Apple pie. It’s as American as baseball, NASCAR, and country music.
(Yes, I love all of the above)
Plus, now you can make it just in time for the 4th of July holiday!
A few weeks ago when I made my key lime pie bars, I mentioned that during my break from work and school, I was going to muster up the courage and attempt to make my first ever pie.
Well, since my “days left of vacation” are dwindling down to single digits, I figured what better time than this weekend. The pie isn’t going to make itself, right?
As I was assembling my pie together, I remembered why I never made pies in the first place – they are just way too much work and take so much time! It’s definitely not something to make on a regular basis when you work and go to school full time, that’s for sure. Even though it was pretty dang worth it in the end.
First you have to make the filling. Peeling and slicing 4 pounds of apples was not fun.
Then you have to make the dough. This step wouldn’t have been so difficult if our food processor could hold more than 1 cup of flour at a time. I figured, “oh I’m sure it can fit 2.5 cups of flour and 4 tablespoons of shortening and 1.5 sticks of butter so let me just try to fit everything in there and pulse it together.”
Of course it wasn’t that easy: flour went everywhere and nothing was getting pulsed and mixed the way they were supposed to. Instead of a simple 10-minute process, I think it took me about 40 minutes fighting with the food processor to make the pie dough.
Needless to say, my dough-making process involved a lot of swearing, “ugh”‘s from annoyance, and thoughts about giving up and buying pre-made pie crust instead.
In the end, I persevered and showed the pie gods a tiny food processor wasn’t going to hinder my making-pie-for-the-first-time spirit.
After the dough was made, it needed to chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Then they needed to be rolled out into two 12″ discs. Well, this step proved to be quite a challenge for me too. First my pie dough kept sticking to my work surface (I think I wasn’t generous enough with the flour), then parts of the dough stuck to my rolling pin, leaving little holes in my crust. After a small battle (and a little bit more cursing), I assembled my pie together, only to find out I forgot to dot the chilled filling with the two additional tablespoons of melted butter before covering the pie up with the other disc of dough.
Well, I guess I just inadvertently made this pie a little bit healthier, because I sure wasn’t about to take that thing apart and do it all over again. Now I won’t feel as guilty later when I go back for seconds (or put an extra scoop of ice cream on it).
- 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
- 4 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1.5 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- 4 pounds of mixed apples (I used Granny Smiths and Gala apples), peeled and cored
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Pulse the flour, shortening, sugar, vinegar, and salt in a food processor until it turns into a fine meal. Add the small cubes of butter and pulse. Add 1/4 cups of ice water and pulse until the dough begins to come together. Add in an addition 1-4 tablespoons of ice water (one tablespoon at a time), if the dough doesn't seem like it's holding together.
- Divide the dough between two sheets of plastic wrap and pat into discs.
- Wrap tightly and chill in fridge for an hour, preferably overnight.
- Slice the apples into 1/4" thick slices. Transfer into a large bowl and toss with lemon juice and sugar.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the apples and cook until softened, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in the flour, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat. Set aside and let cool completely.
- Roll out one disc of dough onto a well-floured work surface into a 12" round. Carefully transfer to a 9" pie plate. Add in the cooled filling.
- Roll out the other disc of dough into a 12" round. Lay the dough over the filling and press the two crusts together. Trim the edges if needed and crimp with your fingers.
- Brush the top of the crust with the beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired. Cut a few slits on the top crust to allow steam to escape. Chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Meanwhile, place a baking sheet on the lower rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees for at least 30 minutes. Put the pie directly on the hot baking sheet and reduce temperature to 375 degrees.
- Bake until the pie is golden and filling is bubbly, about 60-70 minutes, rotating the pie several times throughout.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and cool until the filling is set (about 2-3 hours).
Despite all the technical difficulties experienced, the pie turned out to be a success! Not only does it taste great, it’s actually a pretty good looking pie for my very first ever attempt! (If I may say so myself…)
I’ll be honest, the thing that bothered me the most throughout this whole process were the 5 slits on the top crust not being evenly spaced.
…It’s just part of my OCDness. At least once I cut out the first slice, it didn’t bother me as much anymore.
Now that I know I can make a pie, I think I’ll stick with cookies, cupcakes, truffles, and other individual-sized desserts for now.
Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine