Nothing screams the start of fall like the smell of a fresh apple pie baking in the oven. For years I’ve watched my Nonna make apple pies in batch and I’m happy to be making that a tradition with my kids as well.
For the pies crust, I like to use Erin McDowell’s all Butter Recipe. It’s super straight forward and extremely delicious! My Nonna’s recipe includes eggs and shortening, so I find the all butter crust to be harder to mess up and easier to do with the kids.
For this blog, I’ve included all the measurements for making TWO 9″ pies. Why 2 you ask? Well, you’re already making the mess and doing the work, might as well have an extra pie in the freezer to enjoy whenever you get a craving next!! In all honesty, I usually make at least 6 pies at once after going apple picking. It’s so great to have fresh pies in the freezer to bake with ease all through the winter.
Here’s a few tips:
- The recipe says to cut 1/4 inch pieces of apple. The size doesn’t REALLY matter that much. You want the pieces as even as possible, and not too thick, unless you prefer your apples very crunchy. Yeah, I kind of just contradicted myself. Point is…don’t go crazy trying to figure out what 1/4 or 1/8 inch is. Cut your apples in thin strips. If they’re not all totally the same, that’s ok! Some pieces will just be a little crunchier than others and if you ask me, that just makes for a better texture!
- Use whatever apples you want. Yep, that’s a totally taboo apple pie opinion. Most sites will tell you that you have to use certain apples. I always use whatever we have on hand, which is usually a mix of several different apple species. And the outcome is always delicious!
- Don’t waste your crust off cuts! After trimming the dough around the edge of the pie you’ll have some extra dough. Roll it out, cut it in circle or square or rectangle or whatever shape you desire, and fill them with some extra apple filling. Throw another cut piece of dough on top, food over and push together the edges, and bake at 425 for about 20 mins or until the filling is bubbly and the dough is golden brown. Now you have some yummy hand pies!
Freezing Your Pies
Nonna says, always freeze the pies raw. You can choose to put them in the freezer uncovered overnight then wrap them up in the morning, or wrap in plastic wrap them aluminum foil and tuck them away in the freezer until you’re ready to bake. You can bake from frozen, just be sure to place the pie in the oven as soon as you turn it on so it is in their as the oven heats up. This will allow your pie plate to warm with the oven and not crack.
Alright, enough talking. Let’s get to the recipe!
The Filling – By Nonna
- 12-15 Apples
- 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 1/4 cup flour
1. Fill sink with water and soak apples to clean
2. Peel apples, cut in 8 pieces, then slice ¼ inch thick slices lengthwise.
3. Squeeze lemon juice to keep from browning
4. Pour brown sugar over apples
5. Pour cinnamon over apples
6. Pour flour over apples
7. Mix w/ hands
8. Set aside
The Crust – By Erin McDowell
Full disclosure, the pie crust recipe is not mine. I did quadruple the ingredients here in order to give you the right amount for making two pies, but the original recipe can be found here.
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 cup ice water, plus more as needed
- In a medium bowl whisk together flour and salt. Using your hands, toss butter through flour until each piece is well-coated. Cut butter into flour by pressing butter between your fingers and thumbs, flattening the cubes into big shards. For a flaky crust, mix until butter pieces are about the width of walnut halves. For a sturdier crust (for custard pies and for use with decorative techniques), mix until the butter is about the size of peas.
- Make a well in center of flour mixture. Start by adding 1/4 cup ice water and tossing the flour mixture gently (rather than stirring) to moisten and incorporate the water without overworking the flour. Continue adding water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, and tossing until dough comes together. (Dough should hold together easily without feeling wet or sticky.)
- Form dough into 4 disks and wrap each tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
- Once well chilled, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/8-inch thick. Press firmly and evenly, rotating the dough as you work to prevent sticking without adding too much flour. (Ideally dough will also be about 1 inch wider than your pie plate on all sides.)
- To transfer 2 dough rounds to pie plates, starting at one end of dough, wrap it around the rolling pin. Lift pin to edge of pie plate and unfurl the dough. Press dough into the base of the pie plate.
- Fill pie with apples, as much or as little as you want. I prefer the apples come just above the edge of the pie plate. If you like a super duper towering filled pie, adjust the apple filling recipe as needed.
- Place another dough round on top of the filled pie. Pinch together the two layers of dough along the edges, then trim the excess, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch hanging over.
- Tuck the excess dough under the edges, then pinch it all together or use a fork to seal the edges.
- To Bake Pies – Cut a whole in the centre of the pie or poke the top several times with a fork, to allow hot air to escape. Lightly baste the pie with milk or water, and dust with sugar.
- Heat oven to 425, place pie on centre rack, and cook for about 40 mins. Keep checking your pie. When you see the filling bubbling, and the pie is a beautiful golden brown, it is done!
I hope you enjoy this pie as much as we do!
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Until next time,