[Majuro, Marshall Islands; 07º 07' N/171º 11' E]
Philip's birthday treats (are never cake but) are always homemade. For his New Year's Eve 2011 birthday celebration, Leslie made one of his favorite desserts, apple pie. Being Majuro and filled with things "American", we even splurged and bought some Breyer's Natural Vanilla ice cream. Yumm!
This is Leslie's pie recipe.
5-6 crisp tart apples (e.g. Granny Smith)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 cups flour
3/4 cup chilled butter (canned is fine)
4-5 Tbs cold water
Measure flour into a small bowl and add pinch salt. Mix with a fork to blend well. Cut butter into flour mixture with two butter knives in a scissoring motion until the butter bits are ultra fine. The flour/butter mix will look somewhat like course corn meal. Add 4 Tbs water and mix gently with a fork. If dough does not hold together, add one more Tbs water but try not to add more.
Divide the dough in two and with your hands make a thick flattened disk of the dough before turning onto a flour covered pastry cloth. Using a rolling pin and starting from the center each time, gently roll dough outward, creating a large thin circle larger than a 9" pie plate. Fold in half and ease it onto a pie plate, then immediately unfold. Gently arrange crust in pan and then trim generously the edges of dough around the pie pan rim.
Peel apples one by one and slice thinly into the bottom crust. The pile of slices in the pie pan should be convex at the center. Prepare a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and sprinkle it uniformly over the apples.
Prepare the cover crust in the same manner as the bottom crust, fold it in half, and ease it gently onto the top of the pie. Immediately unfold crust. Trim crust generously around the edges and then with your finger, press along the edges to press the top crust into the bottom crust. To finish edges, lift the edge of the crust a little and with your first finger of your right hand, press the edge of the crust into a hollow formed by your thumb and first finger of your left hand. Repeat this all the way around the edge, creating a zig zag pattern.
Use a sharp knife to cut slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape during baking.
Preheat oven to 350 F and bake approximately 1 hour. Turn pie at 30 minutes of baking to ensure uniformity. Crust should be golden and there should NOT be bubbles visible through the slits in the top crust. Cool on a rack. Serve (preferably while still warm) with scoops of vanilla ice cream