All day, I've been planning to post this recipe. Then tonight, I found out the Steve Jobs passed away. So I am dedicating this post to Mr. Jobs as my way of saying "thanks" to him for changing the way I use the computer, listen to music and talk on the phone. Without my Mac Book Pro or wireless Airport router, I would not be blogging in style. From our iPhones to iMacs to iPods, we are an Apple family. I lift my fork to you, sir. Well done.
Two years ago, I happened upon this recipe on the Joy of Cooking and had a "duh" moment. Instead of cooking the apples, you macerate them in sugar and lemon juice first. They retain their crunch but all of the benefits of cooking them first are achieved. But really the genius of this recipe comes in when you drain the juices from the apples. You use the sugar-y apple juice and caramelize it and pour it over the apples before adding the top crust.
recipe courtesy of Joy of Baking
*Use your favorite pie crust recipe. ;)
8 cups peeled, cored and sliced apples (about 6 apples)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional. I didn't use it, because it turns out, I was all out)
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (about half a lemon)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
In a large bowl, combine the apples, sugars, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or up to three hours. Then, place the apples and their juices in a strainer set over a large bowl to catch the juices. Let the apples drain for 15-30 minutes or until you collect 1/2 cup of juice.
In a small sauce pan, combine the juice with the butter and reduce until a light syrup forms.
Line your 9" pie plate with the bottom pie crust. Transfer the drained apples to a large bowl and toss to combine with the cornstarch. Pour the caramel syrup over the apples and toss to combine. Pour the apples into the chilled pie crust. Place the top pie crust on top and cut off any excess dough. Fold the edges of the shell under and crimp the edges. Make 5 large slits in the center of the pie to allow steam to vent.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees, with the oven rack at the lowest setting and a baking stone on the rack. Bake the pie for 30 minutes, then line the edges of the pie with foil so they do not become too brown. Bake for another 15-25 minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack for about 3 hours before serving.