I figure it’s about time I followed up Jocelyn’s apple pie recipe with one of my own.  :-)  I can’t quite say she’s the one who taught me to make apple pie; back when we were finishing up college, I hadn’t really figured out how to make gluten-free pie crusts yet, so it’s more that she taught me how to make apple pie filling.  Usually, our “bottom crust” was something bizarre with coconut and powdered dry milk, and our “top crust” was just aluminum foil!  It still went pretty well with ice cream, though, so that worked out well enough.

A good apple pie takes time and attention to make, but it isn’t hard to do.  The main thing is to get good baking apples (Jocelyn suggests Jonathan or Braeburn apples), and to slice them finely enough that they’ll be tender once the pie’s baked.  Between making the pie crusts from scratch and slicing up the apples, it’ll take you a few hours to make this pie, especially if you’re working by yourself; but boy oh boy will it be worth it in the end.

Apple Pie

Yield:  Depending how big your apples are, 1 9-inch pie and up to two baby (3-inch) pies

Ingredients:

  • 2 pie crusts, slightly modified with cinnamon, allspice, and imitation butter extract (see step #1)
  • 4 1/2 – 5 1/2 cups apple slices
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 5 T melted butter
  • 1 T lemon juice

Directions:

1.  First things first:  The pie crusts.  As you can see in that post, the dough for the crusts takes a while to make, since it has to sit in the fridge for a while, so you’ll want to start it well in advance.  For this pie, though, you’ll want to mix 2 tsp imitation butter extract into the water instead of 1/2 tsp vanilla, and mix 1/2 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 tsp allspice in with the dry ingredients.

2.  While the dough is refrigerating, it’s time to get started on the filling.  First, you’ll want to prep the apples.  The end result you want is small, thin slices, maybe 1/8 inch thick at most, so it takes a little while to do.  Peel each apple, then core it, which will leave you with apple wedges that probably still have some of the core and/or seeds stuck to them.  Use a paring knife to cut off any core or seeds, then slice each wedge into thin, even slices.  Collect the slices in a large bowl and set aside.

3.  In the largest mixing bowl you have, combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Then, add the pecan halves and mix again.  Add the melted butter and lemon juice and briefly mix a third time, then add the apple slices and toss the whole mixture together thoroughly till the apples are well coated.  (Also, about now you’ll want to preheat the oven to 425 degrees Farenheit.)

4.  Now to tackle those pie crusts!  You’ll find detailed instructions on how to roll out the crusts through that lovely link.  Fit the bottom crust to a greased 9-inch pie pan, then mound up that filling at least twice the height of the pan.  (If you’re planning to make little pies with the leftover dough, save some of the filling for those; otherwise, go to town.)  Carefully lay the top crust over the filling, and make sure to pinch the edges of the crusts together so you get a good seal — if you don’t, the cooking brown sugar and butter might get everywhere, and you might not trap enough steam for the apples to cook nicely.  Cut a few vents in the top crust so steam can escape, and pop the pie in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.

5.  Once it’s baked, tuck in while it’s hot!  Serve with vanilla ice cream for a classic but delicious combination.