I cannot do much to ease everyone’s stress right now, but I can provide you with some comfort food! The following apple pie recipe is a favorite with my friends and family. This recipe has been enjoyed for the majority of our holiday gatherings as well as several other special occasions. Sometimes I bake one just because and there is no better time than now for that! I used to love hosting a Jingle Bell run in early December for my running club in Massachusetts. I would bake this apple pie recipe for the post run buffet and only an empty pie plate would remain. I am looking forward to making this apple pie recipe again for those I love hopefully during the 2021 holiday season!
A couple of serving variations before I jump into the actual recipe. I prefer to enjoy this dessert simply as is, but my dad always enjoyed adding some sharp cheddar cheese. A few family members who can find any and every excuse to add ice cream to a dish preferred it a la mode. No one says it has to be strictly for dessert by the way. Warmed for breakfast works very nicely for my father-in-law. Of course, a freshly brewed cup of coffee always brings out the warm flavors and comforting textures in a slice of homemade apple pie!
Here we go!
2 cups of sifted flour (do people really do that?)
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup of Crisco shortening
4 or more tablespoons of warm water or however many depending on the pliability of the dough
Apples and sugar mixture:
6 – 8 apples peeled and sliced medium thick (Macintosh or Cortland as they are both great baking apples). You can add more apples depending on their size and your preference on how high you want to pile the pie high!
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
¾ cup all-purpose flour
Butter: 4 tablespoons
Pie crust instructions: Combine the ingredients together. Roll the dough into a ball and wrap in wax paper. Pop the wrap ball of dough into the freezer for the time it takes to combine the apple filling mixture. Most often I do chill the pie crust dough in the freezer, but I have also left it at room temperature, and it works fine. I was told by my home economics teacher that the more you handle pie crust dough the less desirable the result. Again, not sure it matters much either way as I learned this when I was fourteen years old, but I have done what I was told with success. The chilling of the pastry is supposed to make the crust flakier but meh, not sure! A better baker will need to confirm or deny…
Coat a rolling pin with flour as well as the area you will use to roll the crust. Split the ball of dough in two equal parts. One half is for the bottom of a standard size pie dish. The other will be the top of your apple creation! Use a forward and back motion with the rolling pin bringing the dough to about 3 or 4 inches in diameter. Flip the dough and continue to roll the dough to a sufficient size that will just exceed the size of a pie plate. I do butter the pie plate before placing the dough on it. The remaining half should be rolled to the desired size, remember allowing for the mound of apples and sugar mixture.
Before placing the top crust on the apples and mixture of sugar fold it in half and then half again. With a butter knife cut two 1/2″ slices into the crust on each side of the tip of the triangle. This will aid in the baking process and look pretty too! Place the crust on the center on top of the apples and sugar mixture. Open the crust to evenly adjust and set into place to completely cover the top of the pie. There should be excess crust draping over the sides of the dish. Trim it evenly around the pie plate leaving enough crust to fold over the bottom crust and seal the pie. Scallop the crust by pulling some crust forward with one finger as two fingers push the crust back.
Sugar mixture instructions: Combine all ingredients together. The mixture will be split in half. One half of the mixture is to be spread on the top of the bottom pie crust dough. Add the sliced apples. Top the apples with the remaining sugar mixture. Add the 4 pads of butter and complete the pie with the top pie dough.
Finishing touch: drizzle some milk on the top of the outer pie crust and sprinkle some sugar. Not too much milk but enough to add a nice caramel color to the top of the cooked pie. If I am heavy handed and too much milk floods instead of drizzling, a paper towel will help absorb the excess milk.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes. It may take longer or not just depends on the varying temperatures of ovens. Easy to check as the slits in the top of the pie crust work nicely for a butter knife to slide in and test the cooking apples. Ideally the apples should be very soft and not firm.
Cooking: I often place a cookie sheet under the pie while baking as it can really bubble up and spill over.
If the recipe is not clear, please ask me!
Mostly, just enjoy!
“Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.” — Jane Austen