As a child, the kitchen was always a place of discovery and excitement. I felt “grown up” when trusted with measuring ingredients or using a knife. I always gravitated towards baking. I loved the concept of assembling ingredients and waiting patiently to see if the recipe would turn out the way I hoped.
I developed this simple apple pie recipe many years ago and have been pleased with it ever since. My apple of choice is Granny Smith. I like the tartness and sturdiness of them. They tend to hold their moisture and aren’t too sweet. I prefer to cut my apples in thicker slices as the thinner slices make more delicate pies. I also prefer a crumb top to lattice.
This is a great starter pie for people who are intimidated by baking. Even though my mother is a proficient cook, pies and pie doughs have always scared her. She finally faced her fear this year and made a beautiful pie.
I follow Martha Stewart’s Pate Brisee (Pie Dough) recipe:
Makes 1 double-crust or 2 single-crust 9- to 10-inch pies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.
With machine running, add ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.
Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.
Recipe courtesy of marthastewart.com
Apple Pie Recipe:
Makes 1 9-inch pie
1 single-crust pate brisee (see recipe above)
Roughly 10 medium sized Granny Smith apples; peeled cored and cut into eighths
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup light brown sugar
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 Tablespoons cinnamon
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter; chilled cut into small cubes
Pinch of kosher salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove chilled pie dough from refrigerator. (See recipe above)
Assemble ingredients: apples, flour, brown sugar, lemon juice and zest, cinnamon and salt in large mixing bowl. I find it easiest to incorporate the ingredients with my hands. You are aiming to evenly coat all the apples.
Roll out the dough into a roughly 10-inch circle. You want the crust to be a bit larger than the pie plate. Place dough in pie plate and trim and crimp edges as desired.
Place Apple filling into crust, no need to blind bake this crust first. I place an empty sheet pan on the rack beneath to catch any possible overflow of juice.
Bake uncovered in middle of oven for about 45 minutes. You are looking for some bubbling by this point. If the apples begin to brown you can tent with tin foil. While the pie bakes, assemble the crumb topping.
Reduce temperature to 350 Fahrenheit and remove pie from oven. Carefully add crumb topping and return to oven.
Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for roughly 30 minutes depending on oven. You are looking for some browning and color on crumb top and crust but not a deep brown, more golden.
Remove from oven and place on cooling rack. Enjoy warm a la mode or with homemade whipped cream.