Crazy-crust apple pie

Yield: 8 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 teaspoon Baking powder
½ teaspoon Salt (or less)
1 dash Nutmeg
1 tablespoon Sugar
9 ounces Flour (1 cup plus 2 Tbsp.)
5 tablespoons Unsalted butter
1 \N Egg (room temperature is better)
⅔ cup Water (room temperature or warm)
1 tablespoon Lemon juice
5 \N Apples, medium-large
⅓ cup Sugar
7 teaspoons Flour (2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp)
¾ teaspoon Cinnamon
1 dash Cloves
1 pinch Allspice
1 tablespoon Dark molasses

DOUGH

FILLING

Very lightly grease one 8- or 9-inch pie pan.

To prepare dough: Melt the butter. While it is melting, combine the baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and sugar in a medium-sized bowl. Make sure to kill any baking powder lumps. Add the flour to the other dry ingredients, and mix very well to create a homogeneous mixture.

Add the melted butter to the dry ingredients, and blend well. Add the egg (beat the egg separately first, if you like), and blend well.

Gradually add the warm water, in three or four batches, incorporating each bit of water before adding more.

Mix well. You should end up with a smooth light-yellow liquid -- much thinner than you would expect batter to be. Pour the batter into the pie pan, and refrigerate it while you go on ...

To prepare filling

Start preheating the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 Centigrade) Put the lemon juice into a medium-large bowl. Peel and core the apples. Cut each apple into 16 wedges (approximately) and then cut each wedge in half to make chunks. As you prepare the apples, place the chunks into the large bowl and toss them with the lemon juice, to reduce browning. After all the apples are cut, sprinkle the other ingredients *except the molasses* into the bowl, and mix well to blend and coat the apples.

To assemble pie Remove the pie pan with batter from refrigerator. (The batter will have firmed considerably.) Spoon the apples into a mound on top of the batter. The apples should extend just about to the edges of the pie plate, but be heaped higher in the middle. If any liquid is left behind in the filling bowl, pour it on. Drizzle the tablespoon of molasses on top of the apples.

Bake at 400 Fahrenheit for about 35 minutes, or until the crust, where it puffs up around the edges between the apple chunks, is golden tan, and an apple chunk, stabbed with a fork, feels appropriately soft (but still *al dente*).

Try to let it cool somewhat before cutting and eating.

Notes

I like a mix of apples -- Granny Smith, Rome, Paula Red, Empire....

(Although not Macintosh, as they cook into mush.) Depending on the apples, you may want to modify the amounts of lemon juice and sugar in the filling.

Changes to the spices are good too -- like slivers of candied ginger in the filling.

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