Monday, March 15, 2010

It's Pi(e) day again!

Yes, it is once again pi(e) day and I'm letting myself off the hook with an easy post. Yes, that's right, you guessed it: a food post.

This year, unlike last year, we have an oven. And this means that unlike last year, when we had to have makeshift pie, we can have a real homemade pie.

So apple frangipane it was!

200 g flour
40g powdered sugar
pinch of salt
100g butter (only a little cooler than room temp if you're doing this by hand)
1 egg, beaten

Whisk the flour, powdered sugar and salt together, then mix in the butter until your mixture looks sandy -- with maybe a few larger blobs of butter. At least this is what happens if you do this by hand because you have no pastry blender or food processor and the two knives cutting technique never worked for you. (And if you're lucky enough to have hands that are like blocks of ice, melting the butter isn't a problem.) Then drizzle the egg over the sandy dough and cut it into the dough with two knives (they do work well for this part).

Chill while you butter your pie pan.

Pour the dough into the pie pan and pat into place. (If you are unlucky enough to have uncharacteristically warm hands during this part of the pie-making, you will end up with a somewhat tougher crust than you'd like to have.) Prick all over with a fork and chill for 30-60mn.

Then bake blind (with rice, beans, weights) for 20mn at about 400F.

125g almond powder
125g powdered sugar
100g butter, very soft
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. Amandine (almond liqueur)

Whisk the almond powder and sugar together in a bowl. Add the butter and work it with a spatula until it's well mixed. Add in the egg, vanilla and liqueur, still with the spatula, and mix until it's pretty smooth and homogeneous. Spread into baked shell.

3 medium pie apples (like Chantecler, a really delicious hybrid of a Golden Delicious and a Reine Grise), sliced thin and tossed with lemon juice. (You will probably have extra, which you can put in a 2010-style 1980s chef salad with ham, Comté and some sort of crazy mesclun mix, instead of iceberg.)

Arrange the apples on top of the frangipane and bake for 30mn at about 400F.

Then eat, from crust to tip.

And make your wish on the last bite.

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