Rustic Armagnac-Apple Pie
Rev up your apple pie repertoire with this free-form beauty that’s loaded with dried apricots, figs, and cranberries, plus a healthy splash of Armagnac, an aged brandy from Bordeaux.
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ Tbs. sugar
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 1 stick (½ cup) cold unsalted butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
- 1 large egg, beaten, or ¼ cup milk or soymilk, for brushing crust
- ¼ cup turbinado sugar
- ¼ lb. dried apricots, coarsely chopped
- ¼ lb. dried figs, coarsely chopped
- ¼ lb. dried cranberries or cherries
- ¼ lb. raisins
- Peel of 1 lemon, removed with peeler
- ⅓ cup Armagnac, Cognac, or Calvados
- 6 Granny Smith apples, divided
- ¼–½ cup turbinado sugar
- 2 Tbs. cornstarch
- 1 Tbs. lemon juice
1. To make Crust: Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in food processor several times to combine. Add butter; pulse 5 times, or until mixture resembles coarse sand. Add 1/2 cup water; pulse until dough just comes together. Transfer to large piece of plastic wrap, and press into flat disk. Wrap tightly, and chill 1 hour, or overnight.
2. To make Filling: Place apricots, figs, cranberries, raisins, and lemon peel in large bowl; cover with boiling water, and let stand 20 minutes. Drain, and return to bowl. Add Armagnac while fruit is still hot. Let plump in liqueur until cool.
3. Grate 3 apples, and stir into dried-fruit mixture along with sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice.
4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out dough to 14-inch circle, and place on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Spread dried-fruit mixture in center of Crust, leaving 2 1/2-inch border.
5. Peel, halve, core, and thinly slice 3 remaining apples. Arrange slices in concentric circles atop dried fruit. Fold dough border over apples to make rustic edges. Brush edges with egg; sprinkle edges with turbinado sugar. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until Crust is golden and edges of apples begin to brown.
November 2012 p.69