One of my all time favorite things about fall is going to the orchards. I love the apple cider, the donuts, and of course, picking delicious apples. I must confess, that in my younger years I wasn’t a huge fan of apple pie. It seemed like most of the ones I tried were just too mushy or too tart. Well I am here to tell you that I have finally come up with a recipe for the best apple pie. It’s a great blend of sweet and tart, and the apples are just right (not too hard, not too soft). I have included a pie pastry recipe at the bottom. If you have never made a pie crust before, I encourage you to try! It is a lot of fun and the more you do it the better you will get. Hope you like it!
6-8 tart apples ( I always use at least two kinds of apples. These are some that work great for pie- Honey crisp, Granny Smith, Jonathan, Rome, Macintosh
1 ¼ cup sugar
1 heaping tsp. cinnamon
dash of cloves (1/8 tsp)
dash of nutmeg (1/8 tsp)
3 Tbls flour
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Peel apples and slice thinly in large bowl and set aside. Mix together in another bowl the remaining ingredients. Pour and toss mixture over the apples. Arrange the apple mixture in pie shell, and dot with one tablespoon of butter. Place top pastry on and sprinkle top of pie with sugar. Place in hot oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn down oven to 350 degrees and continue to bake until apples are tender but not mushy (about 45-60 minutes.
* If the edges start getting dark and the apples are not tender you can either use an edge shield or gently place foil around the edges of the pie.*
Here is a pie crust that works for me all the time:
(makes two 9- inch shells or one double crust pie)
2 cups sifted unbleached flour
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup butter or shortening
4 tablespoons water
Mix flour and salt in bowl. cut in Crisco using a pastry cutter or fork until mixture is uniform and fine (pea-like shaped). Sprinkle water over mixture 1 teaspoon at a time, tossing lightly with a fork. Mix until dough holds together. Divide dough into two parts. Roll half of the pastry 1/8 inch thick on a floured board or pastry cloth (a large piece of canvas in my favorite thing to roll my pies on). Line a 9” pie shell with pastry and trim off at the edge. Roll out other portion and place on top of fruit filled pie shell and cut off pastry 1” from edge of pie pan. Fold under the top pastry under the bottom and flute the edges. (sealing it with fingers or fork).
**Two secrets when making pie crust- 1) Always use cold shortening, butter, or lard, and cold water. (use cold water with ice cubes in it. Just make sure not to use actual ice cubes in the pastry. 2) Do not over mix. What gives a pie crust the flakey, yummy layers are the clumps of Crisco, butter, or lard. If they are completely mixed you will have a very heavy pastry, which is why you cut the butter into the flour making small pea-like sized pieces of butter coated in flour.
What are your favorite apples to use in Apple Pie?