Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Apple Gingerberry Deep Dish Pie

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Happy National Pi Day! This holiday totally takes me back to my high school days of endlessly difficult math and physics homework. But let's remember the good times of pi. Like using those confusing equations to build the coolest, longest, loopiest and functioning (model) roller coaster ever!

As I gently kneaded the dough for this deep dish pie, I caught the scent of that intoxicating butter-flour combo and almost melted away. Heavenly. And the colors! I love that the apples just absorb the vibrant blueberry's gorgeous!

And don't think I'm ignoring the flavors here. The ginger gives a delicate depth and heat to the pie while the flaky crust balances out the sweetness of the fruit filling. You're gonna need to run to the store now. 

Apple Gingerberry Pie [click to print]
Makes one 8-1/2" deep dish pie

For the Pie Crust: 

2-1/2 c. flour
1 T. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 sticks (8 oz.) butter, cold
1/2 c. water, ice cold

For the Delicious Filling: 

4 c. tart apples (about 5 med.), cored, peeled and sliced in 1/4" thick pieces
1 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
2 T. lemon zest (about 1 med.)
1 tsp. ginger paste (OR grated fresh ginger)
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. blueberries, divided

For the Crumble Topping: 
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. flour
1/4 c. chopped crystallized ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
4 T. unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces

Start by making the pie dough. Whisk flour, sugar and salt in large mixing bowl. Cut butter into 1/2 inch pieces and add to flour mixture. Using pastry blender, cut in butter until butter pieces are about the size of peas. It doesn't have to be perfectly even at this point. Drizzle water over mixture. Use a rubber spatula to gather the dough together until the mixture starts clumping. Gently knead dough together with your fingertips; when it forms a lumpy ball, it's done. Be careful not to overwork, the heat from your hands can make the butter melt and that's what makes the crust so flaky and good! 

Flatten dough to 1/2" disk; seal in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. The colder the dough, the better, though, so leave it for 2 or more hours if you can. 

Combine apples, water, sugar, zest, ginger and salt in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add 1 cup blueberries and simmer for 10 more minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool. Drain fruit and save juice. Pour juice in small saucepan and simmer until reduced to 1/3 to 1/2 cup; allow to cool. 

Now for the crumble topping. In food processor, combine sugar, flour, ginger and salt. Process to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture is combined but still crumbly. Set aside. 

Coat 8-1/2" springform pan with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out to about 1/4" thick. Press into bottom of springform pan and about 2" up the sides. You'll have a little left over pie dough, but don't throw it away! Check back in a couple days for a tasty idea to use up those scraps!

Pour fruit mixture into pan. Spread remaining blueberries across top of fruit. Sprinkle crumble topping across top of pie, gently press edges of crust down with fingertips to meet top of pie and stick the whole thing in the oven. I like to bake pies with a baking sheet on the rack below in case it decides to drip, then you don't have to scrub nasty baked on stuff off the bottom of your oven. Ew. 

Bake at 350 F for 50-55 minutes. Allow to cool and remove from springform. Drizzle reduced juice across top of pie and enjoy!

Source: Pie crust from Smitten Kitchen; Pie adapted from What Katie Ate; Crumble topping adapted from TableFare

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