Wow, the crust dough substituting Vodka for 1/2 of the liquid was very easy to handle. Especially since I used a flour higher in gluten with the potential to make his crust as hard as a rock, but he Vodka did its job from keeping the gluten from forming, incredible!
I think for a regular recipe, the crust would be incredibly flaky. for me reduced-fat as low as one can go and still have an edible crust, the Vodka helped much to reduce the gluten in this pie.
Cooking the apples on a very slow heat, about 140F, to remove some of the liquid and concentrate the apple flavor was a terrific idea. This is the heaviest apple pie I have every made. Heating the apple slices on the stove in a Dutch Oven worked great!
Please note their are no sweeteners or thickeners among the apples in this pie,nothing but apples and 2 teaspoons of cinnamon as we love it! I cooked a mixture of apples including Melrose, Mcowen, Wiesap, etc. together. Some apples turned to a lumpy sauce, while other were tender and held a bit of the apple slice shape.
In this pie I used King Arthur's Flour, white whole wheat flour,which has a bit of a higher gluten
content than most flours. I recently switched to white whole wheat as am trying to get away from the standard unbleached flours.
I prefer glass pie pans as no problems with acids and I like to see what is going on in the baking of the bottom crust. I baked this apple pie on a heated cookie sheet.
I started at 425F and after maybe 15 minutes, reduced the heat to 375F and baked it until it looked just right, some light brown on the bottom crust and the same light brown color all over the pie crust.