I always had this thing with apple pie. Sure, I loved to eat it, but in my mind, it always seemed like one of those things that was super complicated to make. Even after having gone to cooking school, making an apple pie still stood out in my mind. It’s just one of those things that I thought you were SUPPOSED to know how to make in order to be considered a respectable home cook.
I always wanted to make pie. It conjures up visions of being the perfect little homemaker. She sashays around the kitchen with grace and panache with a frilly half apron on, busily making dinner for her family… with the most perfect apple pie that she just baked sitting in the window sill. Neighbors walking by see it or smell it, wishing that they were in that house. Wishing that they would be the lucky ones to partake of that pie, tempting them from the windowsill with its perfectly golden crust. Brilliant.
I’ve long fooled with the idea of making pie; I’ve made a pumpkin pie before, but it really wasn’t quite the same as the idea of making an apple pie to me. Finally, one season, I decided I was going to do it. I bought two pie pans: one that was a set with weights for blind baking your crust and a pie bird! I also bought another that, lo and behold, had an apple pie recipe placed on the bottom of the pie pan. The latter pan is the recipe I used to make my pie. I bought it primarily because I wondered if that recipe was any good. After doing this, now, I could feel like I was a true home cook.
Forgive me guys, but I forgot about the fact that the measurements and things would be on the bottom of this pan, so I never took note of them. I remember everything in it, but I don’t know if I’ll have all of the correct measurements. I’ll make edits once the pie has been eaten/when I can see the bottom of the pan again.
First, start with the apples.
While all apples are good apples, not all are good for baking. You want something that will taste wonderful, but also keep its shape while baking. For this, I used 2 different apples; I used some Pink Lady apples and 1/2 a peck of green apples (4#) that came from New York, according to the bag they came in. They weren’t Granny Smith apples (I’m honestly not a fan of those), but they were sweet enough that you could eat them on their own without being overly sweet. Choose your apples according to what you like, and combine apple types if you want. Whatever you choose, you’ll need 6# of apples according to the recipe.
Once they’re all sliced and cored, place them in a big bowl (or if you’re like me and don’t have one, use two separate bowls). Add 1 c. sugar, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/8 tsp of nutmeg. Also, add 1 or 2 Tb. lemon juice. Sometimes this can be a whole lemon depending on how much juice you get out of it when you cut it in half and the size of your lemon. My lemon was pretty big, so I only used 1/2 of the lemon I had.
If you made your crust, take it and roll it out to fit a 10″ pie pan. You should have enough crust to put on the bottom of your pan and on the top of it as well. Roll out the one that you’re placing on the bottom of your pan first. I used a pâte brisée for this pie. Place in your pan once it’s rolled out.
Now here comes the part that was probably the hardest for me: getting your apples in the pan. I may have had more than 6#, so I didn’t use all of the apples that I had cut. Dot the top of the apples with 2 Tb of unsalted butter. I’ll be truthful; I don’t know what this does. The recipe said to do it, so I did it. I just figures it adds some type of flavor because butter is good for making things taste better. I’m a hard core butter advocate, so I never questioned this, lol.
Now… grab your other part of the crust and roll it out so that you can put it over the top. I ran into problems with this step because I hadn’t rolled out my bottom crust enough to go over the lip of my pie pan. So… if you’re not like me and you rolled it out enough, when you roll the top crust over the apple mixture in the pie pan, flute the ends with a fork OR… if your pie pan is like mine and it has like a ruffled edge, you can just get away with pressing both crust edges to this edge.
Put some holes in the top of it so that the pie can vent a bit. If you forget this step, your pie just might explode in your oven. It’ll create air in there, and the holes will help that air escape and keep your pie intact. To make it look fancy and serve the purpose of venting your pie, slice holes towards the center/top of your pie strategically so that it looks almost like a star or flower. Brush with an beaten egg and put in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes at 375℉.
My result? Well, let me say this. After this experiment, if you ever see something with a recipe on it, TRY IT. The end result was really good! The only thing was… with my pie, some of the apples didn’t bake all the way. I couldn’t just leave the pie in longer because the top crust would’ve burned (you see how it looks in that picture!). By the way, I didn’t pre-bake the crust, and it worked out well. Having said all of that, I might recommend (and try) not preheating the oven when making this to see if maybe that makes a difference in how quickly the top crust bakes… which may allow more time for those top apples to bake through… because the top apples are the ones that didn’t bake through.
If anyone has done this before, I’m open to suggestion. Overall though, the apples that did bake ended up with an AMAZING flavor. This recipe, taste wise, was spot on. I have full intentions of baking this again. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, and I would like to fix my mistakes.
I can now consider myself inducted into the home cooks club now; I made the one thing that was top on my list of “things to make”. And you know what? I’m going to keep doing it every time apples come into season. 🙂