I've made pies before--I've even made good pies before--but I've never made a lattice crust. My attempt was less than perfect, but that never stopped my hungry family. They ate every piece.
And even though the whole thing was gone, I have to tell you something. It was only okay. The crust recipe...eh. (This is the recipe I should have gone with.) The filling? Pretty good, but I think next time I'd add some more cinnamon. It was also a little goopy--the apples were swimming in the syrup. I'd reduce it for longer next time, or only make half the recipe.
But maybe mine was bad luck, because the recipe seems like it should be great. So make it, have at it, and tell me if yours turns out any better.
Mexican Brown Sugar Pie
1/2 pound piloncillo (unrefined brown sugar; also called panela)*
3/4 cup water
4 (1-inch-wide) strips orange zest
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 1/2 pound medium apples
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Pastry dough (for a double-crust pie) (Use recipe above)
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon sugar
Put a large heavy baking sheet in middle of oven and preheat oven to 425°F.
Bring piloncillo, water, zest, spices, and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, covered, stirring occasionally until piloncillo has dissolved. Remove lid and boil over medium-low heat until syrup is thickened and reduced to about 3/4 cup, 6 to 10 minutes. Discard zest and cool syrup slightly.
Meanwhile, peel and core apples, then cut into 1/2-inch-wide wedges.
Toss apples with flour, then with syrup.
Roll out 1 piece of dough (keeping remaining piece chilled) on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 13-inch round, then fit into a 9-inch pie plate.
Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang, and chill shell.
Roll out remaining piece of dough on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 16-by 11-inch rectangle. Cut dough crosswise into 11 (1 1/4-inch-wide) strips.
Stir apple mixture, then spoon evenly into pie shell. Weave a tight lattice pattern over pie with pastry strips.
Trim all strips flush with edge of pie plate. Fold bottom crust up over edge of lattice and crimp. Brush lattice (but not edge) with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake pie on hot baking sheet 20 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 375°F and bake until crust is golden and filling is bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes more. Cool pie to warm or room temperature, about 1 1/2 hours.
*If you can’t get piloncillo, substitute 1 cup packed dark brown sugar and 2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses (not blackstrap). Syrup will take longer to reduce.