I’m very particular about my apple pie. I used to think that I didn’t like it, but it turned out that I didn’t like how soupy and sweet many apple pies can be. Then I found the joy of baking specifically with apples that could stand up to the heat and retain some firmness. To help the apples hold up, we use a lot of lemon juice and not a lot of sugar. The apples come out tender with full apple flavor, that is enhanced by the other ingredients and not hidden by them. This is an apple pie that can be eaten at any time of day, warm with ice cream or whipped cream, or cold on its own. Have it for breakfast!
(adapted from Betty Crocker’s Scrumptious Apple Pie)
- 2 pastry doughs
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 6 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (6 medium to large baking-friendly apples, such as Ida Red, Granny Smith, etc.)
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp margarine or butter
- As the apples are being cut, mix them with the lemon juice. When all of the apples are cut and peeled, mix in the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Stir in lemon juice-soaked apples until well mixed. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut the margarine or butter into small pieces; sprinkle over filling. Trim overhanging edge of pastry half an inch from the rim of the plate.
- Pre-heat oven to 425°F.
- Roll other pastry dough out until about one inch wider around than pie plate.
- For a lattice-top pie, cut the dough into even half-inch strips. Lay out 4 to 7 parallel strips of the pie dough, depending on how thick your strips are, on top of the filling, with about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch space between them. Fold back every other strip at their halfway point. Place one long strip of dough perpendicular to the parallel strips. Unfold the folded strips over the perpendicular strip. Now take the parallel strips that are running underneath the perpendicular strip and fold them back over the perpendicular strip. Lay down a second perpendicular strip of dough next to the first strip, with some space between the strips. Unfold the folded parallel strips over the second strip. I find it easier to start at the center with the longest strips, and work my way out, repeating the alternating process until reaching the edges of the pie.
- Pinch away excess dough at the ends of the strips, and use to fill in where the crust may be lacking in dough, pressing into rim to seal strips to crust. Crimp as desired. Cover edge with a 2 to 3 inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning. Place on baking sheet in case some of the liquids bubble over.
- Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble up around edges of crust, removing foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Serve warm or allow to cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating.
This filling is also great in smaller sized pies which can be frozen later and enjoyed at any time.
About this author: I'm a New Yorker who would rather cook than go out to restaurants. Sometimes I think I may be in the wrong city for that. Then I remember the exotic ingredients I'd be hard-pressed to find if I lived somewhere else. My cooking style is an eclectic range of everyday-American, Italian, middle-eastern, with extensive forays into Japanese cuisine, and some pit-stops into Indian and African cuisines. I love to try my hand at recreating dishes I taste. While I enjoy most anything with a flavor, from high cuisine to instant junk food, I have a soft spot in my belly for home-style cooking no matter the geographic or ethnic origin. Read more from this author...