As soon as the weather got cooler, we took a drive out to Westchester county to the Wilkens Fruit and Fir Farm for a morning of apple picking. The folks over at Chevrolet loaned us an apple red Chevy Traverse for our trip to the farm, as well as an apple pie cooking class in Brooklyn! We love the Traverse, since it was also the car we rode on our trip to Hershey Park last year.
It was the start of the leaves turning the beautiful bright orange, yellow and red colors. At the time the trees in New York City were still bright green, so it was a beautiful ride for us.
Normally, our version of apple picking is going to the farmer’s market and picking up a handful of organic and local apples. This time, we got to pick the apples ourselves! It was the first time for our 1st grader, so she was super-excited that my 6′ 3″ husband could help her out.
After about an hour, we placed our bag full of apples in the trunk (1st grader was safe in her car seat) and headed over to The Brooklyn Kitchen to learn how to make the flakiest crust for an apple pie.
Chef Kat Randazzo at The Brooklyn Kitchen told us that we only need FIVE ingredients and TWO tips to make this flakey crust! Who knew?! (I surely didn’t!) Read on for the recipe….
Flakey Pie Crust Recipe for Two Mini-Crusts
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tsp kosher salt
3 tsp white sugar
1 cup COLD unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1/2 cup ice water, strained
Mix the flour, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl.
Place the cubed, cold butter over the dry ingredients and with your fingers, quickly cut and “snap” the butter cubes into smaller pieces and incorporate into the flour mixture.
Splash 1/4 cup of the ice water (with no ice) over the mixture and use a fork to mix it together. Add more cold water tablespoon by tablespoon until your dough can hold together when you squeeze it. Be careful not to over mix!
Form two balls of dough, flatten just a bit and wrap in cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes so that the fat can firm up again and the dough can rest.
After 20 minutes, take out your cold dough and flour your working surface and sprinkle a little on the dough. Using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough and cut a circle large enough to fit the mini-pan.
Fill the pie crust with your choice of fruit mixture. The mixture should be about 1/4″ lower than the top of the pie pan (curb the urge to heap up the fruit. It doesn’t cook in a timely manner with the crust).
Using a pastry cutter, cut strips 3/4″ – 1″ wide and make a lattice pattern over the top of the fruit mixture.
Turn the sides over and use a fork to make a pretty pattern on the edges.
Brush the top of the pie with an egg wash (optional: sprinkle some cinnamon sugar on top!) and pop it into the oven, and cook according to your pie recipe directions.
While we were learning how to make the crust, Chef Kat gave us two tips on how to get the flakiest crust ever, and I am sharing them with you:
TWO TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE THE FLAKIEST PIE CRUST FOR YOUR HOLIDAY PIES:
1. Keep the dough cold. Always use ice-cold water when mixing, and if the dough gets too warm, wrap it back up in cling wrap and put the dough back in the fridge for another 20 minutes.
2. Don’t over-knead the dough or the gluten will make the dough gummy and the crust won’t become flakey. That’s because the butter and the flour will be too incorporated and you won’t get those layers of flour and butter that make a flakey crust.
What are your holiday cooking tips?