Miranda handed him a tray with a large portion of steaming lasagna, prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, a crusty sourdough bread roll, and a side of fresh apple pie with ice cream, before sitting beside him.
“Which reminds me.” Miranda began cutting up a small skirt steak. She turned to Holly, “Why wouldn’t I be safe around Andi?”
Holly barely balked, “Just something Mike said. Ask him.” Then she picked up a roasted Brussels sprout with her fingers and ate it.
Andi’s eye roll clued him in that it had been her and Holly’s conversation, not his, that Miranda had caught some part of.
He kicked Holly’s shin under the table.
Jeremy squeaked in surprise.
To cover that it was his kick that had gone astray, Mike flipped over the card he’d drawn.
Ace of Spades.
Active Time: / Cook Time: / Total time: 10-15 minutes
Pie Dough (you can buy a shell)
- 2 c. plain flour
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 6 Tbsp. butter (diced and cold)
- ~1/2 c. ice water
- 6-8 large Granny Smith apples, sliced thin (pile them up in a pie plate until they make a mound about as high above the pie plate as it is below)
- Mix in a bowl and let stand for 1/2 hour with:
- 1/4 c. sugar
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
The Pie Dough (the key is keep everything cold)
- Combine dry ingredients (sift into bowl or drop into a food processor and whirl it a few times).
- Add butter and pinch into flour until the texture of coarse sand (or buzz 10 1-second pulses in the food processor).
- Add ice-cold water and mix well (or buzz in food processor as you dribble in water). Run until it just comes together. Finish quickly by hand.
- Divide in two, flatten into 4” discs. Wrap in cling wrap or wax paper. Return to fridge for an hour (freeze the other half).
- Place your rolling pin the fridge as well.
Prepping the Pie
- Preheat over to 400° F.
- Roll out 1/2 of the dough into a circle until 2-3” larger than your pie plate. (leave the other half in the fridge and work quickly)
- Flip occasionally, and brush a bit of flour on the counter.
- Lift by rolling it loosely onto your rolling pin.
- It will start out to be hard to do, but it will soften all too quickly, so work fast. We don’t want the little butter lenses to melt, as they make the crust lighter.
- Use the rolling pin to lay it gently over the pie plate. Do NOT stretch to make it fit (the dough will remember and contract as it bakes). Instead, lift the outer edges and slide toward the middle to fill the pie plate, run up the sides under no tension, and floop over the edges.
- Trim off any excess that hangs more than 1/2” off the edge of the pie plate. (This can be used to patch a hole if one happened.)
- Put it in the fridge.
- Roll out the other 1/2 of the dough as per above.
- Retrieve the pie plate, fill with the apple-and-spice mix, nudging to around to make as compact a mound as reasonable. (Don’t press hard as you’ll ding the lower crust.)
- Lay the upper crust gently over the mounded apples.
- Again trim off any of the excess over 1/2”.
- Tuck the 1/2” of the two crusts under the edge of the lower crust so that it rests on the rim of the pie plate. Using a fork, or two fingers from one side pinched by one finger from the other, press the edge into the pie plate.
- If you have a pie ring (a protective metal hoop to keep crust edges from burning) put it on. (If not, a few thin strips of aluminum foil may be gently folded over the edges and lapped about 1/2” down into the pie crust.)
- Critical: Slice in several 1”-long air vents to release the steam. Feel free to make pretty patterns.
- You can also decorate with leftover bits of dough you trimmed off earlier.
- If you’re feeling fancy, whisk and egg and brush it over the surface before baking to add to the golden glow.
Baking the Pie
- If the oven isn’t up to temperature when you’re ready, put the pie back in the fridge, even if you think it will just be a minute.
- Bake for 15 minutes at 400° F.
- Lower temperature to 350° F and back for 45 minutes.
- Apply to fully cool before serving. Vanilla ice cream would go well here.
A lovely apple pie for my birthday.
What’s not to love!