Cook Time: 60-120 min
American President Barack Obama calls him the crust master and says he’s the mastermind behind the best pies he’s ever tasted.
- 3 cups (about 13 oz ) all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 10 oz. (2 and 1/2 sticks) cool room temperature, unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 6-7 tablespoons ice water
- 1 egg and 1 teaspoon salt for egg wash
- 3 lbs apples, such as Gala, Granny Smith or McIntosh, peeled cored and cut into half-inch wedges.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup honey, preferably local
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- Place flour and salt in a food processor and pulse five times. Add butter and pulse until mixture forms chickpea-sized pieces, about 20 seconds. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time and pulse until mixture just holds together. Divide dough and form into two equal-sized balls, then press each ball down to form a 5-inch disc. Wrap each disc in plastic and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to two days. On a lightly floured surface roll out each disc into a 14-inch circle. Place one circle between sheets of plastic wrap or parchment paper and refrigerate.
- Grease a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan and gently place the other circle in the pan, leaving a one-inch overhang. Chill the dough in the pie pan for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Remove the pie pan with the bottom crust from the refrigerator and let soften for five to ten minutes. Fold the edge of the overhang under itself and pinch the dough to form a fluted edge. Line with foil and fill with pie weights, rice, or navy beans. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and lift out foil and pie weights; allow pie shell to cool for 10 minutes.
- In a large saucepan, sift together the sugar and cornstarch, then toss with apples, honey, vanilla, cinnamon, lemon juice and zest. Let stand for 20 minutes.
- Bring fruit mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture has thickened slightly, making sure fruit does not stick to the bottom of saucepan. Remove from heat and cool.
- Whisk the egg and salt and brush the rim of the pre-baked pie shell. Fill with the fruit filling and then lay the second dough circle over the filling, press very gently around the edges to make sure the egg wash seals the top pie dough to the bottom pre-baked crust. With a paring knife, puncture the top pie dough in a wide circle about 10 times with the tip of the knife to form steam vents. Brush top with remaining egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
- Bake another 30-40 minutes or until the pie filling is starting to bubble out the vents and the top pie crust is golden brown. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 1-2 hours before serving.
(The egg wash is an egg that is stirred and thinned out by adding salt, it is then used as a paint to give color to the finished baked product or to stick the two doughs together, in this case the top and bottom of the pie.)
Mary Todd Lincoln’s White Cake
This delicious white cake, with a subtle almond flavor, was one of Mary Todd Lincoln’s specialties. Some historians say the First Lady didn’t serve the cake with frosting, but it certainly adds great flavor. It was said that Abe was honestly crazy over Mary’s white cake.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 3 cups cake flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 cup unsalted almonds, chopped
- 6 egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 egg whites
- ½ cup candied cherries, chopped
- ½ cup candied pineapple, chopped
- few drops vanilla or almond extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift together flour and baking powder; remove 2 tablespoons and set aside. Add sifted ingredients, alternating with milk, to creamed mixture. Stir in vanilla and almond extract. Combine almonds with reserved flour and add to batter.
- Beat egg whites until stiff. Add in salt. Fold into batter. Pour into three greased and floured 8- or 9-inch cake pans.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool 5-10 minutes then remove from pans and cool on racks.
- While cake is baking, prepare frosting: Combine sugar and water in a saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil; cover and cook about 3 minutes until the steam has washed down any sugar crystals that may have formed on side of pan. Uncover and cook until syrup reaches 238-240 degrees on a candy thermometer.
- Whip egg whites until frothy; add in syrup in thin stream, whipping egg whites constantly until frosting is spreading consistency. Mix in cherries, pineapple and vanilla or almond flavoring. Frost cake once it has cooled.