I'm back. Or something. We're doing food again.
The first thing I ever learned to bake was apple pie. That was nearly a decade and a half ago.
It's been a standby for a long time. I've made it myriad ways: cheese in the crust, without sugar, with a carmel bottom.
But if you really want to do it, well, there's really only one way to go ...
Bourbon and apples are a perfect match.
There's something about the apples with mellow sweetness coupled with the raw spice of the liquor.
The apples here are steeped and then drained and a sauce is made to concentrate the flavor while keeping the pie from getting soggy.
(Also, I'm writing this post while watching NBC's The Sound of Music. Let's just have a moment of silence for that, okay? Because. Just. What.)
This is the perfect winter dessert.
Sure, maybe, okay. Recipes always say that. Look, here's what I can tell you: this is delicious, this is actually pretty easy, and it's fun. If you can't do bourbon, just leave it out. You'll have less sauce at first, but it's really no big deal. Keep everything the same. Pie on.
Don't ask. Let's not talk about it.
Someone pass a fork.
(This Sound of Music is ROUGH.)
Bourbon Spiced Apple Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie.
For the Crust
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 sticks (16 tbs.) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tbs coconut oil or vegetable shortening
1 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup ice water
For the Filling
3 Braeburn apples
3 Granny Smith apples
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup bourbon
1 tbs vanilla
1 tbs ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground clove
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg (fresh, if possible)
3 tbs all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 400 F and get out a 9" pie tin.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in butter and coconut oil with your hands, some knives, or a pastry mixer. (Remember that coconut oil has a tendency to shard and shatter, so you may have to work it in a bit more.) Be gentle in combining to not overwork the dough, but you're looking for pellets and lumps. Then add a bit of ice water, a bit at a time, combing until a silky dough forms. You won't use all of the water, or you might. Go slow and see. Divide the dough in two and gently press into rounds about 3/4th an inch thick and cover in plastic wrap. Put in the fridge to chill for an hour. (Dough will last up to three days, if making in advance.)
Peel and slice your apples how you'd like. I have a gadget that cuts them into half circles, so that's how I tend to go. In a large bowl, toss the apples with the sugar, bourbon, vanilla, and spices. Place in the fridge for a half hour.
Take the mixture from the fridge and empty it into a strainer over another bowl. Leave for twenty minutes to drain. Remove the spiced and bourbon-soaked apples and set aside. Empty the liquid into a saucepan and place over medium heat. Let simmer about ten to fifteen minutes, until thickened and the liquid has reduced by half to three-fourths. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature.
Toss the apples with the three tablespoons of flour.
Pull the two rounds of dough from the fridge. Roll out the first on a lightly floured surface, about 1/8 inch thick. Fit to your pie tin.
Dump the apples in, then pour over your sticky bourbon syrup. Don't add more than a 1/3 cup of liquid, the remainder can be used in drinks, as sauce over ice cream, etc.
Roll out the remaining crust and fit over the apples. Finish the edges with a fork or pinch with your fingers. Slit four opening in the top to release steam while baking.
Place in the oven to bake for 30-40 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
Let stand ten minutes, then serve.