Can you believe it’s September already? I just love the fall and all the cooler weather that comes with it although here in Florida that cooler weather is only a dream with fleeting glimpses at the end of October when I always get to wear a sweater, you know its real cold once the temperature gets below 70 degrees! What can I say, my blood has thinned out after living here so long! But that brief glimpse is gone quickly and is usually hot again in November!
The fall also brings the fresh apples from the north, the Cameos, Honey Crisp, Yellow Delicious and Granny Smith that make the best pies when you mix those apples together. I dehydrate bushels of those apples every year and can up several gallons of Honey Crisp apple cider in pint jars and stash it in my pantry for the best tasting pies.
With the thoughts and dreams of the new crop of apples coming to Florida in a few weeks I decided to make a dried apple pie from the dehydrated Cameo and Honey Crisp apples I had hidden in the back of my pantry, if I don’t hide them they would have been eaten by Christmas last year!
Here’s my recipe for the crust and the filling:
Pie Crust-2 Crust Pie
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup very cold unsalted butter, grated
6 to 8 tablespoons ice water
Lightly spoon flour into the measuring cup, level with knife and then pour into medium size bowl. Add salt, stir to mix.
I measure the cold butter before I grate with a metal grater, I have one like my grandmothers had that they always used for coleslaw. I grate the butter using the coarse grate with the largest holes which works really well for the very cold or frozen butter.
Grating the cold butter is easier than using a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter into the flour. Once the butter is grated dump the butter shavings into the flour. Lightly toss and mix the flour and butter with a fork to coat the butter shavings. There should be no large clumps of butter in the flour and it should look like coarse meal with pea sized clumps.
I always have a coffee cup with ice water and ice cubes in it to keep my water as cold as possible. Now, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the ice-cold water around the edge of the bowl and lightly toss the butter and flour mixture from the outside edge of bowl to the center. Add another 1 tablespoon of ice water to the mixture and toss again from the outside of bowl to the inside. Continue adding 1 tablespoon of ice water at a time until the mixture starts to get some larger clumps about the size of large marbles. Depending on the flour and humidity in your home it can take 6 to 9 tablespoons of ice water. Do not keep adding water until it is all one big ball of dough or it will be too wet and will be tough when cooked. The dough will still be crumbly, just much larger clumps so don’t worry. Place the dough into a plastic bag and press the dough into a ball. Place dough into the refrigerator to rest for at least 30 minutes.
You can now preheat your oven to 400 degrees farenheit.
After 30 minutes remove the dough from the refrigerator and divide the dough into two even sized sections. It will still be crumbly, but that’s OK, that means the crust is going to be flaky! Place the first portion of dough, pressing and firming into a mound onto a sheet of parchment paper that is about 14 inches wide and place another sheet of parchment paper over the top of the dough.
Using your rolling-pin, pretend the dough is a clock. Start at the center and roll out towards 12-noon, then roll down towards 6 pm. Turn the dough package 1/4 turn and roll again towards 12 and down towards 6. Turn and roll two more times and then flip the entire dough over and continue to roll out the dough until the circle of dough is larger than your pie pan. The dough will be thin. Slowly peel off the top layer of parchment paper from the dough.
If it is sticking to the paper, place in the refrigerator for a few minutes so butter can firm back up, but the dough still needs to be soft and supple to ease into the pie pan. Once the top layer of paper is removed, flip the dough over and into your pie pan, now you can peel off the paper from the top of the inverted dough. Lightly press the dough into the pan and up the sides.
You can now fill the pan with your prepared filling. In this case, our dried apple and apple cider filling below.
Repeat with the other pie crust dough for the top crust. Once you have placed the top layer of crust onto the pie,peel off the paper. The extra crust that is over hanging the pan gets rolled under and is tucked down around the inside edge of the pan.
Now, I just use a fork dipped into cold water to crimp the edge of the pie all the way around to seal in the juices, that’s the way both my grandmother’s did it and it makes me feel like they are right here in the kitchen with me!
Cut slits into the top for the steam to vent out. And you are ready for the preheated 400 degree oven.
Dried Apple Pie Filling
Dehydrated apples – you will need 1 full quart plus one cup of dehydrated apples.
1 pint jar of apple cider ( or 2 cups of apple juice if you don’t have cider)
3/4 cup sugar or low-calorie sweetener like Splenda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons tapioca ( for thickening)
1/2 cup water,juice or cider ( in addition to above)
Place the dehydrated apples into a medium size heavy bottom saucepan, pour apple cider or juice into pan, stir to cover the apples. Heat apples and liquid to simmer and simmer for about 15 minutes, most of the liquid will be absorbed by the apples. Just watch the apples so they do not scorch.
Once the apples have absorbed almost all of the liquid, add the sweetener of your choice, cinnamon, tapioca granules and the extra 1/2 cup of liquid. Stir well and let the filling sit and cool slightly while you roll out your pie dough. Once your dough is ready pour the filling into your prepared pie pan.
Cover pie filling with second pie crust. As you can see my bottom crust should have been rolled out a bit larger but my top crust is larger so that will seal all the goodness in. Cut slices into pie crust to vent the pie. Brush the top crust with an egg wash.
Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees farenheit on middle rack of your oven for 35-45 minutes until golden brown.
Tip for a crisp crust; Use a clear glass pie pan with a heavy baking sheet underneath to catch any drippings. The clear glass pie pan lets you see that the bottom crust is done.
Remove pie from oven. Let pie cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Serve with or without ice cream. Warm or cold.
Verdict: If you have a dehydrator, dehydrate those apples and make a “dried apple pie” and I promise you will be hooked on the intense flavor the dehydrated apples and cider give to this pie. My youngest son is not a real fan of apple pie, but he says this is the best pie he has ever eaten and as of this writing he’s already downed two slices! I hope you like my recipe as much as we do.