Can you tell that I am a Rose Levy Bernbaum fan-girl?
Her recipes are fool-proof.
This Thanksgiving was simple and lovely, made all the more lovely thanks to this classic pie which graced our table. This year, I opted for a flakey cream cheese crust, rather than her classic flakey crust. I found that the cream cheese crust held up better to heat, and had a more elegant lattice and crimped crust when baked.
It was also far more tender than the flakey crust with a subtle tartness. I substituted 1/4 c. of flour for medium-coarse cornmeal and added an additional T of cream (See Beranbaum’s original Cream Cheese Pie Crust here). This crust served as a tart and flakey contrast to the sweet and sumptuous apple filling— a true consummate recipe, perfect in every way.
- 2½ pounds baking apples (about 6 medium or 8 cups ), peeled, cored, and sliced ¼-inch thick
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ to 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- Prepare pie dough according to recipe, see Rose Levy Beranbaum's recipe for cream cheese pie dough above.
- In a large bowl, combine the apples, lemon juice, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt and toss to mix. Allow the apples to macerate at room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 3 hours.
- Transfer the apples and their juices to a colander suspended over a bowl to capture the liquid. The mixture will release at least ½ cup of liquid.
- In a small saucepan, add butter and cornstarch to liquid and whisk vigorously over medium hear. Reduce to about ⅓ cup. I should appear syrupy and lightly caramelized. Pour liquid through a sieve to eliminate clumps. Toss apples in reduced and thickened sauce.
- Transfer apples to a prepared pie shell. Prepare top crust as desired (pie above features a lattice). Cover the pie loosely and refrigerate for at least one hour before baking.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees at least 20 minutes before baking. Set an oven rack at the lowest level and place a baking stone or baking sheet on it before preheating.
- Set the pie directly on the foil-topped baking stone and bake for 45 to 55 minutes.