Thursday, November 12, 2009

Apple Pie

For my first ever food blog post, I thought I'd tell you all about the apple pie I made the other night.

One Saturday, Hubs & I had the rare privilege of going grocery shopping together, sans kids. (Pause for a shout out to Baba H. - thank you!) Well, a privilege for me, probably something akin to a metal spike being driven through his temples for Hubs. He doesn't like grocery shopping. Especially with a list.

Wandering through the produce section, checking items off as I toss them in the cart, I came upon the apples. "We need apples," thought I. "The oldest boy can east three a day when he chooses." So, I proceeded to check prices, check locations on stickers, compare colour and size. When I turned around, I spot 3lb bags of Nova Scotia apples - Grayvenstein and Cortland apples - apples we rarely see at our supermarket here in the prairies. Glorious, red and green, glossy apples.

Well, as I commented above, the oldest boy can eat his weight in apples. One bag is simply not enough. I need two bags, one of each of course!

Well, now we had a lot of apples. He won't go through all of these in one week.

Let me back up to say that fall is in full swing, and seems to be making way for winter a bit early this year, and I am in full autumn cooking mode. Which, in our house, means a roasted chicken as many Sunday evenings as I can get. With pan roasted potatoes. And scrummy veggies. So, that was our meal last night. The first roasted chicken of the fall*, with pan roasted baby potatoes and a simple green salad.

So, what better to go with this autumn feast than a homemade apple pie? Seriously, I dare you.

First came the crust, which I made the day before so it could have a good long sleep in the fridge. Easy, peasy: ice-cold butter, flour, sugar, salt, and icy water. No lard, no shortening, neither of which I've kept in my house for years. For me, crust is a bit like golf. It's not always great, but there are those times when it's perfect that keep you coming back for more.

Perfect Pie Crust (machine technique):
1 cup chilled unsalted butter

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for dusting
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp sugar

1/4 - 1/2 cup ice water
  1. Cut the butter into pieces and return to the fridge to keep chilled.
  2. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter pieces to the flour mixture, and pulse until the butter is the size of peas, about 10-15 times. Add the ice water through the feed tube while the machine is running, in a slow, steady stream. Add just enough until the dough starts to hold together.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 2 equal pieces, and place on 2 separate sheets of plastic wrap. Flatten and form into disks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using. You can also freeze the dough at the point for a couple of months, so you always have some on hand.
The apples, half Grayvenstein, half Cortland (I love apple pies with a mixture, more depth of flavour, don't you think?) I ended up using about 9 apples in all, a couple were really small. Cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, a pinch of salt. Gah, just the smell of the filling alone is heaven on earth. I may do that one day, just make up a bowl of apple pie filling to nosh on.

Classic Apple Pie: (makes 1 ~9" double-crust pie)
3 Tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
Perfect Pie Crust (1 recipe)

3 lbs assorted apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4" slices
2 Tbsp lemon juice
~1/4 cup sugar (may need more/less, depending on the sweetness of the apples), plus more for dusting
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch kosher salt
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg, beaten

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one disk of the crust dough to a 1/8" thick circle, about 13" diameter. Brush off the excess flour, and transfer to a 9" pie plate. Line the pie plate with the dough, pressing it into the corners, taking care not to stretch the dough. Transfer the pie plate to the fridge to chill.
  3. In a large bowl toss together the apples, lemon juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Arrange in the chilled bottom crust and dot with the butter.
  4. Roll out the remaining disk of dough to fit on top.  Brush the rim of the bottom crust with the egg wash. Place the second piece of dough on top, and trim so the 1" overhangs all the way around. Tuck the dough under and crimp edges with your fingers. Transfer the pie to the fridge and chill for about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the pie from the fridge, brush the top crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with sugar. Cut 4 vents in the top to allow steam to escape.
  6. Bake until the crust begins to turn light brown, about 25 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake until golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 25-30 minutes. Let stand for minimum half an hour before serving warm or at room temperature.

How perfect is that? And let me tell you, in a moment of uncharacteristic immodesty, I rocked that crust. It was flaky, tender, the best crust I've ever made.

This recipe is a great deep dish pie. The pie dish I use is this IKEA one. I love it's versatility (I think they technically meant it for a serving dish), but mainly I love it because you can fit so much yummy filling inside!

So try, enjoy, let me know how you like it. Try different kinds of apples, add raisins or dried cranberries. Use your dough scraps to decorate the top crust. I'd love to hear what you've done!

* Although I understand, seasonally speaking, that chicken is a spring/summer meat. But who wants to roast a chicken in July?


  1. Mmmmm...that looks delish. I've never made a pie before but I might just have to try! Nothing better than hot apple pie with cool vanilla ice cream.

  2. This is so funny because I just made an apple pie tonight for almost the very same reason. I ended up buying two bags of apples, which is the norm because both boys eat one a day as does hubs. However, I arrived home to find a whole bag in the extra fridge.

    Apple pie it is! But my crust was less than stellar. I blame the fact that I used Galas. They are not a baking apple but that's what I had. It still tasted delish but was a bit runny.

  3. That is a beautiful pie! I like using my food processor to help make the pastry.


Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?