This tart is made for those of us who love the palate-puckering acidic punch of lemon.
Spicy apple pie is my downfall. Tart, snappy apples like Granny Smith and Greening stand up to the classic pie spices. Fresh ginger and lemon up the zing that is essential for every apple pie.
Pie crust has intimidation written all over it. So let's bring it down to where it belongs -- you only need a few key pieces of information. For me, it comes down to three tricks plus one master formula. Trust me, you can do this. Just take it step by step -- and then show off like crazy.
For some, the beginning of spring is marked by budding crocuses and blooming daffodils. For me, it’s all about the rhubarb. After a long winter of baking endless nut, citrus, and chocolate cream pies, the emergence of those leafy pink stalks from the ground is a harbinger of the coming bounty of spring and summer fruits. Some wait until strawberries are in season a few weeks later to start baking with rhubarb, but I use it as soon as humanly possible. Toasted almond frangipane is a lovely, creamy foil to the tartness of the rhubarb, and adds an extra layer of flavor without overwhelming the star ingredient.
Back in the day, home cooks used to clip recipes from women's auxiliary books and the Sunday papers, or they'd find them on the label of a trusted brand. My mom made her pecan pie from the recipe on the back of the Karo corn syrup bottle. She even called it "Karo pie." Our version of this classic pie is rich and buttery and features plenty of crunchy Georgia pecans and a shot of Kentucky bourbon.
This piecrust is revolutionary. It's a press-in crust, with no rolling or chilling required. Plus, it's buttery and flaky, and so easy to prepare it just may give you the courage to go forth and make a pie on a whim. You can use either granulated sugar or light brown sugar. Both are equally delicious here.
I cannot imagine a holiday without this traditional Southern pie on the table. I use almost every spice in the cabinet to add depth and warmth to the silky filling. Serve it with a big dollop of whipped cream, with a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg on top.
From Chef Mark Reinfeld's menu for A Holiday Vegan Feast:
Pie does not get better than this. Reducing and concentrating the juices of the apples make it necessary to use only about half the usual amount of thickener, resulting in a purer apple flavor, a juicy filling, and a crisp bottom crust. Make apple pie in the fall, at the height of the apple season, or whenever you have the yearning.