Ron's Brandy Apple Pie
Ron Dube's recipe for brandy apple pie won first place in Stone Barns' 2006 pie contest.
For the Crust
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for coating and pie plate
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour, preferably stone ground
- 1/4 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Pinch of mace
- 1 3/4 cups (3 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pie plate
- 1/4 cup brandy, chilled
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- Red food coloring
For the Filling
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- Pinch of mace
- 10 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pie plate
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten
Make the crust: In a large bowl, sift together flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, and mace. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until pea-size clumps form. In a small bowl, whisk together brandy, vanilla, and whole egg. Pour into flour mixture and blend with a fork until mixture is moist and holds together.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Divide in two. Sprinkle with just enough flour and sugar to coat. Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten and form two disks. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.
Make the filling: In a large bowl, sift together sugars, flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, and mace; set aside. Place apples in another large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together brandy and vanilla; pour over apples. Add 3/4 of the flour mixture to the apples; toss to combine.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter and flour a 12-inch pie plate; set aside. Place two large sheets of plastic wrap on top of one another on a work surface. Sprinkle with enough flour and sugar to lightly coat. Place 1 disk of dough on plastic wrap, and lightly sprinkle with flour and sugar. Cover dough with 2 large pieces plastic wrap. Roll out dough between plastic wrap to a 14-inch circle. Peel off top layers of plastic wrap and flip dough over into prepared pie plate. Carefully peel off remaining layers of plastic wrap. Using scissors or a sharp paring knife, trim edges to 1 inch. Reserve trimmings.
Sprinkle reserved flour mixture into pastry-lined pie plate. Fill with apple mixture, mounding in the center; dot with butter. Roll out second disk of dough between plastic wrap following the same process as above. Lay over apples. Cut vents into top crust. Trim edges to 1 inch and seal crimping edges with thumb and forefinger.
Divide beaten egg yolk in half. Add enough red food coloring to half the yolk to create desired shade of red; set remaining yolk aside. Gather reserved pastry trimmings together and roll 1/8 inch thick; brush with colored yolk. Cut out into leaf shapes.
Brush top of pie with reserved egg yolk and attach decorative shapes. Sprinkle with sugar.
Place pie on a baking sheet. This will catch any juices that may overflow during baking. Loosely cover pie with parchment-lined aluminum foil. Transfer pie to oven and bake for about 1 hour. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking for another hour. During the last 10 minutes of baking, remove foil so that the pie has a nice golden color. Serve pie warm.