Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Maple Apple Pie with Spiced Pastry

You know how you have some rules you just live by in life? 

My rules include:
1. Wear sunscreen if you go outside. Hell, wear sunscreen if you go near windows while indoors.
2. Remember that you don't know how to swim, so stay away from water.
3. You won't be happy that you watched that scary movie, so just don't.
3. You also won't be happy that you said no to having dessert, so just don't do that either. 
4. Actually, just don't say no to food.
5. Always, ALWAYS, cake > pie.

It doesn't really even matter what kind of cake. The worst cake is better than the best pie, in my twisted little world.

Or so I thought. Until this guy (ugh. I really wanted to spell that as 'gie') came along and made me a believer.

Given my life rules, you can imagine that for a pie to take centre stage, be made repeatedly, and - yes - even chosen over cupcakes, cake, and all those other chocolate-centric things I like, well, it must be love.

This pie takes everything good about pie and amplifies it. The cozy apple-loving spices are infused into the crust, making every bite delicious. The filling is warm and gooey with a hint of maple goodness. The topping pattern is fun with a little bit of whimsy. It doesn't even need ice cream to wash it down! (My former go-to pie survival trick. Life can be so hard, non?)

So go ahead. Give this pie a chance.

Maple Apple Pie with Spiced Pastry 
Leanne Bakes

Spiced Pastry
2 cups flour
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Mix the flour, spices, and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in the butter, and pinch with the fingers to make fine crumbs. 

Make a well in the middle.  Stir together egg and sugar, and pour into the well. Swiftly mix in with the fingertips until the mixture forms a dough.  Do not overmix. 

Divide into 2 disks, one slightly larger, and wrap in plastic. Chill in fridge for at least an hour.

Maple Apple Pie 
6-8 apples (I prefer Gala, but any ol' apples will do here), peeled, cored, and cubed
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons flour

Preheat oven to 425F.

In a medium bowl, toss the apple cubes with the syrup, spices, and flour. Set aside.

Remove the pie dough from the fridge, and roll out, on a slightly floured surface, the larger half into a circle large enough to cover the bottom of your pie dish. Pierce the bottom several times with a fork, and bake for 5-8 minutes. (This - a blind bake - will help the crust from getting all soggy from the filling. You can absolutely skip this step, but I prefer it). Fill will the apple mixture, mounded slightly.

Roll out the smaller half of dough, and cut out star shapes with a cookie cutter. Place them, overlapping, on top of the pie. You can re-roll the dough to get more stars.

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the filling is bubbling and the apples are soft. If the pie begins to brown too much, tent with foil.


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