Thursday, November 20, 2014

Traditional Apple Pie

Hello, everyone!  With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I thought I would do a post on a beautiful apple pie!  I know that different areas of the country do different types of pies for dessert after Thanksgiving, my favorites are pumpkin and pecan, but my husband prefers apple; since I'm not too terribly picky about pie, apple is what we have!  This pie really is very easy to put together, and comes together very quickly.  I'm not good at crimping pie crusts and all of that fancy edging, so I go with a lattice pie top.  Weaving the top pie crust is very simple to do, looks very homey and rustic, in a good way!  Looks like you took some major time to put together an honest to goodness homemade pie.  Who has time for that nowadays?  You, that's who!  This literally gets put together in about 30 minutes, if that, and bakes for 1 hour.  
Fall is the time to of the year to celebrate apples and pumpkins!  We get apples year 'round in this country, but they really shine during their peek season, fall.  They are juicy and crisp, and begging to be made into caramel apples, or apple butter, or pie, or just eaten plain, as is!  For this pie, I had some apples that I needed to use up, and didn't feel like making a pie crust, so I just used a store bought one, and it turned out great.  The crust was flaky, the apples were tender with the slightest bit of bite left in them, and the seasonings were spot on.  That's enough jibber gabber...let's get cookin'!
Here's your grocery list for this one:
4-6 medium sized apples, good for baking*
1 store bought or homemade pie crust
3 Tbs lemon juice
1/3 C granulated sugar, plus a little more for sprinkling
1/3 C brown sugar
1/3 C All purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbs butter
Egg wash for the top of the crust (1 egg + 1 Tbs water)
YUM!  How good does this look?  I can see now why apple pie is my husband's favorite!  Although I'm still holding out for pecan or pumpkin.  But, honestly, if you almost any pie in front of me, I'm a happy girl!  Annnnyway, lets get started!  To start off with, preheat your oven to 425*, and mix your sugars, spices, and flour in a large mixing bowl.  You're going to be tossing your apples with all of this, so you want a bowl big enough to fit them all in.  Add in the lemon juice, and stir it into the flour/spices mixture.  Don't worry if it gets clumpy, you have more dry ingredients than you do wet, but it will work out once you start adding in your apples.    

Peel and cut all of your apples up into bite sized chunks.  I like to cut them around the core, cut them down the middle horizontally, then three or four cuts vertically.  It sounds a little complicated, but here's a picture of what I'm talking about.  This will leave you with large bite-sized chunks of apples, however, remember that they will cook down a bit in the pie.  Once your apples are cut, one apple at a time, and toss them into the flour/lemon juice/spices.

Your pie crust, if using a store bought one, will come all ready to put directly into your pie pan, no rolling out required.  So I just put mine directly into my pie pan, and poured my apples into it.  Top with your 2 Tbs of butter, cut into chunks, don't worry about being precise with the chunks.  A little here, a little there is fine!  If you're using a store bought crust, you will get 2 crusts per box, so take the second crust and cut it into 1-1 1/2" strips.  Lay some strips horizontally across the top of your pie, and pinch the ends with the top of the bottom crust.  Lay these about 1-2" apart.  Again, no need to be exact, just eyeball it.   

Pull back every other strip of dough, and lay it back against your work surface.  Lay a fresh piece of dough vertically and pinch it into the bottom pie crust.  Bring forward the pie dough strips that you pulled back and then pull back the original strips, until they hit the newly applied vertical strip.  I know, I sounds difficult.  However, this is why they say that a picture is worth a thousand words!  Here is what I mean:

Once your crust has been woven on top, brush the top with your egg wash and sprinkle with some extra granulated sugar, if you want!  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, set your pie in the center, and bake for 30-35 minutes.  Once your pie has finished, let it cool for at least 30 minutes, to let the juices set up inside the pie.

I'm probably the worst person ever at cutting pie slices, but oh well, it tastes amazing!  A little ice cream, or some freshly whipped cream with this would have been amazing, but after smelling it bake, I just had to dive right in!