October 24, 2018

Yes, I Really Can Make An Apple Pie


I have approximately eleventy billion dessert recipes, and about 95 percent of those are chocolate-based. So it should tell you something that this non-chocolate dessert recipe is one of my all-time favorites. 

This is the apple pie recipe that finally allowed me to claim I could successfully make an apple pie. The filling is adapted from Nancy Baggett's fabulous recipe for "Favorite Deep-Dish Apple Pie" from her equally fabulous The All-American Dessert Book (Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005). I put this wonderful filling in My Mom's Pie Crust, which is so good, you can put pretty much anything in it and be a happier person.

As an aside, I was looking for a recipe online the other day and had to wade through a lot of introductory prose to get to it, so I'm just going to jump right into the recipe here. Also, I really want to eat some more pie.

Yes, I Really Can Make An Apple Pie {print}

1 recipe Pie Filling
Pie Dough for double-crust pie (My Mom's Pie Crust or your own recipe or pre-made)

My Mom's Pie Crust
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into smallish pieces
1/2 cup shortening, cold
1 egg
1/3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon white or cider vinegar

In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Throw in the pieces of butter and tablespoon-sized "portions" of shortening and cut all these into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or a fork or two knives. Whisk the remaining crust ingredients and toss with the flour mixture until it starts to form a ball. Add a couple extra drops of water if it seems too dry. Divide in thirds, form into balls, wrap in plastic, and chill until you want to roll out and use. (You need to at least rest and chill the dough for an hour or so, but longer is even better.) You can also freeze your dough portions for at least a few months. Whenever you use it, roll it out and bake it according to the directions for whatever recipe you're using it with. 
Makes 3 (9") single-crust pie shells. (You'll only need 2 for this pie, or just make 2 extra-large portions if you like to have extra to work with or scraps to bake.)

Pie Filling
11 cups peeled, cored, sliced apples (you'll want to use several different varieties of apples here for best flavor and texture...slice the softer apples like Macintosh a little more thickly and the more crisp apples like Granny Smiths more thinly)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (use the larger amount if your apples are really juicy...I used 4 tablespoons in my pie)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon milk, for brushing on top of pie dough
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar for sprinkling on top of pie

In a very large, heavy, nonreactive saucepan, toss the apple slices with the lemon juice. In a small bowl, stir together thoroughly the 2/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/3 cup brown sugar, the cinnamon, cornstarch, and salt. Add the sugar mixture and the butter to the apples; toss until well combined. Bring the whole mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer, stirring and scraping the pan bottom, for about 3 minutes, or until the apples cook down slightly; do not let the apples burn.

Pie Procedure
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, and either coat the foil with nonstick cooking spray or line it with parchment.

Roll out one portion (1/3 of the total recipe) of My Mom's Pie crust and fit into a deep-dish 9" pie plate. Chill while you make the filling. When filling is ready, mound it into your pie shell, heaping it up in the center. Roll out another portion of pie dough and fit it over the top, crimping the edges. Brush the top crust (but not the edges) with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Cut a few slits to vent, and set the pie on your prepared baking sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned. Coat a large piece of foil with nonstick cooking spray and use the foil to tent the entire top crust so it doesn't brown too much before your apples are tender. Bake (still at 400 degrees) for another 30-40 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling up at the edges and through the vent holes. You might also want to finagle a slice of apple out through a vent to check for tenderness. You want your apples tender but not mushy. 

Remove the pie from the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least an hour. Serve with ice cream (à la mode) or without (au naturel).

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  1. I have never liked my apple pies. NOw I will try daughter Elizabeth's recipe and see if it is as good as it looks. I have choice bake so crust will not get too brown and won't have to use foil. Thank you daughter. You could have brought your mama a piece to try!

    1. Oh, Mama, I'm sorry I didn't bring you a piece! But it would have been "old" by the time I had the chance! ;) And this pie would be nothing without your crust! P.S. I'm already looking forward to my GIANT piece of your pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving! xoxo

  2. Giggling at your conversation with your mom in the comments here - my mom and I do that on mine, too! :) #twinsies

    1. Oh, Lisa, that is SO great! Thank you for taking time to leave this comment, because it just makes me happy. Really, I think our moms may have been twin separated at birth. I can't wait for them to meeting **someday**!! :)


I'd love to hear from you! Feel free to tell me what you really think. Years ago, I explained to my then-two-year-old that my appointment with a counselor was "sort of like going to a doctor who will help me be a better mommy." Without blinking, she replied, "You'd better go every day." All of which is just to say I've spent some time in the school of brutal honesty!