The crunchy ginger crumb topping on this pie provides a lovely contrast to the tender apples in the filling. As you cover the pie, keep the topping as clumpy as possible for the most satisfying texture.
From Fine Cooking Pies & Crisps, Taunton Press 2012, from the editors and contributors of Fine Cooking.
|2 1/4 cups plus 3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour||2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar|
|3/8 teaspoon table salt||1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger|
|3 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch dice||1/2 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces|
|3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice||3 pounds Braeburn or Gala apples (about 6 medium) peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices|
|2 1/2 to 3 1/2 tablespoons very cold water||2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger (use a rasp-style grater)|
|5/6 cup granulated sugar||2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into very small pieces|
Make the crust: In a stand mixer bowl (or a large mixing bowl), whisk the flour (1 ¼ cups) and salt (1/4 teaspoon) to blend. Add the shortening and butter. Starting on low speed and then shifting to medium, beat with the paddle attachment (or cut in by hand) until the largest pieces of fat are about the size of peas, 1 to 2 minutes. With the mixer running on low (or mixing by hand), sprinkle on 21/2 Tbs. of the water and blend until the dough just comes together into clumps; if the dough is too dry to do this, add the remaining water 11/2 tsp. at a time. With your hands, shape the dough into a 4-inch-wide disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. (If the dough was chilled for more than 30 minutes, you may need to let it warm up at room temperature to become pliable.) Occasionally loosen and reapply the wrap and continue rolling until you have an 11- to 12-inch round that’s about 1/8 inch thick. Remove the top sheet of plastic. Turn a standard 9-inch metal or glass pie plate (11/4 inches deep) upside down over the center of dough. Slip your hand under the plastic and turn the pie plate right side up. Slip the dough into the pan to fit snugly and carefully remove the plastic. Trim the dough overhang to about 1/4 inch, fold it under to create a thicker edge, and flute the edge. Cover loosely with plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until ready to use.
Make the topping : In a medium bowl, combine the flour (1 cup), sugar (1/3 cup) , brown sugar, ground ginger, and salt (1/8 teaspoon). Whisk to blend. Add the butter and work it in well with your fingers until the mixture holds together in small clumps and there are very few fine grains left in the bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Fill, top, and bake the pie: Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F.
In a large bowl, toss the apples with the ginger, distributing the ginger as evenly as possible. Add the sugar (1/2 cup) and flour (3 tablespoons) and toss to coat evenly.
Scrape the apple mixture into the shell and mound it slightly in the center. Dot with the butter. Top with the crumb topping, keeping it as clumpy (not sandy) as you can. Try to cover all the apples. If any crumbs roll off the pie, gather them up and reapply.
Put the pie on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes and then reduce the heat to 375°F. Bake until the apples are tender (a skewer inserted into the center of the pie will meet slight resistance) and the juices are bubbling around the edges, another 30 to 35 minutes; if the top starts to brown too quickly after about 20 minutes, cover the pie lightly with foil. Let cool on a rack for 3 to 4 hours to let the juices set.
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