Apple-Almond Deep Dish Pie

Apple-Almond Deep Dish Pie

Almond Crust
1 1/2 c Flour
2 tb Sugar
1/2 t Salt
1/4 c Almonds fine-ground
1/4 c Unsalted butter, cold cut in pieces
1/4 c Solid vegetable shortening
1/8 t Almond extract
2 tb Cold milk or as needed

8 c Apples sliced and peeled
1/2 c Sugar
3 tb Unsalted butter cut in bits
3 tb Cider, applejack, or brandy
Cream optional

ALMOND CRUST: In a mixing bowl or food processor, cut together the flour, sugar, salt, ground almonds, butter, and shortening until crumbled to the size of peas. Mix the almond extract with 1 Tbs of the milk; stir this into the crumbled mixture. Add just enough additional cold milk to hold the dough together. Gather the dough into a ball; flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill at least 1 hour.

FILLING: In a mixing bowl, toss together the apple slices, sugar, and butter. Transfer the mixture to a deep 9 1/2-inch pie dish, mounding the apples in the center.

Preheat the oven to 425° F. Roll out the almond dough on a lightly floured surface to a neat 12-inch round. Fold the dough in half and quickly but gently transfer it to the pie dish, unfolding it over the apples. Roll the overhanging edges of the pastry up and over toward the surface, forming a thick border around the edges of the dough. Flute the edges and cut several slashes in the center of the dough.

Bake the pie for 15 mins; then lower the heat to 350¼F and continue to bake until the pastry is nicely golden and the apples are tender when checked with a fork, 35 to 40 mins longer.

Remove the pie from the oven. Using a funnel, pour the cider, applejack, or brandy through one of the steam vents in the pastry. Cool the pie on a wire rack; then serve warm or at room temperature in deep bowls, passing a pitcher of cream separately, if you like.

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