Country Apple Pie
2 (9-inch) pastry shells (to make double crust)
½ cup heavy cream (to glaze the crust)
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
Dash of ground nutmeg
8 medium apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inch chunks
1 tablespoon salted butter
Servings: 6 to 8
Active Time: 30 min
Total Time: 2 hours and 55 min (including cooling)
1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. To prepare the pie shell, divide the ball of dough in half, setting one half to the side. On a clean, lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it forms a 10-inch circle. Fold the circle in half, place it in a 9-inch pie plate so that the edges of the circle drop over the rim, and unfold the dough to completely cover the pie plate. Set the pie shell to the side while you make the filling.
3. To prepare the filling, in a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Place the apples in a large bowl and sprinkle them with the sugar mixture, making sure the apples are thoroughly coated. Place the apple mixture in the pie shell, distributing it evenly. Dot the filling with the butter.
4. To prepare the top crust, roll out the second half of dough with a rolling pin until it forms a 10-inch circle. Fold the dough circle in half and place it over the filling, with the straight line of the half circle running down the middle of the pie. Unfold the circle so that the entire pie is covered. Using your thumb and index finger, crimp the edges of the pie together to seal in the filling, and then use a fork to puncture the top of the pie 5 or 6 times. Brush the top of the pie and crimped edges with heavy cream to create a perfect, golden brown finish.
5. To bake, place the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 375°F and continue baking for 40 minutes, or until the apples are tender. Insert a cake tester or a knife into the pie to check the firmness of the apples. If the apples are still firm, continue baking the pie until they soften. The perfect apple pie will have visible juices bubbling around the crust. If the top of the crust is getting too brown and the apples are not done yet, cover the pie with aluminum foil to allow the apples to bake a bit longer without browning the crust too much. Transfer the pie plate to a wire cooling rack and allow the pie to cool and set for 1½ hours before serving. Apple pies are best served either at room temperature or warmed at 350°F for about 10 minutes.
Michele's note: Country Apple Pie will keep at room temperature overnight and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.