In our Holiday 2015 issue, What’s in Season columnist Laura Luciano tackled the heritage apples grown at Restoration Farm in Old Bethpage. The thing about heritage apples, one of which originates from Queens, it’s that they’re not that attractive. But no matter! They make great pies.
While researching the story, Laura met Glenn Aldridge, who tends the apple orchard at Restoration. He makes his pies using a recipes from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, which came out in 1980, and lard for the crust.
Laura likes a butter crust. Here’s her recipe:
Laura’s Apple Pie Recipe
2½ cups flour
2½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into cubes and frozen
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
4 to 8 tablespoons ice water (more or less)
Apple Pie Filling
3 pounds apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
Pinch ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
1 lemon, juiced
Milk for brushing on the crust
Sprinkle of sugar
For the pie crust:
In a food processor, pulse together the dry ingredients. Add butter and pulse until mixture forms ¾-inch pieces. Begin adding the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time until dough just comes together when pinched (you might not use all the liquid). If there are visible pieces of butter in the dough, all the better.
Quickly gather dough into a ball on a floured surface. Remove a third of the dough and form into a disk. Form remaining dough into a disk. Cover both with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to a week in the refrigerator.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out larger disk to a 12-inch circle. Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Fold over any excess dough, then crimp edges. Prick crust all over the bottom with a fork; chill crust for 30 minutes.
While dough chills, heat oven to 400°. Line chilled crust with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes; remove foil and weights and bake until pale golden, 5 minutes more. Cool on rack until needed.
For the pie:
Toss apples with sugars, flour, spices, salt and lemon juice. Transfer apple mixture to crust and press gently to make sure fruit is tightly packed.
Roll out remaining dough disk to a 10-inch circle. Cut strips 2 inches wide. Arrange strips over the filling in a lattice pattern. Brush top of crust with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 400°; reduce heat to 350° and continue baking until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling thickly, about 1½ hours more (if the pie gets golden brown before it is done, cover with tinfoil and continue baking). Let pie cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours before cutting. Serve with whipped cream, crème fraîche or whole milk yogurt.