Sunday, October 12, 2008

I love the Barefoot Contessa

Today is all about fall... we went down to Rhode Island and helped my dad gather apples from his trees. The leaves are changing, the air is crisp - I was inspired to make an apple pie. Of course I had to try the Barefoot Contessa's recipe, as I am on the hunt to find a recipe of hers that doesn't work (incidentally I haven't found one yet, and I have all of her cookbooks).

Which leads me to this - I really really love Ina Garten. I want to meet her. She just seems like a warm, genuine, REAL person. She dedicates all her books to her husband. She loves her friends, good food and a welcoming home (that shingle style farmhouse... take me now).

House Beautiful
recently asked.... what makes Ina Garten comfortable? She listed:

Cashmere blankets and Loro Piana slippers everywhere.
Great dance music when I'm cooking.
Flower arrangements from the garden.
Mariage Frères tea with homemade cookies.
Surrounding myself with people who make me happy.

I mean, who says things like #5????
I suppose we all should, more often. This is why she is so fabulous.

Here is the recipe for her Deep Dish Apple Pie, via the Food Network:


  • 4 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, quartered, and cored
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 teaspoon to sprinkle on top
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Perfect Pie Crust, recipe follows
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash


Cut each apple quarter in thirds crosswise and combine in a bowl with the zests, juices, 1/2 cup sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

Roll out half the pie dough and drape it over a 9- or 10-inch pie pan to extend about 1/2-inch over the rim. Don't stretch the dough; if it's too small, just put it back on the board and re-roll it.

Fill the pie with the apple mixture. Brush the edge of the bottom pie crust with the egg wash so the top crust will adhere. Top with the second crust and trim the edges to about 1-inch over the rim. Tuck the edge of the top crust under the edge of the bottom crust and crimp the 2 together with your fingers or a fork. Brush the entire top crust with the egg wash, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sugar, and cut 4 or 5 slits.

Place the pie on a sheet pan and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until the crust is browned and the juices begin to bubble out. Serve warm.

Perfect Pie Crust

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening

6 to 8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water

Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.

Yield: 2 (10-inch) crusts


As for decorating, she has an exquisite shingle style house in East Hampton. I wish I could find a photo... but alas. This is from her dining room, circa 1993 Martha Stewart (via Apartment Therapy). As you might imagine, I love her wicker chairs.

I love what she has to say about designing your home:

"Personal details are important. How many times have you seen a gorgeous house in a shelter magazine that looks absolutely soulless? Everything's right but it's really not. That's because everything matches perfectly and the designer didn't incorporate the client's personal style--or any of those messy real things that people acquire."


Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I think she is pure delight. And her recipes work!

Unknown said...

I absolutely love Ina. She is by far my favorite. Every recipe of hers that I have ever made has been so delicious! She is the consummate hostess.

for the love of a house said...

I love, love, love Ina! Even flew to Seattle several years ago for her 'Barefoot in Paris' book signing. She was so sweet, and so cute- and of course, barefoot! I thought she'd call and we'd be best buds after that, but I'm still waiting for the phone call!!!!

Zane Wooder said...

I love apple pies too. They taste so good yum.