Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Apple Pie with Medieval Pastry Crust

Game of Thrones has returned! And to celebrate the start of the third season, I wanted to make a dish inspired by my A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook, which I got a little while back as an anniversary gift from my husband and sadly haven't used yet.

Although I originally opened the GOT cookbook with dinner in mind, I had also purchased a bag of golden delicious apples earlier in the weekend from my local farmer's market for an apple dessert. Saffron pastry dough and lemon pastry dough with vanilla are some of the first recipes in the book, so I decided to make a rich, savory crust for a crisp and sweet apple pie using a version of the two recipes: I added orange zest and bourbon barrel vanilla to the saffron pastry dough recipe.

Apple Filling: 
2-3 lbs golden delicious apples, diced
1/4 c brown sugar
1 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp sea salt

In Advance: Combine ingredients in a large bowl. I also added a healthy dash of cayenne pepper, as well as maple powder and lavender sugar for a sweet and floral punch. I got both of these wonderful sweeteners, along with my bourbon barrel vanilla extract, from the wonderful Colonel De spice market in Cincinnati, Ohio. I then let the apple mixture rest in the refrigerator overnight so the flavors could mingle. If you don't have overnight, then let the apples rest for at least a few hours. Before adding the apples to the pie crust, stir in about 1-2 tbsp flour or cornstarch.

Medieval Pastry Dough
1/2 c water
1 tbsp vanilla
zest of 1 orange
Pinch of saffron
3 c flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 stick butter, room temperature

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Combine water, zest, and vanilla and dissolve saffron in mixture. Meanwhile, cut the butter into the flour. Add the yolks and vanilla water until incorporated and a soft dough forms. Add more water or flour as needed.

Divide the dough into 2 parts for one 9" pie or 3 parts for two 8" pies. Roll out the dough for the bottom crust to about 1/4" to 1/8" thickness and place into pan. Shape and stab with a fork a few times. Add the apple filling.

Roll out the dough for the top crust and shape. Top with brown sugar and cinnamon. I also added a dash more of the the maple powder, lavender sugar, and orange zest.

Bake for about 10 minutes and then lower temperature to 350°F and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.