Monday, November 12, 2012

Apple Blueberry Pie

Daaayummmmmm...I'm sorry y'all, but this shit 'good!

Seriously, despite my culinary intuitions, I really didn't think this was going to come out as good as it did.  The crust is just incredible -- it's crispy and flaky on the bottom, not soggy at all!  Gotta pat myself on the back for that.

So, how is this Poor Man's Cupboard?  Well, I didn't have any recipe before making this pie, and just used whatever I had in the house.  First thing's first - the crust:

1 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
6 tbsp cold butter, cubed
4 tbsp cold water

The first thing I did was to make the pie crust.  I found a recipe online that called for 1 cup of flour and 1/4 cup of butter.  So, 1/4 cup of butter is 8 tablespoons, or 1 full stick of butter.  The butter wrappers usually have measurements on one side.  Problem is, I had already used some butter for something else, and didn't have a full stick.  I saw on the side that my stick of butter was only 6 tablespoons, but I thought that might be close enough (this was the first point where I thought my baking project might go totally awry.  I know baking is more of an exact science than it is an art, but I decided to just go with it.)

I put the flour, salt and sugar in a bowl and "sifted" it together using a wire whisk.  I know this isn't true sifting, and Martha would probably tsk-tsk, but it's all I have.  Then I cut the less-than-full stick of butter into cubes and dropped them into the flour.  Using just a fork, I cut the butter into the flour until it turned into a sandy consistency.  Then I folded in the water, two tablespoons at a time, until the dough came together in a ball.  I wrapped the ball of dough in plastic wrap, and let it chill in the fridge for 4 hours.

Then, the filling:
3 medium apples
1/4 cup orange juice
1 cup blueberries
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar

Right before I took the dough out, I made the filling.  I have a mixture of apples that I've taken home from work and never ate -- one red delicious, one gala, and one golden delicious.  I peeled them, sliced them, and tossed them into a bowl.  I know you're supposed to use an acid to keep the apples from browning (and for flavor contrast), but I didn't have any lemons.  I did however have some orange juice in the fridge.  I poured in a little - JUST a little - enough to coat the apples, but conscious not to make the filling too wet.  I also had some blueberries in the freezer -- I had bought them a while ago, but never got to eating them.  Before they went bad, I threw them in a ziplock and into the freezer for a rainy day.  Or a brisk Sunday perfect for baking.  So, in went about a cup of blueberries.

I recently watched some program where they were talking about apple pie (hence it was on my mind), and I remembered that they put in a mixture of flour and sugar to help make that gooey filling.  I couldn't remember the proportions, so I just guesstimated it.  A quarter cup each of flour, brown sugar, and regular white sugar, mixed together, and then tossed with the fruit mixture.  I set that aside and took the dough out of the fridge.

So, aside from the not-full stick of butter, the orange juice, and the borrowed apples, this shit is about to get reeeaalll Poor Man's Cupboard, y'all.  And I have no shame in my game, because that's what this blog is all about.

I don't own a rolling pin.  I needed to roll this dough out.  I look around, and what I came up with was an empty wine bottle.  Yes.  I rolled out my pie crust with a wine bottle, starting in the center and rolling out (Not sure if Martha is tsking, or applauding).  I rolled the crust out a little thinner than an ordinary pie crust (ie, frozen Pillsbury), because I was making sort of a free form pie and wanted to make sure I had enough to wrap over the filling onto the top.  As I was rolling it out, I could see the little bits of butter in the dough, which I took as a good sign.

After I had my pie crust rolled out, I needed something to put it in.  Don't judge me, but I had this empty pie container sitting on my table from a pie I bought about a month ago.  I totally washed it, dried it, and greased it with a butter wrapper (p.s. I save old butter wrappers in the fridge for whenever I need to grease something).  I carefully transferred the dough to the pan, put in the filling, and wrapped the dough over the top of the filling.  No need to put vents in this dough, as the steam can escape from the center of the pie.

I like a nice, golden crust, and knew I needed to use an egg wash to get the effect.  I had some eggs in the fridge -- the problem, they had a use-by date of October 31st.  I had seen something about testing eggs in a cup of water to see if the float -- some sort of Salem witch trial for eggs...if they float, they're evil or something.  I did the test, and they sank, so I figured they were good to use (liability disclosure: I am not actually suggesting you use this method - for witches or for eggs).  I also did the ever-accurate smell test.  We were all good to go.  I couldn't remember, though, if an egg wash is both egg white and yolk, or just egg white.  In the end, I used just egg white, and I think it was a good choice.

So, I popped this baby into a 450 degree oven for 15 minutes, and then reduced the temp to 350 degrees and baked for another 35-37 minutes.  I had seen this baking time technique on one of the googled recipes, and it really seemed to work.  What came out was a beautifully goldened pie.

And after it cooled - WATCH OUT!  Man, this was one excellent pie.  Seriously, I couldn't put it down.  36 hours later, this is all I have left:

Another success of the Poor Man's Cupboard.  Enjoy!