Around the beginning of February I heard a rumor that February is National Pie Month. [translation: I read it on the internet somewhere, but now I can't find a reliable citation.] Any excuse is a good excuse to eat pie, so I baked about half a dozen pies this month. I need to hurry if I want to share a pie with you before the month is out. So without further ado, I present a very special apple pie.
I stumbled on this recipe quite by accident when I was baking some bread from a James Beard recipe on the James Beard Foundation website. My eyes strayed to a box on the sidebar featuring two pies: New England Boiled Cider Pie and Shaker Lemon Pie. They both sounded absolutely delicious, but the cider pie was especially perfect because I have such an excess of farm box apples and also a bottle of boiled cider in the refrigerator (but I have since baked a version of the lemon pie too.)
- I made half a recipe and baked it in my 7" pie pan.
- The recipe calls for boiled cider, either prepared or homemade, giving directions for boiling 2 cups of apple cider until it is reduced to 2/3 cup. I used the boiled apple cider from King Arthur Flour. I have really enjoyed adding this concentrated cider to apple desserts to increase their apple-y goodness. In fact, my bottle is nearly empty!- There's also a solid dose of lemon juice in the pie filling. I splashed in a bit extra because my apples weren't as tart as Granny Smiths.
the verdict:This pie was packed with intense apple flavor. Whipped cream provided a mellow counterpoint to the sharpness of the tart apple and lemon/cider custard. This pie was such a hit that we pretty much fought over the last piece!