Pie Corps Double Crusted Apple Pie

Pie Corps Double Crusted Apple Pie

Back in May I attended the World Science Festival’s Scientific Kitchen Series on pie, at Pie Corps in Brooklyn, NY. I wrote all about my experience here, and am now sharing their coveted recipe for double crusted apple pie, along with several tips and tricks I learned at the event!

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Butter Crust (makes two individual 11 ounce discs)

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 ounces cold unsalted butter (½ stick), grated
  • 5 ounces cold unsalted butter (1 ¼ sticks), cut into small dice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 6 to 12 tablespoons ice water

Instructions

Combine dry ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl. Mix well. Add the grated butter and mix until well incorporated (if working dough by hand use a pastry cutter to cut grated butter into flour). Add the diced butter and mix until the butter is just soft, about four to five minutes.

With motor running add lemon juice and enough water so that the crust just holds together. Once a rough dough is formed stop mixing and make two equal sized discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour (don’t try to roll fresh dough- it will be too soft and bounce back).

Tips:

  • Dough may be left in refrigerator for up to three days and frozen for up to one month. For best results, let the dough relax in the refrigerator one – two days before assembling your pie.
  • Keep everything very cold- this includes your ingredients and baking tools.
  • Work the dough as little as possible to avoid over-handling it. Fat (butter) is critical for crust texture. You want fat that is solid when you make the dough; pieces the size of walnuts result in a flaky crust.
  • This dough recipe can be used for both sweet and savory pies. If you would like to sweeten the dough, you can add 3-4 tablespoons of sugar.

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Apple Filling for Double Crusted Apple Pie (makes one nine-inch pie)

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Granny smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons lemon zest, using a micro-plane (from 1 lemon)
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  •  ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ ounce unsalted butter (1 tablespoon)
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract (or Kirsch; gives floral depth)
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado sugar

Instructions

Combine apples, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl and let sit for 30 to 60 minutes at room temperature.

Place a colander over a large bowl. Transfer apples to a colander, and reserve strained liquid.

Pour strained liquid into a small saucepan, add butter, and reduce liquid over medium heat until reduced by half and thickened slightly. Set aside to cool a bit. Add the cooled, reduced liquid to the apples and toss with extract and cornstarch.

Tips:

  • If your strained liquid cools to long, it will harden. You can reheat it again, back to a liquid state.

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To assemble pie

On a lightly floured surface, roll out butter crust into two 1/8-inch-thick circles to a diameter slightly larger than that of a 9-inch pie plate (about one inch over edge of pan). Press one pastry circle into the pie plate (press dough into corners to avoid air pockets from forming). Place the other circle on parchment paper, and cover with plastic wrap. Chill all pastry until firm, about 30 minutes.

Spoon apples into prepared pie pan with all accumulated juices, cover with remaining pastry circle. Cut several steam vents across top (so moisture can escape). Seal by crimping edges as desired or with a fork. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with additional sugar as desired.

Place pie back in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes maximum to firm before baking (optional, but recommended).

Bake in a 350 degree oven until crust is brown and juices are bubbling, about one hour. Let cool on wire rack before serving.

Tips:

  • Roll dough on a sheet of very lightly floured parchment paper in case you need to chill it and start again.
  • A black pie tin can cause your pie to burn. Foil or clear Pyrex pie tins are preferred.

I recently decided to bake this pie for a BBQ I was attending. Unfortunately, the day I decided to whip it up, my pie dish was nowhere to be found and the handle of my rolling pin fell off mid-roll. Undeterred, I used a foil pan and did the best I could with my broken rolling pin. The photo below is what I ended up with. Although the pie looks funny, the guests at the BBQ said it was the best apple pie they have ever had!

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I served the pie with homemade vanilla whipped cream and vanilla ice cream.

Thank you Pie Corps for sharing your delicious recipe!

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World Science Festival, The Scientific Kitchen: Pie

Do you think baking is one big science experiment?

On May 31st Pie Corps, purveyor of sweet and savory pies in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, opened their doors to a group of hungry curious attendees interested in untangling the scientific mysteries of pie.

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The program was part of the World Science Festival’s Scientific Kitchen Series.

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Our hosts included biophysicist Amy Rowat, White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses, Pie Corps owner and chef Cheryl Perry, and co-owner Felipa Lopez.

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The hands-on workshop applied scientific principles to create the perfect pie.

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We spent most of the evening focusing on the part of the pie that seems to give bakers the most trouble- the crust! A basic butter crust recipe typically includes flour, salt, baking powder, butter, lemon juice, and ice water. Here’s a breakdown of what each of the ingredients do.

Flour: all crusts begin with flour. Flour contains material that plants use for energy, both proteins as well as tiny starch granules, which store carbohydrates. For bakers, proteins link together to form a gluten network, which contribute to the structure and shape stability of pie crust. This enables you to roll out and form the dough into different shapes.

Gluten holds a crust together. Gluten-free flours have starch molecules (like tapioca or cornstarch) added to them, in the absence of gluten.

Some pie makers prefer cake flour for a flaky pie crust, while others maintain that all-purpose flour results in a pie dough that’s easier to handle. Pie Corps uses Hecker’s or King Arthur all-purpose flour.

Salt: is a flavor enhancer.

Baking Powder: is a leavening agent, which further enhances butter, making it lighter.

Butter: the ideal fat, is critical to a crust’s texture. You want butter that is solid when you make pie dough. Pockets of fat create pockets of air, resulting in flakiness. You can think of butter as “gas” when baking. If butter is left in large (walnut-sized) pieces, the crust will be more flaky.

Different butters have varying fat contents.

Lemon juice: helps tenderize pie dough, making it easier to roll out.

Ice water: activates the proteins in flour to help develop gluten, and creates texture. It should be ice-cold to keep to keep butter cool.

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After we learned the essentials for creating the perfect crust, we got to work on our very own to take home with us, along with Pie Corps’ recipe for Double Crusted Apple Pie.

For the recipe, and all the helpful tips I learned, check out my post HERE.

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I asked Bill what President Obama’s favorite dessert is during Q&A. Turns out, it’s … apple pie, with whipped cream! The girls love it as well, preferring it with vanilla ice cream.

And then of course, we ate some pie!

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Thank you for the wonderful learning experience Felipa, Cheryl, Amy and Bill!

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Turns out, the science of pie isn’t all that complex.