While March 14 is Pi Day I think it’s important to point out that National Pie is on January 23. That little “e” makes all the difference. And while today is a celebration for neeeeeeeeerds, it’s also a celebration for those who enjoy pie – both sweet and savory. So really, this day combines my indifference to math with my love of pastry. Personally I’m not one for math, like when do I use all that calculus I learned in high school now geniuses? But I do really enjoy pie and so this seemed like as good a time as any to try Mona Simpsons’ apple pie.
In the credits of the somewhat forgettable Simpsons episode, Forgive and Regret, we learn that Mona’s apple pie recipe comes from chef Evan Kleiman. She’s apparently a “big deal” in the pie making community, which I think means this is like THE best apple pie? Probably true. Welp, only one way for us to find out…and by that I mean by me completely messing it up in a bunch of different ways!
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 Golden Delicious apples
- 3 Granny Smith or Pippin apples
- and 3 Whatevers except Macintosh
Cut 1 lb of cold butter into 16 pieces. Toss w/flour to coat. Rub butter into the flour mixture with your fingertips or with a pastry cutter. When mixture looks like crumble of different sizes from peas to almonds it is ready for water.
Add 1 tbsp vinegar to 1 cup ice cold water and drizzle over the butter/flour mixture. Toss like a salad. Bring the wet mess together, kneading it twice, into a puck (flat ball) and cut in half. Wrap each half in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
Now prepare the apples. Peel the apples and cut the flesh off the cores. Cut the apple into 3/8″ slices. Put in bowl. Add brown sugar to taste, cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Toss to mix. Add 3 tbsp flour to thicken the filling and toss to coat the apple slices.
Roll 1 piece of dough out and line 9″ glass pie pan. Fill it with the apples. Roll out the other piece of dough and top the apples with it. Trim the top and bottom crusts together so you can have 1″ overhang. Roll the overhang under so it sits on the lip of the pie pan. Crimp the edge into a pretty design by pinching the dough. Cut 4 symmetrical slits into the top crust. Brush it with beaten egg with a splash of cream.
Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20 minutes. Turn down heat to 375 degrees and bake another 40 minutes or until the apples are tender when poked with a fork.
So overall the crust turned out well, no real issues there. But NINE apples for the pie?? I can get onboard with not using Macintosh apples; because about the only apple more mealy and gross are the completely factually incorrectly named Red Delicious apples. So I used five apples for this recipe (two Golden Delicious and 3 Granny Smith) and the pie was still almost too full. Was still really good though, math-licious!
Cromulence: 9 out of 10
Mona Simpsons’ Apple Pie from: The Simpsons (Season 29 – Episode 18)