We’re up for a long 4-day weekend. Tomorrow we’re doing an apple tasting. I’ve hit up a farm stand and a grocery store and loaded up on New York apple varieties.
Braeburn: all-purpose apple with a spicy sweet-tart flavor and crisp bite
Cortland: they don’t turn brown quickly when cut.
Golden Delicious: Thin skinned, consistently sweet and crisp, with a silky texture – firm
Honeycrisp: refreshing sweetness similar to fresh apple cider – firm
Jazz: Parents are the Braeburn and Royal Gala.
Jersey Mac: Tender flesh cooks quickly, so add a thickener if making a pie
Macoun: Extra-sweet and aromatic, Very juicy, Tender, snow-white flesh – soft
McIntosh: McIntosh’s tender flesh cooks down quickly. Add a thickener if making a pie
Paula Red: Tart, Juicy, Crisp white flesh. Paula Red applesauce needs little or no sugar.
SweeTango: audible crunch, cross between Honeycrisp and Zestar!
Zestar: Sprightly, sweet/tart taste with a hint of brown sugar
I know the key to a good pie is to layer flavors: firm and tart (like a Granny Smith/Crispin), firm and sweet (like Golden Delicious), and a “melting” apple for the top layer of the pie, something soft fleshed, like a Jonathan or Macoun.
While I attempt the famed Fish Market Apple Pie (I’ve made it before and it was insane, that topping alone, my God!) I also plan to make another pie using apple cider that’s boiled down to a syrup. In that version I’m going to try to add the sugar and spices after the naked apples are layered onto the pie. I’ve read different scientific techniques in terms of apple slice size. The thinner they are, 1/8″ for example, the better the pie, they say, because surprisingly they create less juice this way (which means no soggy bottom crust) and retain their shape better. I’m not a fan of a mushy apple pie. I like my apples firm and tart like my men.
The kids will be binge-watching Disney movies while I bake memories into our lives.
FISH MARKET APPLE PIE WITH WALNUT CRUMB TOPPING
1 ¾ cups flour, sifted
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
2/3 cup butter
½ cup water
Mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in large mixing bowl. Cut butter into flour until pea size. Sprinkle water to moisten dough; toss with fork and gather into a ball. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Roll out crust for 10” pie pan; put into pie pan and flute edge. Refrigerate until ready to fill.
1 ½ cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
¼ cup flour
2 tsp. vanilla
½ tsp. salt
2 ½ lbs. apples, sliced thin (FIRM tart-sweet apples, or a mix of varieties)
Beat egg. Stir in sour cream, sugar, flour, vanilla and salt until smooth. Add sliced apples, stirring gently to coat. Spoon into shell. Bake 10 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees. Bake 35 minutes.
½ cup butter
½ cup flour,
2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. salt
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup chopped walnuts
Blend all ingredients with pastry blender. Remove pie after 35 minutes (as above) and sprinkle topping over. Return to 350 degree oven and bake for 15 minutes more.