This recipe for a double-crust pie is a learning recipe for anyone who has ever wanted to make a pie or anyone who is intimidated by the process. This vinegar crust is the most user-friendly pie dough I've ever worked with because it is moist, rolls out smoothly and does not tear or break. The baking powder in the dough adds lightness. Also, there's no sugar in the crust so you can use it for quiche and vegetable tarts as well as desserts.
For instructions to prepare the pie in advance to bake directly from the freezer, see Recipe Notes.
Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder in a mixing bowl until well blended.
Using a box grater, grate the butter, working quickly to prevent warming it with your hands.
Add the butter to the flour mixture and use your hands to toss and separate the grated butter and coat the pieces with the flour.
Add the vinegar to the water in a glass measuring cup and stir to combine. Pour the water over the flour mixture and use a fork to gently blend the water into the flour to make a dough.
Dust the counter and your hands with flour. Collect the dough from the bowl and place it on the counter. Divide the dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Gently form each piece into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Combine the apples, lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a bowl. Taste for seasoning. If the apples are especially tart, add more sugar 1 tablespoon at a time to suit your taste.
Once the crust is well chilled, unwrap the slightly larger piece of dough and place it on a piece of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour. Sprinkle flour over the top of the crust.
Roll out the crust, working from the center toward the top edge, using gentle pressure. Rotate the dough clockwise and repeat the rolling over again to form a rough circle about 1/8-inch thick and 2 inches wider than the pie plate.
To transfer the dough into the pie plate, dust the rolling pin with flour. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll the dough around the rolling pin while peeling it off the parchment paper. Slide the pie plate under the dough and unroll the dough over it.
Use your hands to center the dough over the pie plate. Then, lift the edge with one hand as you use the palm of the other hand to press the dough into the pie plate leaving an overhang.
Repeat the rolling process with the other piece of dough until the dough is about 1/8-inch thick and just 1/2 inch wider than the pie plate.
Mound the prepared filling into the bottom crust in the pie plate. Slide the rolled out top crust onto the apples and center it.
Trim the crust, using a sharp paring knife or kitchen shears to leave about 1-inch overhand. Fold the edge of the top crust underneath the bottom crust to make a neat folded edge. Crimp the dough to seal the edge by pressing your thumb or a floured fork all around the edge.
Use a paring knife to cut 3-4 slits into the top crust for venting.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F with the rack in the middle position and a sheet pan on the rack underneath to catch any drippings.
Bake the pie for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, about 45 minutes more.
Cool the pie completely on a cooling rack so that it slices neatly.
To assemble this pie in advance to freeze, follow the recipe instructions all the way through the top crust sealing and venting. Wrap the pie well in plastic wrap and freeze. (Do not defrost the pie or it will become soggy.)
To bake, unwrap the pie, place it on the baking sheet and follow the baking instructions. You may need to add 5-10 minutes additional baking time. If the crust begins to get overly browned, insert a sheet of aluminum foil over the top and bake until the filling is bubbling.
Copyright 2021 Lynne Curry