Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Beginner's Apple Pie

So I've found myself the proud owner of approximately 473 apples from our orchard adventure.


And I've never made an apple pie before, but I figured there was plenty of room for error. I could probably make a dozen apple pies with this haul.


The peeling took longer than anticipated. I need one of those fabulous apple corer things. (You will be pleased to know that I do, in fact, still have all ten fingers.)


And after all the effort to peel and core and slice the apples, I couldn't just go with a Pillsbury crust. (Besides, the pie recipe had a link to a basic pie crust recipe, and it was either get in my car, drive to the store, buy a frozen pie crust, and drive home, or just make the dough at home. From scratch was actually faster, believe it or not.)


I found the recipe on Epicurious, and I picked it because it was the only recipe that came up when I searched "red delicious."


It has a secret ingredient, which at first glance seems odd, but it actually works perfectly.

Apple Cider Vinegar. It gives the pie that perfect tang.


And I'd read somewhere that using a full pie crust lid made for a juicier pie.


Decorative touches also help. (Or at least, they cover up the hole where I stretched the pie crust too thin...)


Forty-five minutes in the oven, and it was perfect. The recipe calls for brushing the crust with a mixture of cinnamon, sugar and milk and then baking for a final 20 minutes, but since I don't have a pastry brush, I just kinda splashed the mixture onto the crust and hoped for the best.


And it turned out quite good, if I do say so myself.


I'm calling it beginner's luck.


If I were to make the pie again, I would cut the slices a bit thicker, or maybe use a different type of apple. Turns out, the rumor is true -- red delicious apples do get a bit mushy in the baking. But the pie as a whole still tasted fantastic, even with red delicious apples.

Apple Cinnamon Pie

1.5 lbs. Red Delicious apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1.5 lbs. Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon milk

Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat oven to 400° F. Combine sliced apples, 1/4 cup sugar, flour, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, vinegar and salt in large bowl; toss to blend. Roll out 1 dough disk on lightly floured surface to 13-inch round. Transfer to 9-inch-diameter deep-dish glass pie dish. Trim overhang to 1/2 inch. Brush edge of crust lightly with water. Transfer apple mixture to crust, mounding in center and pressing lightly to compact. Drizzle with honey. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Roll out second dough disk to 13-inch round. Place atop apples. Trim dough overhang to 1 inch. Fold top crust edge under bottom crust edge, pressing to seal. Crimp edge decoratively. Cut several slits in crust to allow steam to escape. Place apple pie on baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes.

Combine remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon in small bowl. Brush top crust of pie with milk. Sprinkle with sugar mixture. Bake until crust is golden brown, apples are tender and juices bubble thickly, covering crust edges with foil if browning too quickly, about 20 minutes. Transfer pie to rack and cool.

Cut pie into wedges and serve with vanilla ice cream. And beware if you take the pie to work with you. You'll come home with an empty pie plate, and the hubby will be slightly annoyed at this. (But don't worry -- you've still got 468 apples left, so you can just make him another one.)

Basic Pie Crust

2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
3 tablespoons (or more) ice water

Combine flour, sugar and salt in processor. Using on/off turns, cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Beat egg and 3 tablespoons water in small bowl to blend. Add to flour mixture. Process until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather into ball. Divide in half. Flatten each half into disk. Wrap in plastic; chill 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled. Let dough soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.)


Erica said...

YUM! I can't believe we haven't made apple pie yet. we usually hae 6-7 during apple season. We found that using a mix of apples works well. I don't think we use red delicious. maybe galas, fujis and granny smiths? I'll have to ask Doug.

Your crust looks fabulous - our homemade crusts never turn out that pretty.

Dad said...

What a cook you are! It's enough to make Aunt Bee green with envy!

Tanya Spotts said...


Thank you for commenting on my site and for coming to my Open House at Milford Drive. I am not a baker and wish I could make a pie like yours. My last one was a disaster. Maybe we can trade ideas. I am the expert in helping you find your perfect spot to call home; you can be my consultant on baking and cooking. My family will love you for any help you can provide.
Thanks again and it was great meeting you.
Tanya Spotts, "This Spots For You!"