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Harvey Cohen


My Dad believed that apple pie was its own food group and that all other foods were merely a complement to apple pie. Bubbe Cohen had her version, my mom refined it, and I have reduced the carbs with Splenda.

Food Editor's Notes:  I tasted Harvey's apple pie recently when he made it for a dinner party at my home.  Everyone was very impressed!  It looked absolutely gorgeous, high and golden brown, and tasted even better – full of apple flavor, not too sweet, with a flaky, buttery-tasting crust.  Note Harvey's special techniques – adding a touch of vinegar to the crust to enhance flakiness, using more than one type of apple, baking half the apple filling in the oven first to reduce shrinkage in the final product, and finishing with a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon for a rich-looking crust.  We have been searching for an apple pie worthy of our web site and this is definitely it.  It will be a star on your Thanksgiving table as well!

Crust Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of cold vegetable shortening sticks (butter, pareve margarine, or Crisco)

1/2 cup of ice water

1/4 teaspoon of vinegar

1 egg white, beaten, for brushing the crust

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, for sprinkling

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, for sprinkling


In a large bowl, mix flour, 2 tablespoons of sugar, and salt. Making sure the shortening is cold before you start, slice the shortening sticks into small pieces. Mix the pieces into the flour mixture using a pastry fork until the shortening has been reduced to a coarse mixture. Slowly add the ice water and vinegar to the flour while mixing until the mixture is evenly moist. Knead the dough in the bowl a few times until the mixture begins to stick together. It will still be a bit crumbly. Pour the dough out on a clean surface and knead a few more times until the dough holds together. Split the dough into two portions. Form each portion into a flat disk about an inch thick. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour until you are ready to use it.

When you are ready to roll out the crusts, allow the dough to warm for about 30 minutes. Rolling the dough out on a piece of waxed paper can improve the ease in moving the rolled out dough into the pan. After dusting the dough disk with flour, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness until it will fit an 8-10 inch pie pan allowing for some overhang on the rim. Lightly spray the pan with vegetable shortening and flip the dough using the waxed paper into the pie pan. Trim the edges allowing for some overhang over the pan rim. Do the same for the other dough disk and place the rolled out dough off to the side until you are ready to cover the pie filling.

Filling Ingredients

6 cups (about 2 lbs) of McIntosh or Cortland apples, sliced to about 1/4 inch

6 cups (about 2 lbs) of Granny Smith or other crisp, tart apples, sliced to about 1/4 inch

1/2 cup of sugar/Splenda mix

2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of salt


Combine apples, sugar/Splenda mix, lemon juice, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Take half the mixture, place it in a Dutch oven or covered casserole dish and place it in the pre-heated oven at 425o F for about 15 minutes until the mixture has started to soften. This step will reduce shrinkage in the finished pie. Remove the mixture from heat, mix in the remaining apple mixture, mix in the 2 tablespoons of flour and allow to cool for about 30 minutes.

Assembling the Pie

Transfer the apple mixture to the pie pan. Take the rolled-out crust on its waxed paper and carefully flip the crust onto the apple mixture in the pie pan. Trim the crust so that it slightly overhangs the pan rim. Press the upper and lower crust edges together creating a fluted crust along the pan rim. Combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon. Brush the beaten egg white on the crust. Sprinkle the sugar mixture on the crust. Using a sharp knife, gently cut 6-8 steam vent slits in the upper crust.

Place the pie in the pre-heated oven at 425o F for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to   

375o F and continue to bake an additional 30-40 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Cool on a wire rack for 1 1/2 hours before serving.

Food Editor's Notes:  If the pie is totally cooled, you can re-warm it in a low oven (about 200-250 degrees) for 15-30 minutes before serving.  Vanilla ice cream makes a great accompaniment!

Harvey Cohen is in prime pie-baking mode beginning in November and has several pie specialties up his sleeve.  Perhaps we'll be honored to receive another recipe in the future!


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