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FIVE-SPICE APPLE PIE

By the time Crisco came out in 1911, apple pies had long been an American classic. But Crisco,
the first hydrogenated vegetable shortening, gave cooks a boost. Here was a shelf-stable alternative
to perishable butter and lard. While a lot of consumers were skeptical of Crisco, many early sales
were generated by Orthodox Jews, who bought the shortening after a recipe booklet was published
in Yiddish showing how Crisco could be used without breaking kosher dietary laws.

Its success was assured when rationing made lard scarce during World War I.

Crust
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 tablespoons (about) ice water

Filling
5 pounds Golden Delicious apples,
or MacIntosh apples (for a little more tart pie), peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder*

2 tablespoons whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon sugar

For Crust: Mix first 3 ingredients in large bowl. Add shortening; cut in using pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces. Mix in enough ice water by tablespoonfuls to form moist clumps. Gather dough. Divide into 2 pieces, 1 slightly larger than the other. Flatten each into disk. Wrap each disk in plastic; chill at least 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.)

For Filling: Toss apples and lemon juice in large bowl. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add apples and brown sugar; cook until apples are just tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Using slotted spoon, return apples to same bowl. Boil juices in pot until thick, about 15 minutes. Pour juices over apples; cool completely. Mix in flour and five-spice powder.

Position rack in lowest third of oven; preheat to 375F. Place baking sheet on rack. Roll out larger dough disk on floured surface to 12-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch glass pie dish; trim overhang to 1 inch, if necessary. Spoon filling into crust. Roll out smaller dough disk to 10-inch round. Drape over filling. Press top and bottom edges of dough together; crimp decoratively. Cut small hole in center of crust. Brush crust with cream. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sugar.

Place pie on baking sheet in oven; bake until crust is golden brown and filling bubbles thickly, about 1 hour 5 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

*Chinese five-spice powder is sold in the spice section of most supermarkets.

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