PIE, AT LEAST the fruit variety, is supposed to be simple, in my not so humble opinion. I don’t need custard or crumble. If the fruit is fine, you don’t need much else to reach a level of delicious often unmatched by other, fancier desserts. This time of year, I’ve been known to get all competitive about my pie-making prowess, with mixed results (not to mention family drama.)
This fall, though, I visited my favorite local fair (with my longtime heroes and new friends Shauna and Dan Ahern in tow–they signed their new book, and judged the Farmers’ Market competition!), I skipped the contest.
But trust me. Though what I offer may only be a third-place pie, it’s all the pie you need to delight yourself and your friends. When you bake a pie, keep it simple. Serve it to the people you love, and they’ll love you right back.
3 cups all-purpose flour
18 Tablespoons sweet butter, cut into 1/2 pieces, cold (for best results, use Plugra European-style butter)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (cold)
6-7 large apples, peeled
1 pint fresh raspberries
1/2 cup plus 2 T sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
grated rind of 2 medium oranges
1 egg, separated, the yolk beaten
In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine flour, salt and sugar. Turn the mixer on low for a second to mix. Add butter, and turn the mixer (using the paddle, not the whisk) on low. When the butter is beginning to incorporate into the flour, and the pieces are the size of peas, add the orange juice. Continue to mix on low a tiny bit longer, just until the dough holds together. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, and shape each into a flattened disk about 6 inches in diameter and an inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
Rinse the raspberries and spread out on paper towels (on plates or a baking sheet) to dry. Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of sugar.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Peel, core and slice apples. (I like them 1/4-inch thick.) Toss the apples with the ginger, orange peel and remaining sugar. Add berries and very gently combine.
Roll out the bottom crust until just under 1/4-inch thick and place in a deep-dish pie plate. Brush with egg white. Add fruit, roll out top crust to same thickness and place atop pie. Crimp edges, cut a steam vent into the top, and brush the top with beaten egg yolk (if it’s too thick, stir in a few drops of water.)
Bake 45-50 minutes until golden brown.