Saturday, October 3, 2009

Apple Pie

I think anyone who loves apple pie probably has a favorite, and really, is there any such thing as a bad apple pie? There are some that are better than others, without question, but even apple pies made by novices have a certain appeal (one that comes to mind must have had a quarter cup of cinnamon in it. I ate it, enjoyed it, told the cook how wonderful it was.). And then there's Mom's apple pie. I have seen far-away looks of people who fondly recall their Mom's apple pie, and none will ever be as good as the ones in their memory.

I have a couple of cookbooks that I love so much that I own duplicates of them, with the second copy being stored away for safe keeping if the first one should ever wear out and become unusable. Jim Fobel's Old Fashioned Baking Book is one example. One of my two favorite apple pie recipes and my favorite cheesecake recipe are between those hallowed covers. This cookbook has been so well loved that it's even been brought back from being out of print and reprinted. I've made this recipe countless times, have served it to a number of friends and family who have declared this to be "the best." In all humility, I don't know if this can be crowed "the best" but I do know it's mighty, mighty fine.

I had to take these photos under fluorescent lighting as we've had a steady rain and no natural light to speak of. The red coloring is a bit too saturated (to compensate for the green of the fluorescent, I think). Also I do not know how to make a beautiful pie crust edge. Oh, well, what lies between the pastry is beautiful!

Apple Pie
(Jim Fobel's Old Fashioned Baking Book)

2 1/2 pounds (5-7) tart green cooking apples **
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Water or apple cider (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits

Pastry for a double crust pie (your own, or store bought)

Glaze (optional, but very nice to give a finished look to the crust)
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar

Have your rack in the center of your oven and preheat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Have one half of your pastry dough rolled out into a 12-inch circle and ready to be transferred to the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate. You can lightly roll it in half onto and over your roller, fold in half, or fold in quarters to transfer. Gently unfold and ease it into the plate, taking care not to tear or stretch the dough, but if you do, just moisten a finger and patch it (no one's going to see the bottom crust anyway). There should be a generous overhang of pastry. Refrigerate the dough until you need it.

Peel the apples and quarter them lengthwise. Core the apples and cut the quarters into wedges about 1/2 inch thick. You should have about seven cups of apples. Sprinkle with lemon juice to retard browning of your freshly cut apples.

In a large bowl combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add the apples and toss well. If your apples seem particularly dry add the tablespoon of water or apple cider. Remove the prepared pastry dough from the fridge, and turn the apple filling into the pan. Mound the apples in the pan, patting them firmly. Dot with butter.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the remaining pastry to a 12-inch circle. Moisten the edge of the crust that's in the pie plate. Lay the newly rolled pastry over the apples and press the two crusts together, all around. Tightly roll the overhanging pastry under all around to make a raised edge. Then using your fingertips or a fork make a decorate edge. Cut three or four vents in the center of your pie to allow steam to escape.

For the glaze, stir together the egg yolk and water. Brush the top crust (but not the fluted edge), twice. Sprinkle with sugar.

Place pie on a baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes. Then reduce the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking for another 20-30 minutes longer or until the pie is golden brown and the apples are tender when pierced with a knife through a steam vent. Cool on a rack before serving.

Very good with ice cream, but here in New England, it's also served with a wedge of nice cheddar cheese.

**Let me share a secret with you about making some of the best apple pie ever. Most recipes just say 5-7 cooking apples and may make a suggestion of Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Pippin, Braeburn, etc. Let me say that they are half right. To have the absolute best apple pie, you have to mix the apple varieties, at least two different kinds. Personally, I use Granny Smith and McIntosh. Granny Smith holds their shape while baking, but the McIntosh tends to cook down, filling in any gaps that might be caused by an uneven layering of the Granny Smiths. I probably use 5 Granny Smiths and 3 McIntosh apples, see how it looks in the pie plate and add or subtract apples depending on whim, fancy, size of the apple, and ability to resist snacking on sugar-cinnamon coated apple wedges, grins.

47 comments:

  1. I am once again spellbound with the flow of your writing. The apple pie looks great dear and I love the idea of Cheddar. Hmmm, say cheeeez

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  2. The picture taken under fluorescent lighting looks wonderful. I like to use apples to bake, but have yet tried to make one single apple pie like this---crispy, flavourful with mouthwatering gooey filling, perfect for the autumn!
    Angie's Recipes

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  3. everyone's doing comfort food it seems, and I love Apple Pie!!!

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  4. YUm! I definitley love apple pie. I love it with shaved Parmesan on top or with cheddar in the crust. Or any kind at all...you're right :) I like your big, wavy crust edges.

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  5. Oh Katy..I absolutely love apple pie! Your pie looks great. Would you share?..please?
    I laughed when you said you had extra copies of your favorite cookbooks..
    I too mix a variety of apples for a pie.

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  6. This is the first I'm hearing about Jim Fobel's Old Fashioned Baking Book. I need to go check that one out! The pie looks perfect to me! Love the tip to mix the apple variety for a great pie!

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  7. LOL, you're so cute with your cookbooks! So right that there's just something special about Mom's apple pie. Yours look very tasty too!

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  8. Your pie looks beautiful and I bet it tastes delicious! I can't make a pie to save my life, LOL

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  9. Your crust is much better than mine! I'm horrible at making crust, even though my apple filling is always good. You are so right about the apples - I use two or three different kinds. There's nothing like home-made apple pie!

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  10. This looks so delicious. Who doesn't want yummy apple pie on a fall day? I also use a mixture of different apples in my apple dumplins. That really makes all the difference and pushes it from good to amazing!

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  11. I've only made apple pie once or twice. It is one of my favorite flavors!

    This cloudy weather does make taking pictures a little more challenging.

    Have you seen the crust covers? It's a ring that goes around the edge of the crust so that it doesn't get too dark. I really would like to get one of those!

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  12. LOL, I actually have a crust cover somewhere but I couldn't get the doggone thing to balance the way I wanted it to. Tinfoil, cupped around the baking crust, works just as well; I just have to remember to use it.

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  13. I love apple pie with cinnamon. I can have more than one piece.

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  14. Hello Katy, your apple pie looks fruity, crusty and down right GOOD ! I am obssessed with my cook book collection too... you won't believe this but I have taped the edges on most of them with transparent scotch tape as I fear they will be ruined with frequent use ... ! : ) ...

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  15. Oh Katy - what a gorgeous pie for apple season. It looks like one I would definitely steal from a windowsill (tee hee - never did that but I love the idea). bring on the cheddar and feast!

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  16. What an amazing baker you are! I bet living next door to you would fill my house with wonderful smells coming from your kitchen.

    Cinnamon buns, now apple pie! I love it!!!

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  17. Hi Katy
    This is a perfect Autumn Pie : golden-crusted on top and juicy inside. Couldn't ask for more.
    Thanks for sharing and good evening darling.
    Mamatkamal

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  18. Now that's an Apple Pie!!! Isn't it funny we both posted about Apple Pie today. They don't call October Apple Month for nothing!!!

    Thanks for sharing Katy, Aunt Bee has nothing on YOU!!!

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  19. That is one fantastic looking apple pie. I love apple pie, so comforting, so delicious!! It looks PERFECT!

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  20. Your pie looks absolutely delicious, Katy! Apple is my fave, so I'll have to try your version. This is my first visit to your blog, and I love it :)

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  21. High Five Katy! Beautiful pie and you are too hard on yourself about your pie edge, it looks excellent to me!! Your pie filling recipe is one I've used for many years (only difference is half white sugar and half brown sugar). Great classic pie.

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  22. WOW !! the pie looks so yummy yumm... Now I know what to do with the green apples I have from past 1 week :)

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  23. You are right, there is no such thing as a bad apple pie! Yours looks yummy! Hugs :)

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  24. oh how this post just takes me home! i love apple pie,mmmmm.

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  25. I think your pie looks awesome. I would love to eat a piece of it...with ice cream of course!

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  26. these looks delicious! I love apple pie especially when it looks like this :)

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  27. Another great 'home cooked' and delicious recipe. I would love to come for a visit and sit with a coffee....smelling that pie in the oven and seeing the steam rise from the crust as you set it on the counter to cool. You are such a great provider of warmth, goodness, love and caring....love coming by for a shot of 'home'. Take care my southern friend. You are getting to have quite a following here Katy dear....everytime I stop by I see your numbers growing. Maybe a cookbook is about to begin...with all your wonderful words and anecdotes you could be (ARE) quite a hit!

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  28. This really looks delicious! You've made me hungry with those wavy edges of yours. This is such a pretty pie.

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  29. Trish, I just melt into a puddle at your too kind and generous words.

    Honestly, I am so flattered that folks come by and drop me a note and become a follower. I look at everyone else's blog and am in awe at yours and their style and at the glorious food that is presented and photographed. I think I have never met a finer group of people than food bloggers. Each one gives special love, I think, as preparing food is a labor of love, and if you love doing it, well, I guess you blog, grins.

    I as sifting through ONE of my stashes of must-make recipes and I said to Ole Sweetie-Pi, "I hope I live long enough to make all these!" LOL

    I would so love sitting with you, sharing my humble home, a piece of warm pie, and coffee (I remember you use a soy product in yours! but I must have full cream, grins). Or perhaps some day when you have your B&B I can come and visit and we shall cook together and laugh and talk and eat and share.

    Many blessings to you, my beautiful friend. You are treasure.

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  30. Oh my goodness, look at the gooey sauce leaking out! Yum-O!!

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  31. Great looking pie and great job on the crust! Thanks for the tip on using different kinds of apples - I'll try that next time. :)

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  32. Just beautiful...I love a good apple pie!

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  33. I wish we were neighbors..I would stop by often for your apple pie:) I have yet to attempt baking a pie and I'm thinking it needs to happen soon:o)

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  34. Your crust looks so crisp and flacky! PERFECT! I can tell you are a great baker :) I love your blog! I'm so glad I found it! I'll be back often!
    -Mini Baker

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  35. Katy- the pie looks pretty perfect to me. I love that shot of the whole pie, the color is very nice and I think the lighting is great.

    For me this time of year gets harder and harder to blog my food. I really rely on the natural lighting.

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  36. Katy, what a gorgeous apple pie! I like the kind with the streusel topping, but this looks like it would give my French Apple Pie a run for it's money! YUM!

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  37. Your apple pie looks great. You did not have a lighting problem that affected it, as far as I can see.

    You mentioned the person who used a half of a cup of cinnamon in the pie. I can't say I would go that far but I always say that there is never such a thing, as too much cinnamon or too much vanilla extract. To me, that means two tablespoons of cinnamon when one teaspoon is called for. I love its fragrance while baking and the taste when eaten.

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  38. My favorite was always Cherry pie - but everyone else in my family seems to love Apple!! We had apple pie for my birthday because I didn't really make it for ME but for my family. ;-)

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  39. Thanks for your kind words and stopping back by my blog. I love the apple pie and the gourmet twist of serving it with a slice of cheddar cheese. That is just a perfect way to end dinner.

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  40. The pie looks wonderful. Thanks for posting this. I will have a ton of apples this weekend and will need all the apples recipes I can find. Love apple pie and want to try this!

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  41. You crazy? That's a perfect looking pie crust edge! No lie, Katy! I know three people that would happily gooble that up in NO time!

    All of my children like apple pie but one in particular hovers over the apple pies whenever we go to the grocery store. He'll spend 10/15 minutes picking the one he deems perfect! LOL, he may even spend a few more minutes if there is both dutch or double crust ones! With all that said this another one of those things (ie, cinnamon rolls) I need to make for them!
    ~ingrid

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  42. Everything's coming up apples lately! A beautiful pie, flourescent lighting or not. (I dread the time change when we'll lose all that natural light!) Your pie looks delicious.

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  44. Katy your crust looks so flakey, the first thing I notice about a pie is the crust. I love the crust as much as the apple filling!

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  45. It's a classic and a keeper! Delicious!

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  46. Katy, that is one beautiful apple pie. Just look at how flaky the pastry is.

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  47. yes...I always mix my apples...I like Galas and Jazz Apples, he likes the Empires, and I always combine them..very tasty this way..I have to laugh though..I recently ate a piece of apple pie at a friend's home..I ate it, but could not wait to get through it, it was horrid..way too much nutmeg, very dry, the crust was too flaky ( yes, I said too flakey, it just disintegrated..). I was so surprised, as she is an amazing cook, but, apparantly there are apple pies out there that are not too tasty!!

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