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Apple pie

October 16, 2009

Apple Pie

I can’t even believe how many apple pies I’ve been baking.  This might not be a big feat for anyone else, but I really can’t stand peeling and coring apples.  Cannot stand it.  The last time I baked an apple pie was several years ago and I vividly remember telling my mom that I would NEVER AGAIN make an apple pie.  I’m not even all that crazy about apple pie.  I just don’t like that the texture seems to always be changing.  One time I get a nice soft bite, then the next time it has more of a crunch to it.  And don’t get me started on those times someone has sliced too close to the core and you get that seed covering thing.  {gag}

My point is, I don’t do a lot of apple pies.  Which begs the question…  Gee, Michelle, why on earth did you pick one and a half bushels of apples, if you don’t like baking pies?  Hm.  Funny you should ask.  My Claudia is apparently just an expert apple picker, and once she got started, she was having so much fun that I didn’t have the heart to make her stop.  Sam did his fair share too.  It was fun.  It just kinda stopped being fun when we got home and had tons of apples everywhere.  (And along with those apples, came hoards of fruit flies, which I have NOT enjoyed.  But here’s a tip to get rid of them… pour a little apple cider vinegar into the bottom of a cup or glass and add a drop of dishwashing liquid.  Stir to combine.  Set aside and before you know it, the bottom will be full of fruit flies.  Granted, they will be dead, so if you want to be more fruit-fly-friendly, use this trap instead.)

Anyway, here I am, surrounded by four different kinds of apples and knowing I’m gonna have to just suck it up and start making pies.  So I did.  By the way, have you ever seen what they call a 20-ouncer?  Good grief, that is one enormous apple!  Anyway, I used Julia’s delicious pie crust recipe, and made enough for several double-crust pies.  The dough keeps nicely in the fridge for a few days, so it’s convenient to make that one day and then go back at a later time for the actual pie-baking.  All those pies gave me another chance to use my cinnamon grinder too – just look at those fresh flecks of cinnamon!  I ended up making one for us, assembling one and freezing it in an aluminum pie tin, and making a honkin’ one in a 9×13″ cake pan to take to my parents’ when we all descended on them this past weekend.  It kind of made it worth the trouble when Poppy promptly hid some for after we all left, and we all but licked the pan clean.  But there’s only one problem… I still have apples!!

Recipe:  Apple Pie

(adapted from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook)

pastry for two-crust pie  (recipe follows)

1 c. granulated sugar

1/3 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. nutmeg

1-2 tsp. cinnamon, to suit your tastes

hefty pinch of kosher salt

minimum of 8 c. thinly sliced and peeled apples, but go for whatever amount gives you a very high, heaping pie

3 Tbsp. butter

splash of milk, a bit of butter, and a sprinkling of sugar and cinnamon for the top crust

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Mix sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt.  Pour over apple slices and stir to mix.  Turn into pastry lined pie dish.  Dot with butter.  Cover with top layer of pie dough and cut slits in it.  Seal edges and flute with fingers or with a fork.  Sprinkle top crust with a splash of milk and spread a little softened butter here and there.  Sprinkle with a touch of sugar and cinnamon.  Cover edges with thin sheets of foil to prevent overbrowning, but remove foil during last 15-20 minutes of baking.  Bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbly.

Recipe:  Best Ever Pie Dough

(from Baking with Julia by Dorie Greenspan)

~yields enough dough for two double-crust pies

5 1/4 c. pastry flour or all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. kosher salt

1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 3/4 c. solid vegetable shortening (11 ounces), chilled

1 c. ice cold water

(I made my dough in my kitchen aid mixer, but you can also do this by hand or in a food processor.)

Fix mixer with paddle attachment (or use a pastry blender).  Put flour and salt in bowl and mix.  Add butter and mix on low until it is cut into dry ingredients and the mixture looks coarse and crumbly.  Add shortening in small bits and continue to mix on low.  When the mixture holds together when a small bit is pressed between your fingers, add the water and mix only until it is incorporated.  Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold it over on itself two or three times, just to finish the mixing and to gather it together.

Divide the dough into four equal balls and flatten into thick discs.  Wrap dough discs in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours or as long as 5 days.  When dough is thoroughly firm and chilled, roll for pie crusts.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Carrie permalink
    October 16, 2009 3:46 am

    I’m in love with apple pie, and I also HATE peeling apples….and then I bought an apple peeler/corer/slicer. AMAZING. It is fabulous, I can assemble a pie in like 10 minutes flat. I would definitely recommend getting one – I know they sell them at Target, and I think I got mine from Bed Bath and Beyond.

  2. October 16, 2009 3:54 am

    You are truly my hero. Not only do you make apple pies but you make them with fresh apples!!!!! This looks so yummy.

  3. Melani permalink
    October 16, 2009 4:18 am

    Pampered Chef also has an awesome peeler/corer/slicer. We love ours and it makes an apple pie or apple cake so incredibly easy.

  4. October 16, 2009 9:02 am

    This is one of the most beautiful apple pies I have ever seen! Nice job! And how cool to have a cinnamon grinder–never even heard of that.

  5. October 16, 2009 3:43 pm

    Gorgeous, Michelle! I’m not a fan of peeling either but it’s coring without a tool that pains me the most. Plus, I’ve been afraid of homemade pie crust since my last attempt ended in a puddle of butter and sticky dough in the trash. But it looks like everything was just perfect for your pie.

  6. October 17, 2009 12:55 am

    i love love LOVE the tower of thinly-sliced apples. i LOVE LOVE LOVE that gorgeous crust–the butter-shortening combination is truly the way to go!

  7. October 17, 2009 6:48 pm

    That is one pretty pie! My husband now wants apple pie and to tell you thre truth and I’m not a huge fan of it either. I’ll just send him to your house!

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