Apple Pie

apple pieIt seems like there are a lot of apple recipes making the rounds right now so, not to be left behind, this is my contribution. I don’t bake much but even I can make this pie. My mom used to make apple pies for my dad in the Fall. When I was growing up, Fall was the only time you could get Granny Smith apples and my dad liked his pies tart. She would make 5 or 6 pies and my dad did not share with anyone. Now, you can get almost any kind of apple any time. This is my simplified version and you will need:

 

 

1 pie crust (I buy mine because I never got the hang of making it but, make your own if you must)
5 Granny Smith apples (use a different type of apple if you prefer)
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter

For the topping:
3/4 cup quick oatmeal (not Steel Cut)
3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

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Let your store-bought crust come to room temperature while you prepare your apples. Peel and core the apples. This used to be my job when I was little. My mom convinced me I was being a big help. Now I understand that this was the hard part. I peeled them with a paring knife. We didn’t have a peeler. To core them, cut them in half, cut the stem and bottom (what is that called?) by cutting a “V” in the apple and scoop out the core with a knife.

 

sliced apples

 

 

Next comes the slicing. You can do this with a box grater or a mandolin. When I was doing this for my mom as her “helper”, you guessed it, it was a box grater. I don’t think I ever got through a batch of apples (remember, Mom was making these 5 or 6 at a time) without at least one scraped knuckle or nicked thumb. Bandaids at the ready! Today, I use a mandolin. You can adjust the thickness of the slices and it has a guard. Its there for a reason. Use it. And, I suppose, if all else fails and you’re a real masochist, you can slice them with a knife.

pie crust
Now, its time to assemble your pie. Sprinkle approximately 1/2 tablespoon of flour in the bottom of your pie pan. These apples produce a lot of liquid while cooking and the flour will help thicken and minimize the juice. Next, fit your crust into the pie pan. If necessary, you can fold, crimp, push and otherwise cajole your crust into shape. If you poke a hole in it, just push it back together. No one is going to see it anyway. Trim the crust if it hangs over and sprinkle a little less then 1 tbsp flour in the crust.

fill crust

 

 

 

 

Next, put approximately 1/2 of the apples in the crust. Sprinkle with approximately 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp sugar and “dot” with butter. That’s what my mom called it.

 

 

 

full crust

 

Finish filling the crust and repeat the cinnamon, flour, sugar, butter step. Don’t be afraid to mound the apples. They will cook down while baking and collapse a little more in the cooling process. If you haven’t already done it, now would be a good time to trim the crust.

 

 

crumble topping

 

My mom used to put a crust on top of the pie and cut slits in it so steam could escape without the pie blowing up. And, you can do that if you want. I, however, like a crumbly topping. In a medium sized bowl mix the quick oats, flour, brown sugar and melted butter. Gently mix until all ingredients are well-combined and they take on the appearance of, you guessed it, “crumbles”.

 

topped pie

 

 

 

 

Gently place the crumbles on top of the pie and pat in place. The butter will help keep the crumbs together and keep them in place on the pie. Place the pie in a preheated 425° oven. After 10 minutes, turn the temperature down to 350° and continue baking for at least 35 to 45 minutes. Depending on your oven, it may take more time. This particular pie took 55 minutes. The topping will be brown and your kitchen should small wonderful.

 

 

 
I already mentioned the fact that my dad did not share these pies with anyone. The other thing I remember, besides the scraped knuckles, is the way it tasted. When you ate a piece of the pie (my dad did share with me and my mother) and took a drink of cold milk, the pie was so tart your tongue literally tingled. That’s a taste memory I don’t think I’ll ever forget. Make this for your family and make some memories of your own.

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