Teeny Lamothe’s love of pies started when she was a child, baking with her mother in their Littleton home.
A few years ago she decided to go on a “Pie Tour” to learn everything she could about pie. She apprenticed with professional bakers around the country and took what she learned to launch her own pie business in Washington D.C. She even wrote a cookbook, "Teeny's Tour of Pie."
“Pie is the happiest thing I do,” says Lamothe, who makes about 200 pies a week for her customers, rolling every crust out by hand.
The book includes recipes such as "Bourbon Bacon Pecan Pie," a creation for adventurous eaters. She puts a twist into a few traditional pie recipes too, like "Rosemary Caramel Apple Pie."
The secrets of the crust: Teeny's recipe uses whole wheat flour and -- a suprise ingredient -- vodka.
Makes: One 9-inch double crust, four 5-inch double crusts, or eight 5-inch single crusts
"Whole wheat crust is my go-to for nearly every pie I bake. Whole wheat flour is slightly more challenging to work with because of its low gluten content, but adding vodka to the mix makes for a wonderful, workable dough. I keep my cheap vodka in the freezer and the chill of it serves to cool down the rest of my ingredients as I mix the dough together. If you have made pie crust before, you might wonder about the amount of liquid I call for here; I have found that whole wheat flour requires a little more liquid to come together into a ball of dough."
This recipe makes enough dough for a nine-inch top and a bottom crust. If you need only a bottom crust, you can freeze half of this recipe for up to 3 months and save it for later.
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat or whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup (4 tablespoons) cold vegetable shortening
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) cold vodka
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold water, plus extra as needed
1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and sugar until everything is thoroughly combined. Add the butter and shortening and cut the mixture together using a pastry cutter until it forms small pea-size crumbs coated in flour.
2. Pour the vodka evenly over the dry ingredients, a few tablespoons at a time, using a rubber spatula to press the dough together. Similarly, add the water, and continue to press the dough together to form a large ball. The dough should be fairly wet and sticky; if for some reason it seems particularly dry, add a little extra ice water a tablespoon at a time until everything comes together easily. Be careful to work the dough as little as possible; otherwise the crust may be tough.
3. Divide the dough into two equal balls, press each into a disk, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate for at least an hour or up to two days before rolling out.
Rosemary Caramel Apple Pie
Prep Time: Two hours
Bake Time: 50 To 60 minutes
Total Time: Three hours
Makes: One 9-inch pie (6 To 8 Slices)
"There is something absolutely wonderful about being encouraged to dream in pie. Some pies, like the Thanksgiving Dinner Pies and the Earl Grey Cream Pie, came into existence after I thought long and hard about very specific flavors. Other pies, like Bourbon Bacon Pecan Pie and this rosemary-infused caramel apple pie, came about because I wanted to add something surprising and wonderful to an old favorite. I tried a lot of different caramel apple combinations, and while most of them were good, none of them were exciting enough to warrant the title “dream pie.” But something magical happened when I infused sweet buttery caramel with the earthy flavor of rosemary and paired that with tart green Granny Smiths. I simply fell in love with this pie. How wondrous to dream up a pie and have it work so well that even I went back for seconds."
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 sprig fresh rosemary
½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
About 8 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into ½-inchthick slices (7 cups)
¼ cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out the crust
1 batch Whole Wheat Double Crust
1. To make the caramel, place 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan, add the sugar, and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Add the sprig of rosemary, turn up the heat to medium, and let the mixture come to a simmer, about 5 minutes.
2. Let the caramel cook slowly, without stirring, until it turns a warm amber color, 8 to 15 minutes, carefully removing the rosemary sprig with a fork about halfway through. It’s very easy to burn caramel, so keep a close eye on the pot; if it seems to be browning too quickly, turn down the heat a bit and let it cook more slowly (it will take longer to reach the proper temperature and color). If the mixture begins to smoke
or turns black, the caramel is past the point of no return and you should rinse out your pot and begin again (sorry).
3. As soon as the caramel reaches the right color, remove the pot from the heat and immediately whisk in the heavy cream. (The cream is much colder than the caramel, so it will bubble and steam pretty intensely; I like to use a large whisk so I have more distance between my hand and the pot of boiling sugar.) Quickly whisk everything together until the caramel has settled. Stir in the butter until it melts; the caramel will be a light tan color and should be smooth. If it’s not smooth, put it back on the stovetop over very low heat and whisk until any lumps of crystallized sugar disappear. Transfer the caramel to a heat-proof bowl or large measuring cup and put it into the fridge to cool.
4. Place the apples in a large bowl, add the ¼ cup flour, and toss to coat. Set aside.
5. Preheat the oven to 400°F with a rack in the middle position.
6. Prepare the bottom crust: Place one disk of the dough on a floured work surface and with a floured rolling pin roll it into a rough 10-inch circle about TK-inch-thick. Lay the crust into a 9-inch pie dish, gently press it in, and trim any excess dough from the edge with a paring knife, being sure to leave a 3/4-inch overhang.
7. Layer half of the sliced apples into the bottom crust and drizzle evenly with about half of the cooled caramel sauce. Layer the remaining apples over the caramel and pour the rest of the sauce over the top (alternatively, set aside 1/4 cup of the sauce to drizzle over the top of the baked pie).
8. Prepare the top crust: On a floured work surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out the remaining dough disk into a rough 1 1/2-to 12-inch circle about TK-inch thick. Carefully lay the crust on top of the filling, and trim any excess dough from the edge, leaving a .-inch overhang. Tuck the overhanging dough under the edge of the bottom crust, and crimp the two crusts together, pressing firmly to seal (apples
get very juicy). Cut a few small slits in the top crust with a sharp knife.
9. Set the pie on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until the filling is thickly bubbling and the crust is golden brown (cover the crimp with foil if it begins to brown too quickly), 50 to 60 minutes.
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