It’s the weekend of celebrating our nation’s independence, and what better excuse exists to make an apple pie? I saw several apple pies for sale at area grocery stores and even the local farmer’s market, the latter which offered samples. My shopping companion and I tried the locally baked pie and, though it was good, we agreed that I could do better!
A couple of secrets to making great apple pie:
First: Don’t be afraid to go big! Pile the apples on and stretch your top crust over the resulting mound of fruit. Your audience will appreciate it!
Second: Select the right apples and let the fruit speak for itself in the pie. I have tasted too many apple pies where the baker added too much cinnamon, or nut meg, or all-spice, or all of the above. Let the pie taste like apples, not spices! When selecting apples, choose two different kinds, giving you a combo of sweet and tart.
I used the following: 2 pounds of Jonagold apples (bring the sweet!) and 1.5 pounds of Granny Smith apples (add some tart!). The Jonagold are sweet and juicy. While they don’t hold up to baking as well as some others, the juice will ensure you pie is not dry! The Grannies can be counted on for tartness and for keeping their shape during cooking.
Additionally, my recipe used the following:
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Use your favorite homemade crust recipe to get started. Divide it into two discs and refrigerate for at least an hour. When ready to begin, take out your dough and let it sit for 10 minutes. Roll 1 disk of dough into 12-inch circle and gently unroll it onto 9-inch pie plate, letting excess dough hang over edge.
Leave any dough that overhangs plate in place. Wrap dough-lined pie plate loosely in plastic wrap and refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes. Roll other disk of dough into 12-inch circle and transfer to parchment paper–lined baking sheet; cover with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
While prepping your ingredients, place rimmed baking sheet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Mix the sugar, flour, lemon zest, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon together in large bowl. Add the lemon juice and apples and toss it well until combined.
Pour the mix of apples with their juices into your dough-lined pie plate, creating a mound that peaks in the middle.
Loosely roll remaining dough round around rolling pin and gently unroll it onto filling. Trim the overhang to about 1/2 inch beyond lip of pie plate and pinch edges of top and bottom crusts firmly together.
Cut at least four slits in the top of dough. Brush the surface with beaten egg white and sprinkle evenly sugar.
Place your pie on the heated baking sheet, and reduce the oven heat to 425 degrees. Bake for about 25 minutes. The crust should be a nice golden brown. Reduce your oven temperature to 375 degrees, rotate baking sheet, and continue to bake until juices are bubbling and crust is deep golden brown, about 30 minutes longer.
Now the toughest part! Let that bad boy apple pie cool down for as long as you can. You’ll get best results if you can stand to wait three hours where it starts to get to room temperature. Then enjoy!!
The dilemma for some is whether or not to add vanilla ice cream. My opinion? Don’t!! Go ahead and add ice cream to bland store-bought pie. Let your homemade creation speak for its grand self! Insist that everyone try their slice without the a la mode – they will not regret it, and if they do, they aren’t pie fanatics like you and me.
Thank you for reading! Let me know how you pie turned out!