Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cooking With Lady Evil: Apple-Peach Pie With Bourbon And Crumb Topping

Thanksgiving is coming up in a few weeks.

That calls for a good pie recipe.

Pie can be a deceptively complex thing to make, so I'm gonna break this process up into steps to make it easier to follow.

Optional Beginning Step: Go to the local U-Pick orchard and pick yourself a ginormous pile of apples. These are Gala, but Mackintosh or Granny Smith would be good too.   

Step 1: Make the crust.

(Note: I've always found regular pie dough to be kind of boring, and I'm terrible at making it anyway. So I prefer to make a shortbread-based pie crust instead. I found the recipe in this book, which I highly recommend. The buttermilk pecan pie that the shortbread crust comes with is pretty awesome too.)

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons cold water

Place butter, flour, sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Mix together with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until it resembles coarse meal.

Add the egg yolk and the vanilla, and mix on low speed until well-blended.

Sprinkle in the water and use your hands to shape the dough into a ball. Wrap the dough in plastic, FLATTEN IT (this step is more important than you'd think) and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Step 2: Make the filling while you wait for the dough to chill.

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large fresh peaches
3-6 fresh Gala apples (My apples were small. You'd probably only need 3 big store-bought apples.)
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon bourbon

Core and skin apples and cut them into eighths. Pit, skin and slice peaches into eighths. In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour and cinnamon. Pour in peaches, apples and bourbon; toss to coat thoroughly.

Step 3: Make the crumb topping.

1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 cup butter, softened

Mix sugar and flour in a medium bowl. Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly.

Step 4: Put everything together.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. (Note: My brand-new oven preheats practically in the blink of an eye. If your oven is older and slower, you may want to start preheating it sooner.)

Retrieve the crust dough from the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap, and turn out onto a floured surface for rolling. By the way, remember how I put the FLATTEN IT instruction in all-caps back in step 1, and you probably thought I was being a drama queen? This dough is hella dense. I didn't bother to flatten it the last time I made it--I guess I thought I could save some plastic wrap or something--and I almost gave myself a hernia rolling it out. I seriously had to lean my whole weight on the rolling pin.


Roll out the shortbread dough to approximately 1/4 inch thick and place it into a greased 9-inch pie pan to form a crust. Reserve any extra dough for decorative elements.

Pour the apple and peach mixture into the prepared pie dish and sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over the top. If you have leftover dough, use it to create a decorative border around the rim of the pie plate. Cover the edges of the crust with aluminum foil so they won't burn.

Bake for 45-60 minutes with a foil-covered cookie sheet on the rack below to catch any drippings. When the filling has grown bubbly and the crust is golden brown, the pie is done. Cool on a wire rack, and happily devour.

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