The perfect apple pie

This is my family’s perfect apple pie recipe that my grandmother (Nanoo as we called her) was a master at baking. And now pretty much everyone in our family has mastered it. If you go apple picking and have a ton of apples you need to use up- this is the best way to use them in my opinion. The pie works best with Granny Smith, Macoun or Gala apples but you can really use any kind.

 Photo by Tina Picz

Photo by Tina Picz

Serves: 6 - 8
Total time: Approx. 2 hours

Makes 1, double crust pie


INGREDIENTS:

For the pie filling:

10 apples, peeled and sliced. Granny Smith work best but you can also use Macoun or Gala
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg

For the crust:
3 cups all purpose flour
1 cup crisco
1 cup ice water
½ teaspoon salt

To finish:

Milk or Half and Half
Ornamental or sanding sugar

 Photo by Tina Picz

Photo by Tina Picz

Let’s do it!

  • Prepare the crust: combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Add Crisco and use a pastry blender or a fork to work the Crisco into the flour.

  • Gradually add the ice water to form a large bowl of dough. Dough should not be sticky, if it becomes sticky just add some more flour. Don’t knead or overwork dough, handle it minimally as its coming together. The less you work the dough, the flakier the crust will be.

  • Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.

  • To make the filling: in a large bowl, combine apples, flour, cornstarch, granulated sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon juice.

  • Preheat oven to 425°.

  • To assemble the pie, roll ½ of the pie crust dough out into a rough circle shape on a marble board or cover a regular cutting board with plastic wrap to get a very smooth work surface.

  • Transfer the crust to a pie plate using all of your fingers to support it and it doesn’t rip as you transfer it. Some of the crust should hang over the edge.

  • Fill the crust with the apple filling and distribute the chunks of butter over the top. Lastly, sprinkle with the brown sugar then roll out the other half of the crust and lay over the top.

  • Pinch the 2 crusts together using your thumb and pointer finger to create a crimped look.

  • Brush the top of the pie with milk or half and half then sprinkle with ornamental sugar or sugar in the raw. Pierce 6 - 10 small slits in the top of the pie to allow the juices to bubble.

  • Bake at 425° for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 375° and bake for another 40 minutes or until juices bubble out. I usually bake my pie on a sheet pan as well so that when the juices bubble out they don’t burn in the bottom of my oven.

  • Check on your pie regularly as it bakes. If it starts to become very dark brown, just cover it with foil for the remainder of the bake time.

Note: It’s tempting to dig into your pie as soon as you remove it from the oven but try to let it stand at least an hour on a wire rack after it’s done. This will allow the cinnamon-y juices to turn into their silky sauce and save you from burning your tongue off.

Amy Larson