I like to think I'm a pretty good baker, but there are some things that I just can't touch: one of them has always been Elegant Farmer Apple Pie.
For those of you who don't know---Elegant Farmer is a fabulous bakery and deli in Mukwonago, WI, famous for their amazing pies in paper bags. I make a pretty good pie, but I've never made anything that even comes close to their delicious, crackly crusted apple pie. Nothing comes close, nothing.
But what is life without goals?
With a free afternoon, and a bag full of assorted apples, I decided to try to replicate the most amazing pie ever. Unsurprisingly, I don't think I duplicated it--but I came closer than I have before.
To start, the pie of course needed to be made in a bag:
The bag, whatever health risks it may pose, did succeed in producing the pie's characteristically crisp, perfectly browned crust.
The crust itself, which I hadn't been able to figure out previously, was also a success.
Pulling from a lesser used recipe on allrecipes, I tried out a topping that's essentially equal parts butter, sugar, and flour. The result is crackly, crunchy, and just what I was looking for.
The pie was delicious, but it could still use some tweaking. Dave described it as "too Christmas-y," which I believe means "too much nutmeg." Also, he made the point (and I might agree) that there may have been more of that crackly crust, and less of the normal, base crust in the original. As a crust person, I think more crust is always an improvement.
Too bad I don't have my very own test kitchen, or I'd make this again right away! As it is, I've got most a pie sitting here that's just not going to eat itself. I'm sure I'll b making pie again in the near future, however--and I will definitely be using this crust!
Edit: This is the recipe I used to approximate Elegant Farmer's Apple Pie: Apple Pie in a Brown Paper Bag
Again, however, there is too much nutmeg, in my opinion, and the quantity of apples called for seems a bit high. I used closer to 2 lbs for my pie. Also, I used (gasp!) Jiffy pie crust mix for the bottom of the pie instead of their recipe. When I perfect this, I'll post my complete recipe with edits.