Apple pie with the perfect dash of spice gives this dessert the flavor you didn't know it needed.
The secret to making a delicious apple pie is to cook the apples thoroughly before you do anything. It's never a good sign if your apples are crunchy and raw in your pie. The secret is to cook your apples in butter and sugar. In this recipe, I add a dash of spice to this apple mix and you have a scrumptious Pie de Manzana Picante, which translates into spicy apple pie.
Why only prepare this pie with a bottom crust? Because it's easier and it gives more room to enjoy the apple and sweet pecan flavors.
Cut the apples into slices. Cook them in a little bit of lemon juice and butter, then add something to thicken the mix (masa harina, starch or flour). Make sure you allow the apple mix to cool before baking, otherwise the crust will get ruined.
Combine flour, sugar, salt and mace in a food processor. Slowly mix in chilled butter and vegetable shortening until mixture is thick and course. Slowly blend in water by tablespoonfuls to form moist clumps. Form the dough into a ball. Flatten into a disk. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Melt butter in a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat and add apples to the pan. Stir occasionally. Meanwhile, mix spices together, salt and 3/4 cup sugar, and sprinkle this over the pan, stirring to combine. Lower heat and cook until apples have started to soften, for about 4 minutes. Sprinkle the flour and cornstarch over the apples and continue to cook for 1 more minute.
Remove pan from heat, add cider vinegar, stir and allow the mixture to cool completely - this is extremely important. Add crushed pecans, mix all together.
Roll out the dough and flatten. Fit this crust into a 9-inch pie plate, trimming it to leave a .5-inch overhang. Crimp the edges with a fork. Freeze for 1 hour.
Remove pie crust from freezer. Place the apples inside the pie crust, sprinkle with a dash of sugar.
Place pie in oven and bake for 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 375ºF. Continue to cook until the apples are bubbling, about 30 to 40 minutes more. Remove and allow to cool for at least 1 hour.
You can prepare the dough up to three days ahead and pop in the fridge, just soften at room temperature before baking.