Friday, October 4, 2013

Apple Appreciation

The first priority in dealing with the many, many apples with which we've been blessed, is to thank the person who gave them to us.  His one, simple request was to have one pie.  He says he eats one pie a year, so this would fill his quota.  :-)

If I want to put my best pie foot forward, my go-to recipe came is Grandma D's.  She was the pie aficionado in my life... Also, my mom, who baked pies that are just like her mother's were:  Wonderful.

Grandma D's Apple Pie

Preheat oven to 425 degrees for glass pans or convection, 450 for metal pans in non-convection baking mode
This bottom crust was for a crumb top, so the
fluting was done by the prince on the bottom crust

Prepare pastry for a double crust pie (my favorite recipe is here), and line the bottom of a pie plate with crust, leaving a bit hanging over the edge of the pan.  Save the top of the crust for later (recommended that you keep it wrapped in plastic in the fridge, but if it's not an especially warm day, I just leave it out).

Stir together:
6-8 (6 cups) tart apples, peeled (optional), pared, cored, and thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (if apples aren't tart)
3/4 to 1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour*
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Spread in pie crust.

Dot with
2 Tablespoons butter

Put on top crust, and seal edges by crimping together.  Make sure there are slits or other openings cut in the top crust to let steam escape.

Bake at 425/450 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 and bake for approximately 45 minutes... Until you can see the filling bubbling through the pie crust openings.  Leave in the oven while cooling.

Serve warm or at room temperature. 

When I was growing up, we had our apple pie with a slice of cheddar cheese.  My kids like, of course, a scoop of vanilla ice cream instead.

*For apple pies the year-through:  We often prepare lots of fillings to freeze when we have a windfall of apples like this one.  

I've read that tapioca works better as the filling thickener in frozen pie fillings, so when making filling for that purpose, I replace the flour with tapioca.  

I place enough filling for a single pie in a gallon-size ZipLoc bag, spread it flat, and freeze.  (Easy to stack and easy to thaw when spread flat.) When I want pie, I set the filling out on a plate or in a bowl as I make the crust (if you remove the filling when frozen, you don't lose sauce that is difficult to get out of the bag).  Place the partially thawed filling in the bottom crust.  It will take an additional 10 minutes or so of baking before it's bubbling, and ready to turn off.

Variations:  Make Apple-Cranberry Pie or Blackberry-Apple pie by mixing in a cup of the appropriate berries with the apples.

"But I, when I undress me Each night, upon my knees Will ask the Lord to bless me, With apple pie and cheese"  -  Eugene Field

31 Days at The Nesting Place

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