed paper, and cover with plastic wrap. Chill all pastry until firm, about 30 minutes.

2. In a large bowl, combine apples, sugar, lemon zest and juice, spices, and flour. Toss well. Spoon apples into pie pan. Dot with butter, and cover with remaining pastry circle. Cut several steam vents across top. Seal by crimping edges as desired. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with additional sugar.

3. Bake until crust is brown and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour. Let cool on wire rack before serving.