The crisp autumn is much more welcome with apple picking, making apple pie and corn mazes. I do love my Mom’s German Apple Cake, but straight up fresh from the oven, flakey, juicy apple pie is warming. In honor of Steve Jobs and his legacy. Stay hungry, stay foolish.
After some coffee, traffic and getting lost 10 minutes before arriving farm, we arrived Wojcik Farm. My high school friends and I decide on Wojcik because it had a corn maze. Like the episodes of The Office and Parks and Rec, which feature the fun of a corn maze, we wanted to attempt it ourselves. The cost per person was $8 and the maze took an hour and a half. 30 minutes into the maze, frustration ensued because we kept retracing our path. The trick to the maze is to remember paths already crossed and use clues like sounds, the random candy wrapper, large rock, sock on the ground to help remember you have been there before. My friend’s wise father would have used the sun and a compass for sure. Wojcik’s maze design was flowers so anytime we were lost we knew we were in the petals of the flowers.We got a very quick 3 minute tractor ride from the main farm area to the maze and apple picking area. Families, kids and little dogs all seemed to enjoy themselves.
The apple picking area itself is small with gala, macintosh, courtland, red delicious apples. There is a pumpkin patch to get your own pumpkin. In addition to the apple picking, Wojcik sells baked goods, pies, fruit and vegetables in its little store area. I was tempted by the cookies and jugs of cider.
A glass of cold apple cider
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 8 tablespoons vegetable shortening
- 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 6-8 tablespoons ice water
Combine flour, salt and sugar. Add shortening and process until mixture has texture of coarse sand, about 10 seconds. Scatter butter pieces over flour mixture; cut butter into flour until mixture is pale yellow and resembles coarse crumbs, with butter bits no larger than small peas, about ten 1-second pulses. Turn mixture into medium bowl.
Sprinkle 10 T ice water over mixture. Press down on dough with broad side of spatula until dough sticks together, adding up to 2 T more ice water if it will not come together. Divide dough into two pieces, one slightly larger than the other. Wrap separately in plastic and refrigerator at least 1 hour or up to 2 days before rolling.
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook and Smitten Kitchen
- 3 to 3 1/2 pounds Courtland apples (about 6 large)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 teaspoon zest from 1 lemon
- 3/4 cups granulated sugar plus 1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 egg beaten lightly
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat rimmed baking sheet and oven to 500°F. Remove one piece of dough from refrigerator (if refrigerated longer than 1 hour, let stand at room temperature until malleable).
Roll dough on lightly floured work surface or between two large sheets of plastic wrap to 12-inch disk. Transfer dough to pie plate by rolling dough around rolling pin and unrolling over 9 1/2-inch pie plate or by folding dough in quarters, then placing dough point in center of pie plate and unfolding. Working around circumference of pie plate, ease dough into pan corners by gently lifting dough edges with one hand while pressing around pan bottom with other hand. Leave dough that overhangs lip of plate in place; refrigerate dough-lined pie plate.
Peel, core and cut apples in half, and in half again width-wise; cut quarters into 1/4-inch slices and toss with lemon juice and zest. In a medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup sugar, flour, salt and spices. Toss dry ingredients with apples. Turn fruit mixture, including juices, into chilled pie shell and mound slightly in center.
Roll out second piece of dough to 12-inch disk and place over filling. Trim top and bottom edges to 1/2-inch beyond pan lip. Tuck this rim of dough underneath itself so that folded edge is flush with pan lip. Flute edging or press with fork tines to seal. Cut four slits on dough top. If pie dough is very soft, place in freezer for 10 minutes. Brush egg white onto top of crust and sprinkle evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar.
Place pie on baking sheet and lower oven temperature to 425°F. Bake until top crust is golden, about 25 minutes. Rotate pie and reduce oven temperature to 375°F; continue baking until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30-35 minutes longer.
Transfer pie to wire rack; serve immediately with vanilla ice cream or cool to room temperature.