Rachel Caygill's Apple Pie

By Rachel Caygill*

Rachel Caygill loves cardamom and includes the floral spice in her apple pie filling, blended with cinnamon, ginger, clove, and nutmeg mixed with sweet and tart apples -- in this case Granny Smiths and Fujis. And the crust? Well, the top crackled between my teeth and I loved the thick crisp sides that had been crimped to perfection. This is the pie you want to have for your Thanksgiving dinner.

*The ingredients and amounts are Rachel's. The instructions are mine based on her directions during the class.

Pie Crust Ingredients

(for two crusts)

15 ounces flour (half all purpose, half cake)

10 ounces fat (7.5 ounces butter, 2.5 ounces lard)

5 ounces water

1 teaspoon salt


1 egg yolk

2 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup superfine sugar

Combine the flour and salt. Spread the flour mixture on the counter or a cold marble tile and cut the butter into it. Then roll the butter into the flour. Use a scraper to chop up some of the flour and roll a little more to incorporate. Then cut the lard into the mixture

Make a well in the flour/fat mixture and add the water into the middle. Scrape the flour/fat into the water to create loose dough. When the dough is formed, roll it out into an rectangle, then fold into thirds and roll again. Repeat once more if necessary and shape into a loaf. Refrigerate for 20 minutes and make pie filling.

Preheat the oven to 375˚. Cut the dough roughly in half -- one part should be a little larger for the bottom crust. Roll out that piece large enough to fill the pie plate with a couple of inches overhang. Gently place the dough into the pie plate, then add filling. Roll out the top crust large enough to hang over the the filling and bottom crust overhang. Trim the edges of the crust to even out. Then holding the edges of both crusts, fold under together and tuck into the pie plate. Crimp the edges between two fingers.

Make the eggwash by mixing together the yolk and milk. Brush onto the top crust. Sprinkle the sugar on top. Then slice vents into the top crust and spread the edges slightly. Bake at 375˚ for half an hour, then lower the temperature to 325˚ and bake for another hour until the crust is brown and thick juices run out.

Apple Filling Ingredients

2 pounds apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced (use a combination of sweet and tart varieties)

6 ounces sour cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks

3 tablespoons cornstarch

8 ounces dark brown sugar

4 ounces granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped -- or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

zest from half an orange

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoon cardamom

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon clove

1/8 teaspoon allspice

Combine all ingredients in large bowl, then add on top of bottom crust.