As American as apple pie! This is a simple, classic, no frills (other then in the decoration, I simply could not resist), apple pie recipe. It was handed down to me by my mother, who got it from her mother. I have yet to strike out with this recipe, but I have heard my fair share of apple pie horror stories. The main one that comes to mind, is what my cousins fondly refer to as the “Chicken Apple Pie” incident, which involved a beautifully crafted apple pie with apples that had the chewy consistency and taste of overcooked, rubbery chicken. Ever since hearing this story I have been dreading the day that I turn out my own chicken apple pie. So far so good though, I have managed to avoid the chicken apple pie, and I believe that has been due to three specific things; 1) I stick to a tried and true recipe 2) use the right apples 3) when in doubt, bake the pie for another 10-20 minutes. Pies are a lot more forgiving then other pastries, such as cakes and cookies, when it comes to baking them for longer stretches of time at a lower temperature – it takes a lot of prolonged heat to dry out a pie.
- 2 Pie Crust (for both the bottom of the pie and the top) (I used a 50/50 combination of butter and shortening for this crust)
- 8 – 10 peeled and thinly sliced Apples (The variety of apples you choose to use can be important to your pie’s taste and consistency. I choose apple varieties that tend toward the tart and firm side of the scale, such as cortlands and granny smiths, instead of the sweet and mushier varieties like gala and empire.)
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
- 1-2 tbsp Corn Starch (The amount of corn starch used is dependent on how runny you want your pie filling to be. I only used 1 tbsp this time around since I was planning for a fairly open pie top allowing for a bit of the liquid to escape.
- juice form 1 Lemon
- dash of Salt
- 1 tsp ground Cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground Cloves
- Egg Wash (1 Egg + 1 tbsp Water)
- Preheat the oven to 425 F (~218 C).
- Squeeze lemon juice over your freshly cut apple slices.
- Toss your apples in the brown sugar, corn starch, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Taste test your filling to see if the apples need more sugar, salt, or spice, and improvise accordingly.
- Roll out your pie crust bottom, and transfer it into a pie plate.
- Arrange the apple filling into the pie bottom. Make sure that the apples are evenly distributed, and that there are no large empty spaces.
- Pour any remaining liquid, from the bottom of the filling bowl, into the pie bottom.
- Roll out your pie crust top, and carefully set it on top of the apples.
- Crimp the edges together, and use a sharp knife to carefully cut a couple of steam holes into the pie top.
- Brush the top of the pie with an egg wash (optional).
- Bake for 10 minutes, before reducing the heat to 350 F (~177 C) and baking for another 45 – 55 minutes.
Alternative Pie Top Directions:
- Make sure to use firm apples, that will hold there form while cooking, if you choose to decorate your pie in this manner.
- Once you have rolled out your pie top, use a cookie cutter to cut shapes out of the dough.
- Re-rolling and cutting more shapes from the discarded pieces.
- Layer the shapes onto the apples using the egg wash to bind the designs together.
- Make sure to cover at least 90% of the apples with the cut shapes, or after the initial 10 minutes of baking cover your pie with a layer of aluminum foil and remove it about 10 – 15 minutes before your pie is estimated to be done baking.