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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Rustic Cognac-Apple Pie

This is a rendition of Rustic Armagnac-Apple Pie from Vegetarian Times (VT). I've never heard of Armagnac before. According to wiki, Armagnac is an aged brandy from the Armagnac region in Gascony, southwest France. I did not see Armagnac in the liquor store so I bought brandy instead. Brandy is already expensive as it is - $9 for a 100ml bottle. I don't really want to know how much an aged brandy cost :).

It is a tasty pie and I like that it's easy to put together.  When I was putting this together, I felt the amount of dried fruits used is a bit overwhelming. I only make 1/2 the recipe and the dried fruits filled over half a 2-cup pyrex container. Dried fruits has quite a bit of sugar in it so I thought it would be overly sweet. But it turned out not too sweet at all and I did not notice all the dried fruits while eating it.

One note on the crust though. While it is good, it does not even hold a candle to my favorite cream cheese pie crust from Rose Levy Beranbaum. Next time I made this pie I will use this pie crust.

Flour, sugar (I used brown sugar), and salt are mixed for the crust.

Add butter.

The recipe calls for mixing the crust in a food processor. I have a nice food processor but I like mixing pie crust by hand.

Add water, mix again until a dough is formed.

I like using pyrex container for storing pie crust. This is 1/2 recipe of the pie so the crust fits into a 4-cup round pyrex bowl.

The crust dough goes into the fridge for resting. Meanwhile, I made the filling.

Combo of raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries, and chopped dried apricots. Soaked in boiling water.
10 minutes later, I remembered I had to add lemon peel...

After the dried fruits been macerating for 20 minutes, add the Armagnac/Cognac. Let cool.

While waiting for the dried fruits to cool, took pictures of pretty figs...

...and apples.

I did a double take when I read the instructions said to grate the apples. Grate? For apple pie? I've never heard of it before. But apparently VT wants half the apples to be grated so they can be mixed with the dried fruits. I am using 3 apples for 1/2 a pie so I grate only one.

Roll out the pie crust into err.. a circle. Mine looks more like a map of a country with all the rough edges.

And did you see the peninsula on the upper left-hand corner? I think that's where the boats dock.

Spread out the filling.

Topped with sliced apples. I usually peel the apples but I wanted to try whole un-peeled slices this time. I mean, it's sad to see those apple skins ended up in trash.

Wrap the pie crust over the apple island (you following my crazy analogy?). Egg washed and sprinkled with turbinado sugar.

Topped with sliced fresh figs.

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