November 07, 2011

Apple Pie and an apple picking trip

I did it again. It was a nice weekend and we ran out of our stash of apples, so I thought, let's go apple picking! I checked with the local orchards and this happened to be the last weekend of the year for pick-your-own apples. Last time I went with a friend, but this time Mike and I went to stock up on the last fresh apples of the season.

I didn't get any pictures of the orchard last time, so I had to snap a few phone pictures of the sun beaming through the rows of apple trees:


And of course, I had to admire our bounty: 20 pounds of fresh, beautiful apples.


Naturally, I was thinking of ways to use the apples and this time I had to give in and make a good old fashioned apple pie. It really is the only logical thing to make when one has so many fresh apples, don't you think? 


After some research and deliberation between a few recipes (because I'm a food nerd), I decided on Canadian Living's "Best-Ever Apple Pie" recipe. 

(Five apple pie recipes open on my computer at the same time. This is how intense I am sometimes...)

I used a ready-made pie crust for the bottom because I had one in the freezer to use. I made the top lattice pastry from scratch. I used mostly Granny Smith apples, as they seem to be the best for pie making. 

Canadian Living's Best-Ever Apple Pie 
Pastry 
3/4 cup shortening
3 tbsp butter, softened
2-1/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup ice water 
Filling 
8 cups thinly sliced peeled apples (about 2-1/4 lb or 8-10 apples)
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon 
Glaze 
1 egg yolk
2 tsp sugar

Directions:

1. Peel and thinly slice apples. 
2. Toss apples with lemon juice, sugar, spices and flour. Set aside. 
3. For the pastry: In a bowl, beat shortening and butter until smooth. Stir in flour and salt then pour in water all at once. Stir until dough forms. Transfer to a floured surface and knead into a thick disc. Refrigerate for at least one hour. 
4. At this point you could make the bottom crust with the pastry dough (see full recipe). To make the lattice top, lay chilled dough out on a floured surface. Cut into thin strips. For good step-by-step instructions on making the lattice, check out this tutorial
5. Add the lattice strips in desired pattern. Whisk egg yolk with 1 tbsp water then add sugar. Brush pastry with mixed egg wash. 
6. Crimp down edges or use fancy pie shapers like these ones that make your pie look like a spaceship.
7. Bake at 425F for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 350F and bake for 40 minutes. 

This was actually my first time making an apple pie from scratch (alright, almost from scratch) and I'm glad I finally know how to make a pie. I also canned some apple pie filling this weekend, so now I have even more of an excuse to make more pies. There's really nothing better than the smell of a freshly baked apple pie. 

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