Tuesday, November 19, 2019

apple pie: delicious disaster

I have a lot to learn.

Here's my first-ever attempt at apple pies:

You can't see it from this angle, but the larger pie's top crust isn't even attached to the bottom crust: I failed to fuse top and bottom properly, so the top crust shrank a bit, exposing some of the pie filling. I also chickened out, after all my bluster about not needing to dock and blind-bake the bottom crust... and I docked and blind-baked the bottom crust. Lord, have mercy.

The dough for the larger pie has a bit of muscovado sugar in it—just a spoonful to slightly sweeten the crust. I'll be taking that pie to the office in the morning. We'll see then whether the docking and blind-baking were worth it. As for the smaller-but-taller pie: I didn't dock or blind-bake the crust, and I didn't add any sugar to it, either. I did, however, dust the top with some turbinado sugar after laying on the egg wash. The dough was also very impromptu compared to the dough I'd made for the larger pie: for the smaller pie, I used room-temp butter (cue piercing screams and thunderous opening notes of "Carmina Burana"), although I did stick to incorporating ice water. I refrigerated the dough for an hour, allowing the butter to firm up, and from what I can tell, the pie crust turned out just fine. This amazing (and amazingly simple) pie-dough recipe really is idiot-proof.

So the one major skill I need to acquire is learning how to lay on the top crust correctly, with a perfect seal. I suppose I could avoid the problem by making a latticed top crust instead, but that also takes some skill. As I said above, I have a lot to learn. And I have to learn it by Saturday, when we're having our Thanksgiving shindig. But that's one of the reasons why I decided to bake a pie for my coworkers: this is a rehearsal, and practice makes perfect. Or something close to perfect, I hope.


John Mac said...

I don't speak "pie", but the end result looks legitimate to me. Aesthetic perfection is overrated anyway.

You gonna serve those with some vanilla ice cream on top?

Kevin Kim said...

The smaller pie is already dead, but I'll buy some vanilla ice cream to go with the larger pie today.

Charles said...

Crimping is your friend. Even if you don't want to go for a fancy fluted edge, you should still be pressing the edges of the lower crust and the upper crust together. If you're really worried about separation, you can brush the lower crust with egg wash (or even water) before crimping.

I think I blind-baked a pie shell once, and then never did it again. The only time I do this is for no-bake pies or tarts (those involving a custard or sabayon, etc.). But for a regular pie, I never blind-bake. Too much of a hassle, and I've achieved good results without it. I will be interested to hear what you think of the difference, though.

Kevin Kim said...


Yeah, I'm kicking myself for not crimping. I've done that with almost every other pie I've baked up to now.