Brittany Bardeleben‚Äôs a pie pro: She‚Äôs constantly dreaming up new iterations for the daily pie special at Seattle bistro Betty. But she‚Äôs no stranger to beer, either; the self-professed lover of cooking with booze makes a mean Guinness ice cream and recently devised a malted chocolate and stout fizz for a beer dinner with Seattle‚Äôs Pike Brewing. ‚ÄúChefs always pair beer with chocolate or nuts, but I like to step outside the box,‚ÄĚ she says. ‚ÄúFruit pies are my thing, so this combination of fall apples and cider in a vodka crust evolved naturally.‚ÄĚ
Makes: 6 to 8Ingredients:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup unsalted butter, cubed and frozen for 30 minutes
- 2 ounces cream cheese, cubed and frozen for 30 minutes
- 1‚ĀĄ4 cup vodka, ice-cold
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 12-ounce bottles Original Sin Pear Hard Cider
- 4 apples (try a blend of Granny Smith and
- Jonagold) peeled, cored and cut into
- 11‚ĀĄ2-inch chunks
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1‚ĀĄ4 cup brown sugar
- 1‚ĀĄ3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3‚ĀĄ4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1‚ĀĄ4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1‚ĀĄ4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1‚ĀĄ8 teaspoon ground clove
- pinch sea salt
• For the crust, combine the flour and salt in a food processor and pulse briefly to combine (or, use a pastry cutter or two forks to blend the ingredients in a large bowl). Add the frozen butter and cream cheese, and pulse until the mixture is crumbly and the butter is pea-sized. Add the water and vodka and pulse just to combine; the mixture should still be crumbly. With one hand, grab a handful of the crumbs and squeeze them together. If the mixture holds together, it’s done; if not, add more water, one teaspoon at a time. Dump the dough out onto a work surface and divide it into two piles, pressing each together to make two discs of dough. Wrap each disc in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour.
• To make the filling, pour the cider into a saucepan on high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and keep cider at a rapid simmer until the liquid has reduced to 1/3 cup. Set aside to cool completely.
• In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice and the reduced cider. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugars, spices, salt and cornstarch. Add the dry mixture to the apples and toss until well-combined, then allow mixture to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
• Preheat an oven to 375 degrees, and spray a 10-inch pie plate with nonstick baking spray. Roll out one disc of chilled dough into a 12- to 13-inch round and fit it into the plate, leaving at least 1 inch of excess pie dough hanging over the plate, and refrigerate. Roll out the second disc into an 11-inch round, invert it onto a sheet pan dusted with flour or lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate.
• Spoon the apple mixture into the pie plate, making sure to include all the juices, and dot the top of the fruit with the cold butter. Brush the over-hanging pie dough with cold water, place the chilled top crust over the fruit, and pinch the moistened dough edges together. Trim the edge with kitchen scissors, still leaving a 1/2 inch of overhanging dough. Fold the overhanging dough behind itself and if desired, crimp the edge.
• Slice a few steam vents into the top of the pie and, if desired, sprinkle the top with additional granulated sugar. Place on a sheet pan and bake 45 minutes, then lower heat to 325 degrees and continue baking for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the juices are bubbly.
• To serve, cut the pie into wedges, place a thin shard of Beechers cheddar (or your favorite sharp cheddar cheese) on each slice, and bake in a warm oven until the cheese melts. Drizzle each slice with sage caramel sauce (see below).
Note: Bardeleben’s earthy-sweet Sage Caramel Sauce adds some gooey love to her Original Sin Apple Pie, but it’s equally good over ice cream. Combine 4 sage leaves, torn in half, and 1 cup whipping cream in a small pot and bring to a boil; then, remove the mixture from heat, cover, and let steep for 30 minutes. Bring the mixture to a boil again, then strain into a measuring pitcher and cover to keep hot. In a separate pot, combine 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1/2 cup water and 1 cup sugar. Cook, brushing down the sides of the pot with a brush dipped in water, until copper-colored; remove from heat. Slowly whisk in the hot sage- scented cream until smooth, then stir in 1 tablespoon butter and a pinch of sea salt.