FOR THE CRUST
6 ounces unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 ounces vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
5 to 7 tablespoons applejack or apple brandy (calvados)
12 ounces all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
FOR THE FILLING
4 1/2 pounds of peeled and seeded apples from a mix of Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Braeburn and Golden Delicious, about 8 large apples
1/2 cup sugar, divided
3 tablespoons tapioca flour
2 tablespoons apple jelly
1 tablespoon apple cider
2 teaspoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon grains of paradise, freshly ground (see note)
For full instructions, please see Alton Brown’s website.
My thoughts on making this pie:
Making this pie is a good half-day commitment. It’s like making bread; it’s worth the wait. For those of you cinnamon/nutmeg apple pie makers out there: Don’t modify this recipe. Take the time to find the Grains of Paradise, and you will be pleasantly surprised. When peeling the apples, if they seem a little on the extra juicy side, let them stay in the colander for a little longer.
How does it taste?
After waiting the grueling 4 hours (yes, you must wait!)… it is oh, so delicious. The apples turn out almost “al dente”, and have no hint of sliminess whatsoever. The Grains of Paradise add a flavor I’ve never before tasted, but so perfectly suited to this pie. The Applejack in the crust adds a mouth watering fragrance to the whole experience. Oh, how I love thee, AB’s Super Apple Pie.