It's not a pie without a crust. Duh. So, my pie-craving-fulfillment journey begins with the crust. I actually got this recipe from Ina Garten, which uses both butter and vegetable shortening. (I love Ina. My mom and I could spend all afternoon watching episodes of Barefoot Contessa.) Everyone and their mother/grandmother/aunt will tell you that the secret to a light, flaky crust is having even distribution of fat in the dough. You can use a food processor, but it's just more fun and feels more homemade if you use your hands! A simple pastry blender will do the trick.
After "cutting" *COLD* butter & shortening into the flour, the mixture will look mealy. Then, I added a few tablespoons of *COLD* water until those mealy crumbs just started to stick together. The point of the *COLD* is so that you can incorporate the fat then roll out the crust easily and evenly...and you don't have a greasy-melted-butter-mess on your hands. I kneaded everything slightly into a big dough ball, saran-wrapped it, and put the dough in the fridge while I made the filling.
I think every baker has their preferences, and when it comes to pies, choosing apples is no exception. Some will swear by Granny Smiths, but me? Honeycrisps are my go-to. You know Autumn has arrived when piles of Honeycrisp harvests start showing up in grocery stores and market stands alike. (Whole Foods' are from Cuyama Orchards.) With their sweet-yet-tart and juicy flesh, these red & green splashed globes are everything I want from an apple, not just for baking but for snacking on a fresh one as well.
After peeling, coring, and chopping the Honeycrisps, I mixed them with flour, sugar, spices, and a bit of freshly squeezed orange juice. (PS. Please be sure to not use stale-and-been-in-the-cupboard-since-last-year spices. I mean, we're all guilty of it. There's always that bottle of ground cloves that got used once and was never opened again. Just remember to throw out the old and buy a new one!)
I retrieved my chilled dough from the fridge, cut it in half, and rolled out one piece to fit my 9-in glass dish. Not wanting to crush the berries or stain the apples too much, half of the spiced-apple mixture went into the pie first, then a layer of raspberries. On top of that, I repeated the layers with the rest of the apples and berries.
For the second half of my dough, I rolled it out just like the first one, but then I cut it into strips to create my lattice top crust. Even if you've never done one before, I encourage you to try it. The lattice look really lends a pretty, rustic presentation. I brushed the crust with egg wash and sprinkled on some cinnamon-sugar before it went into the 400 degree oven.
After 45 minutes, the crust is crisp and browned, and the fruit juices are bubbling. The scent of cinnamon and butter floated out of my oven as soon as I opened the door, the warm smells that instantly make you long for trees filled with changing leaves, boots & scarf weather, and a crackling fireplace...
Oh, we're not done yet! I'm definitely a member of the "Pies a la Mode" fanclub, but when I noticed that I had some heavy whipping cream and mascarpone cheese in my refrigerator...the culinary gears in my head started to churn. I whisked the cream with a tiny bit of sugar until medium-stiff peaks formed, then I blended in the soft mascarpone cheese.
If I can't have a scoop of vanilla ice cream with my pie, I will definitely take a dollop of mascarpone cream as a substitute. The mascarpone is rich with an underlying nuttiness and, combined with the whipped cream, is so, soo luscious. It balances out the spices and the tartness from the orange and fresh raspberries. Also, if you're like me and like to freeze berries from farmers market trips, this pie is a great way to blend what's left of the summer season with Autumn's new harvests.
There's actually a slice on my desk as I'm typing this. My second of the day already. So, I can happily...blissfully...report that my pie craving has been satisfied. I gladly share this recipe for all of you other pie-lovers, and I can't wait to bake more for holiday gatherings or just for a cold, rainy day :)
Honeycrisp Raspberry Pie (adapted from Barefoot Contessa Family Style)
3 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tbsp White Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
12 tbsp Butter, cubed & chilled
1/3 cup Vegetable Shortening, chilled
8 tbsp Iced Water
Egg Wash, for brushing
Cinnamon-Sugar, for topping
7 Honeycrisp Apples, peeled, cored, & diced
Juice of 1 Orange
2/3 cup White Granulated Sugar
1/3 cup All Purpose Flour
3/4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
1 pint Fresh Raspberries
For the Pie Crust:
- Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, "cut" the chilled butter and shortening into the dry ingredients until the mixture is mealy/crumby. Add the iced water and use the pastry blender to incorporate just until the mealy crumbs start to stick together. Hand-knead the dough slightly until a ball forms. Saran-wrap the dough and chill in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- Combine the Honeycrisp apples, sugar, flour, spices, and orange juice in a mixing bowl. Mix until all of the apples are evenly coated with the juice and dry ingredients.
- Take the chilled pie dough and cut it in half. Roll out one piece on a floured surface until it's big enough to cover and hang over the side of a 9-in. glass pie dish. Lightly press the dough onto the dish to make sure it is evenly spread and there are no air bubbles.
- Fill the pie with half of the spiced-apple mixture, then top with a layer of half of the raspberries. Then, repeat the layers by using the second halves of the apple mixture and the pint of berries.
- Roll out the second half of the pie dough as you did the first piece. Place this round over the filling (OR Cut the round into 1-in wide strips and make a lattice top crust), trim the edges, and crimp the two crusts together by using the ends of a fork.
- Brush the crust with egg wash and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. If not using a lattice top, make sure to cut slits in the center of the pie to allow steam to escape.
- Bake the pie on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. After removing from the oven, allow to cool slightly before slicing. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, and enjoy!