Friday, December 5, 2008

La Cucina di Nicola: Maña's Apple Pie

I am a little late with this post, as Thanksgiving is just a memory now... You can eat apple pie at Christmas too, can't you?

This recipe is my dear Maña's recipe. Maña is my American mom, the wonderful woman that opened her home and her heart to a Colombian exchange student in 1983. We are family, the Regalia's and us. We have celebrated many Thanksgivings together in the last 15 years, and I have always loved my mom's apple pie.

Last year, after moving half way around the world, I finally made my first apple pie. It was a success and I have made it several times since. Now I am willing to share the recipe with you.

Nicolas loves this pie as much as I do, and he was a willing helper in the kitchen this time around. He peeled about 12 apples on his own (we made two pies), and he helped to roll out the dough. Off course he ate most of it himself!

For my readers in Italy: I used metá-metá instead of margarine and butter, it works really well. I have used several kinds of apples, and this time around we chose renate (not sure of the spelling) and we loved the flavor, but they are better suited for apple sauce as they did not retain their shape. Nest time a mix perhaps?


For the crust:
1/8 pound margarine
1/8 pound salted butter
1.1/2 cups flour
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
Iced water

Cut the butter and margarine into small pieces, keep them in the refrigerator until ready to start. Mix flour and salt together, add the margarine and butter, and mix with a pastry mixer. Add 1 tablespoon of iced water at a time, until you get a consistent dough. Make sure there are bits and pieces of butter in the dough, as they will be essential to the flakiness of your pie.

Since this recipe is for a covered 9 in. pie, divide the dough in two. Roll out the dough over a pastry sheet, or a well flour surface. Roll from the center to the sides until you have a thin, round dough, slightly larger than your pan. Fold carefully in half and carry it to the pan, unfold and press down. Cut any excess dough from the sides. Keep in the refrigerator while you roll out the top pastry. Follow the same steps for the other half.

For the filling:
6 or 7 cups apple (peeled, cored and cut)
3/4-1 cup sugar
2-3 tablespoons flour

Place cut apples on water with lemon juice to avoid some oxidation. When ready to use, drain and add sugar to taste (some apples are sweeter than others), add flour to thicken the juices.

Mix all together, place on the crust, cover with the other half of the pastry and seal the sides. Pierce the top crust, or cut some holes into it to let steam out. Cook at 350 for 1 hour. Buon appetito!

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