Vermont Apple Pie

This is a glorious, tall apple pie! But it's possible to make any pie into a miniature beauty, or even a pie pop.

This is a glorious, tall apple pie! But it’s possible to make any pie into a miniature beauty, or even a pie pop.

For the pie crust:

Quick Puff Pastry
(recipe below)

Divide the dough into two pieces, one piece slightly larger than the other. Roll the larger portion into a rough 11-inch (28-cm) round. Line the bottom of a 9-inch (23-cm) pie pan with the dough, leaving a slight overhang.Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. Roll the second piece of dough into a 10-inch (25-cm) round (you want this to be slightly larger than a traditional top crust since it has to fit over the large mound of apples). Using a 1-inch round cutter (I use a small apple cookie cutter for the task), cut a vent hole in the middle of the dough. Cover the top crust dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

For the pie filling:

10 tart apples
1/2 cup maple sugar (If you can’t find maple sugar, use brown sugar.)
4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Core the apples and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Toss these in a bowl with the maple sugar, flour and salt until evenly coated.

For the pie assembly:

2 tablespoons Crust Dust (50-50 mix of sugar and flour)
1/2 cup finely shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup egg wash (1 egg whisked with 2 tablespoons water)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Sprinkle the Crust Dust in an even layer over the bottom crust. Pile the apples into the bottom crust, mounding them highest in the middle. Sprinkle the cheddar in an even layer over the apples. Place the top crust over the apples and crimp the bottom and top crust edges together. Brush the top of the crust with the egg wash. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the top crust is golden brown.

Quick Puff Pastry

Makes approx. 4 lbs. 11 oz. Use 1/4 batch for pie.

Puff pastry is called puff because it puffs! It’s true. The procedure of folding the butter in turns, a process known as lamination, creates alternating layers of butter encased in flour. When touched by the heat of your oven, these become puffed layers of infinite flakiness. The Quick Puff crust, with its insane buttery crispness, puts what could otherwise be over-the-top sugary creaminess in its place. This version is called quick because you cut the butter into the dough instead of going through a proper lamination, as you do with traditional puff pastry. You also make all the folds and turns at once instead of resting in between, as in the traditional method. You can substitute Quick Puff for All-Butter or Part-Butter Easy Pie Dough as well.

7 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (cold)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 lbs. unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1 1/4 cups cold water

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and butter. Massage the butter into the flour with the tips of your fingers until the butter pieces are a bit smaller, about the size of a dime.

Add the water and smoosh everything around with a wooden spoon or with your hands, coating the mixture with water. Gently knead until the whole mess looks like it’s just barely holding together. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a loose square.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 10 minutes on the counter, where the flour will continue to absorb moisture from the water and the butter. Then roll it out gently, sprinkling flour on your work surface and your rolling pin to keep everything from sticking.

Roll the dough into a rough 12-by-20-inch rectangle. Make a single fold by bringing one short edge of the dough to the midline of the rectangle, then fold the other side over on top of the first fold – just like folding a letter (that’s why this process is also called a letter fold!).

Turn the dough 90 degrees, roll the dough out again to the same size rectangle and make another letter fold. Do this twice more, to make 4 folds and turns in total. This is a holy mess until you get to the last turn. Bits are going to plop off willy-nilly. Don’t worry. Just be patient. Shove the errant dough chunks back into the whole and persevere!

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes before using.

By Gesine Bullock-Prado from her cookbook “Pie it Forward

Categories: Fall Food and Recipes, Recipes