apple pie

Last Friday, I was given a bag of apples and I was undecided about what to make...

Apple cobbler? Fondue? Baked apples? Apple muffins? Apple cake? Baked apples? Cinnamon apples? Apple sauce?

Ohhhhh, apple pie, how I've missed you!

I'm an apple pie purist. It seems a little lame to mix up up some apples, cinnamon and sugar, dump it into a premade crust and call it "homemade." So in my kitchen, homemade apple pie gets a homemade crust!

I haven't made pie in awhile, so before I started, I reread Tracey McBride's flaky crust secrets on her Frugal Luxuries Food blog. She seriously unlocked the pie crust mystery for me.

I use this recipe, which can also be done in a food processor using the dough blade. Because pastry is fussy, I always weigh (instead of measure) my pie crust ingredients. I freeze my shortening and butter, I use ice water, and I take great pains to handle the dough less that I think is comfortable. If you overhandle the dough, you will not get a flaky crust. I chill the dough in the freezer while I'm making my filling, then I roll it out between wax paper, fill it, and put it back in the freezer while the oven is heating.

6-8 cups peeled & sliced apples
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg
pinch of cloves
2 T lemon juice
1 T butter
a double pie crust

Combine all the filling ingredients in a mixing bowl. Since these were eating apples, not baking apples, I worried that they would release too much juice and make a soggy pie, so I tossed the apples with 3 T of flour plus 1 T of cornstarch before adding the rest of the ingredients. In the US, I used to use 2 T cornstarch and 2 T minute tapioca, but I can't find the tapioca here, so I had to improvise. Even with the flour, the filling thickened up quite nicely.

Pour the ingredients into the bottom crust, add the top crust, seal and flute the edges, then cut steam vents into the top crust. Don't let the fluting scare you, this video will show you that fluting the edges seems more intimidating than it actually is :)

Then, like Tracey says, pop the pie into the freezer and preheat the oven. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling. My oven is not self-cleaning, so better safe than sorry, I baked mine on a cookie sheet.

Since I made this one with scavanged apples, it wasn't as full as I'd normally like. I usually like a full 8 cups of apples, this pie was closer to 6, but it worked. I thought about buying a few extra apples, but that sort of takes the making something out of nothing fun out of it!

I wanted to take a photo after I'd cut it, but I like to share my pie and apparently, people really
like to eat my pie, so unfortunately there wasn't any left to photograph. Sorry :(

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