Saturday, February 24, 2018

Double Crust Deep Dish Apple Pie and a Book Review

The folks over at the The Book Club Cookbook send out email newsletters each month that contain news about new novels people are reading in their book clubs along with their reviews and recipes. They then offer raffles for these books that are being reviewed.

I usually enter these raffles and occasionally I am lucky enough to win.  Such was the case a couple of months ago and I was surprised with a package containing The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller.

Image result for the city bakers guide to country living

This novel arrived as I was getting ready to go on vacation.  Having started another novel, The Gauguin Connection , I finished that up on the flight to California and then began reading this one, finishing it on the flight home.

This is the story of a young pastry chef, Olivia Rawlings,  who has already had a pretty drastic life in her short 26 years. Her mother left when she was an infant.  Her father was a wonderful, caring parent who loved her immensely but was forced to leave her on her own much of the time as he struggled in a single parent home.  He passed away when she was only 16, leaving her with a savings account and alone.

Olivia wanders aimlessly for a while before ending up in New York where she attends the Culinary Institute and becomes an excellent pastry chef.  The novel starts as she is working for an exclusive Boston Dinner Club and carrying on an illicit tryst with a prominent member and her boss who is married and much older than she.  Olivia is carrying out a flaming Baked Alaska when she suddenly loses her balance and sets the club on fire.  

We find Olivia fleeing to the safety of the only person still in her life from her childhood, her best friend, who now resides in the small town of Guthrie, Vermont, where her husband works as the resident surgeon.

At her friend's insistence, Olivia, finds herself competing for a job at the Sugar Maple Inn, owned by the cantankerous Margaret Hurley, who is judging the applicants by having them bake their best Apple Pie.

What follows is a fun, lighthearted, easy read that is pretty predictable but, none the less, enjoyable.  If you are looking for a novel that you can just curl up with and enjoy without having to think too hard, this is the book for you.  The characters are all loveable and make you want to shake their hand, grab a cup of coffee and sit around a table getting to know them better.

At the end of the book is the author's recipe for a Two Crust Apple Pie.  I followed it completely.  Like Miller, I too always use an assortment of apples in my pie and that assortment always included McIntosh.

I made this to serve this evening.  We had our  neighbors,  from across the street, in our little town, over for dinner.  I love small town living and enjoyed Miller's portrayal of how life often is when living in one.

My usual apple pie is this Apple Crumb Pie.  It is a family favorite with a bottom crust and a crumble topping.  I have also shared this Skillet Apple Pie that has no bottom crust but does have a top crust.  This is the first time I have made a Two Crust Apple Pie.  It was a big hit.  I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

I will be sharing this post over at Foodies Read.  Take a look at what others are reading and creating this month.

Double Crust Deep Dish Apple Pie
adapted from Louise Miller

3 c. flour
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt
1 1/2 sticks butter
3 T. vegetable shortening
Ice water
2 T. butter
4 lbs. asst. apples, peeled, cored and cut into eighths
3/4 c. sugar
4 T. minute tapioca
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg
1 egg white, beaten

Place the flour, sugar, salt, 1 1/2 sticks butter and vegetable shortening into the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until mixture resemble coarse corn meal.   Remove to a bowl.  Add ice water, a tablespoon at a time, and work in with your fingers until the dough begins to come together.  This should take about 6-8 tablespoons.  When the dough clumps together when squeezed, turn onto a lightly floured service and form it into a ball.  Divide the ball in half.  Press each half into a disc, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.  Remove from refrigerator to counter when ready to make the filling, so that the dough has time to become pliable.

Melt the 2 T. of butter in a large skillet, over med high heat.  Add the apples and cook stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes.  Remove to a bowl.  Add sugar, tapioca, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Toss to coat and set aside to cool while you roll out the dough.

Roll the dough into two crusts on a lightly floured surface.  Place one crust in a deep dish pie pan and brush all over with the beaten egg white.  Add the apples to the bottom crust.  Layer the top crust over the apples and trim the edges of the pie. Pinch the crusts together using your thumb and fingers. Brush the top of the pie with the remaining egg white.

Place pie onto a cookie sheet and place in an oven that has been preheated to 400*.  Lower the oven temperature to 375* and bake for 50-60 minutes, until crust is golden brown and apples are tender.  Print Recipe


  1. Nice review, Wendy. I think the key to a good apple pie is an assortment of different baking varieties (and a good crust)!

  2. Replies
    1. Yes, it is a cute easy read. Would you like me to send it to you?

    2. Breezed through about 150 pages last night after dinner. Thanks for sending it! Fun read.

    3. Glad you're enjoying it. A good book to just curl up and relax.


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