Traditionally, March 14th is known as Pi day. Since the date, 3/14, co-aligns with the first 3 digits of the numerical value. Pi day for 2015 was particularly special! Utilizing the date and time, we were able to hit the first 10 digits of Pi!!!
Well, this year might not be as fantastic as 2015, but that doesn't mean there isn't reason to celebrate. To help commemorate this special occasion, I've bake up my favorite apple pie recipe to share with you guys. Trust me, it's good -everyone I've baked it for has requested more!
Apple Pie Filling
5-8 apples* (depending upon the size of your pie dish)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup water (I normally subtract 1 TBS from this to create a thicker syrup)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
(*I would absolutely recommend using half Granny smith apples and half red apples. I normally use Gala or Red Delicious. Choose a red type based on the balance of sweet and tart you prefer, but try not to shy away from the Granny smith totally; trust me on this one! For this pie, I was testing out a new pie dish I got for my birthday. I ended up using 6 apples, but could have easily fit another 1-2 in the dish.)
2.5 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening, chilled (you can use butter or half of each. I used 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup butter flavored shortening. The shortening will tend to give you a flakier crust)
6 tablespoons ice water
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Prepare your crust first:
1. Mix the flour and salt together.
2. Cut the shortening and/or butter into the mixture with a pastry blender (or fork) until it resembles course crumbs.
3. Add the water and toss until the dough comes together.
4. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes before rolling out. This step isn't required, but will make the rolling process easier.
5. Roll out (between 2 sheets of wax paper) and place your bottom crust in the pie dish (a deep glass or ceramic pie dish works best). Brush it with an egg wash and bake it for 5 minutes to keep it from getting soggy.
Prepare your filling:
1. Peel, core, and slice your apples. I normally cut my slices in half since they fit better in the pie dish that way.
2. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Stir in the flour to form a paste.
3. Add the water, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and cornstarch. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer.
4. Mix the apples with your sugar syrup (save a little to brush or drizzle on the top crust), then fill your pie dish so that the apples are slightly mounded. Try to be quick with this step since your syrup will solidify pretty quickly.
5. Cover with a top crust of preference -you can add a lattice or solid cover with decorative slits for venting.
6. Drizzle your remaining syrup on top and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
7. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, then turn the heat down to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 40-60 minutes more. Bake time will depend upon your pie dish and how many apples you used. Just keep an eye on it and cover the crust (or crust edges) with tin foil if it starts to brown too quick. This time around I cooked my pie for an additional 60 minutes (after the 10 at 425 degrees) without using tin foil.
Happy Pi Day everyone! How are you celebrating this momentous day in nerd history?! Let me know in the comments below.