The Recipes

Free-form Apple-Raisin Pie

Once again, I've never been much of a baker, but these crusts come together so easily in a food processor that I feel like a world-class baker making them.  One of the biggest things to me is accounting for any liquid released by the contents, and understanding that the flour amount will vary slightly every single time because of temperature and altitude.  So, I guess baking isn't an exact science after all!  Much more up my alley of eye-balling it.



Free-form Apple-Raisin Pie

Ingredients:

- 2 1/4 c. flour, plus a few tablespoons
- 1 1/2 c. sugar, plus 2 T. of sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 stick of butter, cold, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 T. turbinado sugar (larger grain - you can use regular sugar in a pinch)
- 1 1/2 c. golden raisins
- 2 T. brandy, or other liquor
- 4-5 apples - I used a mix of Granny Smith and Gala
- 1 T. cornstarch
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced

Combine the flour, 2 T. of the sugar, and salt in the food processor to combine and break up the salt.  Add the butter and pulse until it resembles the consistency of wet sand.  Slowly drizzle the water in through the pour spot and pulse until the dough starts to come together.  Remove the dough and mold it into a disk.  Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight.

The day you want to make the pie, combine the raisins and lemon zest in a bowl.  Pour boiling water to cover.  Let them stand for 30 minutes, drain, and pour the liquor over the raisins (optional).

Peel and grate two of the apples.  Combine the grated apple with the lemon juice, cornstarch, and remaining regular sugar.  Drain the raisins and stir them in.

Peel the other 2-3 apples, core them, and slice them thinly.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Get the dough out of the refrigerator.  On a clean surface, sprinkle a light layer of flour and coat your rolling pin with flour.  Roll out the crust to 1/4-in. thickness.  Spray or oil a baking sheet and lay the crust on top.  Spread the raisin mixture over the crust, leaving a border.  Arrange the apples over the raisin layer.  Fold the border in over the apples.  Brush the outside crust with the beaten egg and sprinkle the turbinado sugar liberally around the edges.

Bake for 45-55 minutes.  Let it cool before slicing it into wedges.