As American As...
Apple Cider Cream Pie
I saw this recipe in the most recent Food & Wine and decided that attempting it would be an appropriate activity for a cool-ish October Monday. It's a nice twist on the traditional apple pie, combining the flavors that invariably speak to this most beautiful and inviting of seasons with the refreshing sensation of cream pies more often associated with the summer months. In fact, my brother-in-law described it as "fall's key lime."
The recipe follows (my substitutions are marked in italics). Enjoy!
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt (I used sea salt)
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" dice and chilled (I used "Light")
3 tbsp. cold milk (I used 1%)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
*Inspired by the whole "cider" theme, I also added a few splashes of Strongbow:)
Filling and Topping
2 c. apple cider (I happened to only have juice at my house so I just added a little more "spice" to the filling - cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg)
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. sour cream (I used "Light")
1/4 tsp. salt
4 large eggs
1 c. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (plus a little more for "sprinkling"/decoration)
1. Make the crust. Combine the flour, cornstarch, sugar and salt. Add the butter and pulse (the recipe called for a food processor; my "pulsing" required only my hands:)) until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine the milk and vinegar (and cider beer if you so choose) and drizzle on top. Mix until dough just comes together. Turn the dough onto a work surface, gather up any crumbs and pat into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
2. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough to an 11" round, 1/4" thick; ease it into a 9" glass or ceramic pie plate. Trim the overhanging dough and fold it under itself. "Crimp decoratively" (i.e. clumsily fold and/or add clumps here and there where needed) and chill the crust until firm, about 15 minutes.
3. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line the crust with parchment paper and fill with pie weight or dried beans (I had neither...or really any other thing with which to improvise; I just took and fork and poked it all over the place to allow air to escape). Bake for about 15 minutes, until the crust is barely set. Remove the parchment paper and weights. Cover the edge of the crust with strips of foil and bake for about 15 minutes longer. Press the bottom of the crust lightly to deflate it as it puffs; let cool. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
4. Meanwhile, make the filling and topping. In a medium saucepan, boil the cider until it's reduced to 1/2 cup (about 10 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Whisk in 3/4 cup of the sugar, the sour cream and salt, then whisk in the eggs.
5. Pour the custard into the pie shell without removing the foil strips. Bake the pie for 35-40 minutes, until the custard is set around the edge but the center is slightly jiggly. Let the pie cool completely.
6. In medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the heavy cream with the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and the cinnamon until firmly whipped. Mound the cream on the pie (I scooped into a Zip lock bag, snipped the corner with scissors, and made designs on the pie). I then cut thin slices of apples and arranged on the cream. Last step: dusting of a cinnamon sugar mix.