As a self taught baker, hoping to own my own place one day, Duchess Bake Shop is one of my biggest inspirations. The little bakery that could boasts more decadent treats than I can even imagine creating.
Which brings me to my new goal, baking my way through the Duchess Bake Shop recipe book and sharing my successes and failures with you!
If you have ever seen the movie Julie and Julia, you will see that I am sort of attempting what the main character did - which was recreate recipes in Julia Child's most famous book and blog about it. If you have never seen this movie you should!
First up, apple pie, or more specifically pie crust.
Duchess makes pie making a breeze, after making their dough I realized how easy it actually is if you have the right recipe. Duchess incorporates the perfect amount of butter and shortening in their recipe, making it incredibly easy to work with.
The key? NOT over mixing, and you'll end up with a dough that has savory buttery chunks peeping through helping you to roll out a perfectly moist and flaky pie.
Another BIG part about making the perfect dough is keeping it cold. I never realized how important this step was until now. If you store the dough in the fridge for 30 minutes or more you will find that it is much easier to work with.
Next up, the filling. I used a different recipe than Duchesses just because I have previously fallen madly in love with this version.
If you want to try it you'll need:
- 2/3 brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons of flour
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1/4 ground nutmeg
- 1/4 salt
- 2 pounds of apples
Mix these ingredients together, then toss with your apples. Then add the below, and let the apples soak up all of that goodness for at least 30 minutes.
- 1 tablespoon Amaretto
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
- 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
The longer you let the apples sit in this concoction the better, I pulled out a frozen batch to use for this pie as I made it for an apple crisp a bit ago - hint, it works for apple crisp as well. Also you don't have to use Amaretto or Grand Marnier if you have another favorite liqueur, or schnapps use that!
Now is the fun part, poor your filling into your pie pan and pretty up your crust.
Duchess breaks down a super easy way to top your pie. My favorite is the weave, but I also had some dough left over to cover a second pie.
To make a weave design, roll out your dough into a rectangle shape of sorts then cut in even strips. Place about 5 strips one way and 5 the other way then pinch the edges together. I have seen some people literally weave the strips together and have attempted this myself but it seriously looks no different than laying them out flat. This way is not as messy, and you have a way better chance of it turning out.
See, how good does that look!
Make an egg wash to coat the top of your pie, this will give it that delicious brown color. Now, throw that pie in the oven and wait for the smell to waft through your kitchen.
Bake for 375 degree F for about 50 - 60 minutes, watch for bubbling apples and browning crust.
I can't wait to share my next recipe attempt with you, let's hope it turns out as good as this one did.