|All American Apple Pie!|
|Diversity is great for apple pie.|
|Apple pie and Champagne-Perfect!|
My husband, who is from Asturias in Northern Spain has had an affinity for apples all of his life, harvesting local orchards as a child as soon as the apples were ready. I imagine him up in the apple trees on the side of the road, like the Von Trapp children in the Sound of Music, blissfully picking anyone's apples he could and eating them before getting caught. So, it was no surprise to me that one of the foods he fell in love with in his earliest years in America, was apple pie. I make it for him as often as I can; for his birthday, for Thanksgiving and just recently for a new special day in his life. On March 11, my husband became an American Citizen. Coincidentally, it happens that March 11 is Johnny Appleseed Day, a true "apple" legend in early American history, who planted thousands of apple seedlings across his vast acreage in many Northeast states. I was so proud of my husband and he was truly moved by the pride he felt receiving the privilege of American Citizenship. He took his oath seriously and after the ceremony was over, he ate a big hamburger with "French" fries, then ate his apple pie mostly by himself - seriously.
|The Hamburger before the Pie!|
I have included my apple pie filling recipe, after the crust recipe. The crust recipe is for a double crusted, old fashioned American apple pie.
Double Crusted Pie Crust 9" (Pre-heat oven to 350):
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Two sticks chilled, cubed unsalted butter
- 3 oz. ice water
- 1 egg and tbl water for the crust
- Extra sugar to sprinkle on the crust
Add cubed butter to dry ingredients and work into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles small peas and holds together when pressed. Add 3 ounces ice water slowly mixing/incorporating until it forms the dough. If the dough comes together don't add any more of the water and try not to work the dough too much. Drop it out onto your work surface and form it into a ball, then cut in half. Hint: make one "half" of the disc a little larger so you have extra dough for decorating the top crust or having a generous edging. Wrap each "half" in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. The cooler the dough is the easier it will be to work with.
|Working butter into the dough.|
|Dough should hold together.|
|Onto the floured surface.|
|Work dough until you can form a disc.|
|Form into 2 smaller discs.|
|Wrap into plastic and refrigerate 30 minutes.|
|A flour dusting before rolling it out.|
|French rolling pin makes it easier.|
|Roll dough onto pin for easy transfer.|
|Ready for the apples!|
|This is a "Golden Brown" crust.|
- 8 - 10 apples; a variety for different texture and flavor, like Pink Lady, Granny Smith and Gala
- 1 teaspoon mixed spices, cinnamon ginger and nutmeg (more if you like it). Pumpkin pie spice works perfect.
- The zest of half an orange plus the juice of the orange. You may use the zest and juice of a lemon if you prefer.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- A pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar (this is not a super sweet recipe so you can add more sugar if desired, a caramel sauce or a la mode).
- Optional, 1 ounce of either orange liqueur or sweet sherry
- 3 tablespoons Butter
- 1 tbl cornstarch or flour
Peel apples. Cut into 8ths or 10ths depending on the size of the apple, removing the core and seeds. I use about 8 to 10 medium to large apples. The more apples you have, the higher you can pile the pie, (see the robust apple pie below). Add butter to a hot Dutch oven then add apple mixture and toss to coat. Add the spices, sugar, vanilla, orange zest, juice and liqueur. Cook all together, covered, on medium heat for about 15 - 20 minutes or until apples are al dente; soft but still have a bite and texture. Sprinkle in the cornstarch and toss gently. As the apples cool, the sauce will thicken. If some of the apples get soft it's OK, they'll form part of the sauce Let them cool while you make the crust (recipe above).
|Season the apples.|
|Into the pie crust.|
NOTE: If you are a crust person, making a solid top crust gives you the most crust per bite.
Decorate the pie crust however you like. A little ice cream never hurts.
|Simple Crust with vents.|
|A little creative "free form" top crust achieved by cutting the top crust into strips and laying over the apples. |
This idea was born from not having enough dough to roll out the top crust.
|Lattice top with cut-out leaf edge.|
|Use more apples and cut them into quarters to create the robust "bulging" pie.|