Feeling extra patriotic this week, I decided to participate in my American duty and vote. Well, that and bake an apple pie.
I have been wanting to practice making a homemade pie before taking the plunge for Thanksgiving, and my husband has been committed to giving me the opportunity to “practice” before the big day. Well played, Justin.
This all started a few weeks ago when I suggested a new family tradition, which was a family tradition I had as a child – apple picking! Justin and I piled into the car with Alister and an hour later, we arrived at Rock Hill Orchard. It was a crisp and sunny Fall day, and apple picking made for a perfect excuse to spend family time outdoors.
Despite his facial expression in this photo, we like to believe Alister had a wonderful time on his first apple picking trip.
Alister helped us choose the perfect apples. All forty pounds we picked. Yes, forty pounds of Sun Crisp and Pink Lady apples. If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, I figure we have a solid few months before we have to worry about a doctor visit.
The same orchard had a pumpkin patch and who can say no to picking a pumpkin with Halloween a couple of weeks away? Not these folks. Alister thought long and hard about which pumpkin to take and decided on the one we put right in front of him.
With forty pounds of apples, a gallon of fresh apple cider, and an Alister-sized pumpkin packed up in the car, we headed back home. On our trip home, we already started planning how we would store and eat so many apples. I figured I’d help the cause by preparing a dessert or two with them over the next several weeks.
That night, I thought I would whip a pie together until reality set in and an apple crisp was more in the cards. Nonetheless, it was a tasty and quick dessert and I was determined to try a pie some other evening over the next few weeks.
Fast forward to this past week – Election Week! With only a few weeks until Thanksgiving, I knew my time was limited. And to encourage me all the more, I had just ordered and received my new favorite kitchen gadget – a pencil sharpener-looking apple corer/peeler/slicer. I LOVE this gadget!
After finding what appeared to be a delicious-looking recipe from the Williams-Sonoma Kitchen, and having all the ingredients on hand, I figured it was time to see if there was any truth in the saying, “easy as pie.”
Aside from adding a little extra cinnamon for personal preference and a combination of Sun Crisp and Pink Lady apples as that was what we had on hand, I followed the recipe as written.
For the dough:
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. granulated sugar
- 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
- 3 to 4 Tbs. ice water
For the filling:
- 2 lb. Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices 1/4 inch
- 2 lb. Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored and cut into slices 1/4 inch thick
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
- 4 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 egg white, beaten with 1 tsp. water
- 2 tsp. granulated sugar
While the recipe appeared a bit daunting at first, it was manageable and well worth it! Cooking the apples separately on the stove before adding to the pie gives you the added benefit of trying the cooked apples before the pie is ready.
Once the crust was rolled out, I pulled out the turkey cut-out I happen to own and had a little fun with the design. This was also the first time I tried a lattice crust, and I loosely followed the step-by-step guide here. While I have a lot of room for improvement in this department, I was proud of the finished product. Here is a glimpse at the pie with the cooked filling and lattice crust before I put it in the oven for an hour.
One hour later, we were salivating as I took the hot apple pie out of the oven. Too bad we had to wait for it to cool to room temperature before digging in! It was worth the wait. In fact, it was so worth the wait, Justin claimed this to be the best dessert I’ve ever made for him – and it did not even have an ounce of chocolate in it! That says a lot coming from him.