I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I spent the first 20 years of my life on Vancouver Island, and also that I’ve never lived outside of British Columbia, but I love our weather (which is often criticized for including too much rain and not enough sunshine) and I especially love the Fall season. Sure, I wouldn’t mind if Summer lasted a few extra weeks (after all who doesn’t enjoy the sunshine?) but there’s something about cozying up with a warm sweater or blanket, a good book (or a favourite blog) and that perfect comfort food meal that rejuvenates me inside and out.

Fall

I recently had the opportunity to browse through a copy of Michael Smith’s The Best of Chef at Home: Essential Recipes for Today’s Kitchen sent to me and I must say that the general feel of the book, it’s recipes, and the photos fits my mood and our Fall season perfectly. To tie it into the general baking theme here at Bakergirl Creations, I’m going to focus on Chef Michael’s ‘Treats & Baked Goods’ chapter, and because when I first opened the book to thumb through it, the Old Fashioned Apple Pie on page 235 was where I started. Oh how I love home made apple pie!

©jackieconnelly_apples

Here is Michael’s recipe:

Pastry
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of white sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
2 sticks of frozen butter
12 tablespoons of ice water

Filling
6 or 8 large Honey Crisp or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Whisk the flour, sugar and salt together in a large bowl.

Using a standard box or potato grater, grate the frozen butter into the flour and toss lightly with your fingers until it’s thoroughly combined. Sprinkle in the ice water and stir wit your fingers, mixing and firmly kneading until the dough comes together in a ball.

Divide dough into 2 pieces; making sure that the one half is slightly larger than the other. Wrap in plastic wrap, flatten and chill for at least 30 minutes, or even overnight. Resting tenderizes the pastry, making it easier to roll.

Remove the pasty from the fridge and allow it to warm slight, just until it’s pliable. Lightly flour your hands, the rolling pin, your work surface and the dough.

Roll our the larger pastry piece into a circle large enough to slightly overlap the edges of a 9-inch glass deep-dish pie dish. As you roll, for ease of handling lightly flour the dough every time it’s diameter doubles, then flip it over and continue tolling. Transfer the dough to the pie dish by folding it into quarters, then unfolding it in the dish.

Preheat your over to 375degreed Fahrenheit (190degrees Celsius).

Toss the apple slices with the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Add the apple mixture to the bottom crust. Roll our the remaining smaller piece and carefully place it over the top of the piece.

Roll and crimp the edges of the dough together tightly sealing them. Poke a few vent holes into the top of the pie and place on the bottom rack of your over.

Bake for an hour or so, until the crust is golden and the juices are bubbling.

Click here to buy Chef Michael’s book from Amazon.

~ Guest post for Bakergirl Creations by Jackie Connelly

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