Monday, October 9, 2017

Star Anise Duck Fat Apple Pie

What to do with leftover duck fat in the fridge? Make a pie of course! Well, that's probably not everyone's first thought but I had some and wanted to clear it out. It almost made its way into duck fat french fries but I came up with this idea instead.  

I ended up making this pie twice. After a very smooth process of making the first one, this happened when I removed it from the oven. Butterfingers. Ugh. 

I was not deterred, even though the pie was not longer camera ready. I was going to photograph this pie so I could post it.  The broken one was given to a neighbor in crumbled form to eat with vanilla ice cream. 

It takes a bit of time to make this pie but the good part is you can make both the crust and filling ahead of time and just assemble and bake the day you would like to serve it. 

Adding the duck fat to the crust turned out to be a great move. Not only did it bump up the flavor but the crust was perfect in texture and taste. 

When serving, don't forget to tell your pie eaters the whole star anise is not edible. 

Star Anise Duck Fat Apple Pie
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Chill Time: 6 hours
Bake time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 pieces

For the crust:

  • 1+3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons white granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon star anise powder
  • 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons cold duck fat
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water
For the filling:
  • 2 lbs sweet-tart apples
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 5 whole star anise
  • 1 cup pure unsweetened apple juice
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Make the crust:

  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, sugar, and star anise powder. Pour into a food processor.
  • Cut the butter and duck fat into small pieces. Add the butter and duck fat to the dry ingredients and pulse until everything comes into a crumb-like mixture.
  • Add the water one tablespoon at a time, pulsing. you want to add just enough water to make the dough stick together. 
  • Wrap the dough in plastic cling film and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
Make the filling:
  • Peel and core the apples. Cut the apple flesh into small pieces. Toss the pieces with the lemon juice in a heatproof bowl. 
  • Place the sugar and the whole star anise in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar starts to melt. 
  • Add the apple juice and cook, stirring until the sugar completely dissolves. Remove from heat.
  • Toss the hot liquid with the apples. Let cool completely. 

Assemble and bake the pie:
  • Grease and flour an 11-inch pie pan. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Roll out Two-thirds of the dough on a floured work surface into a circle slightly bigger than the circumference of the pie pan.
  • Transfer the circle to the pan and use your fingers to crimp the edges all the way around. Add any scraps to the other half of the dough.
  • Give the coated apples another stir and drain off any excess liquid. 
  • Distribute the apples evenly into the pie shell, placing the whole star anise evenly on top of the apples. 
  • Use a 2" star cookie cutter to create cutouts and evenly distribute them over the top of the pie.
  • Brush the milk on top of the star cutouts.
  • Cover the top of the pie with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Remove the aluminum foil and cook the pie for another 30 minutes. 
  • Take the pie out of the oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Cut and serve. (NOTE: The whole star anise are not edible.)

Like Apple Pies & Cakes? Try these recipes:

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