Apple pie is pretty standard Fall eats. Everyone has at least one slice of apple and one slice of pumpkin pie before January 1st. Just as it is standard, so too the recipe isn’t all that orginal or complicated, thus staving off my dreams of culinary exploration for another day. Apple pie requires two things to be good. More apples (and less canned goo filling) and a good crust. So in this entry I will do my best to cover all the bases, but I’m no Pioneer Woman so don’t be too hard on me.
I follow Grandma Ople’s standard apple pie recipe. She’s not my grandmother, I don’t know who she is, but she’s the ultimate classic apple pie go-to open source pretend grandmother.
Her recipe calls for 8 granny smith apples; peeled, cored and sliced. Every year after I’ve done all 8 apples, I realize that I’ve yet again forgotten that this recipe asks for 3x the apples you need to make one pie. My best advice is that if you just want one pie, use five. That will give you a nice heaping pie with some snackums leftover. However, if you decide on the 8 apples, you can either make yourself two pies or you can throw together the quick apple crisp recipe I’ll mention later.
Prepare these apples in any way that makes you comfortable or goes the fastest. Due to my history with knives and creating unsanitary kitchen conditions with blood spatter, I cheated and used this slicer and then sliced each slice into a smaller slice. I didn’t peel them because the apple skin is really the only nutritious part of the pie, and forever needing an excuse to eat more, I can always fall back on the far-reaching “healthy” excuse.
As you can see, slicing all eight apples will net you a heaping bowl full, obviously more than you’ll need for one pie, but ample for two pies, should you be cooking for guests or an event. Again, my use for the excess always ends up being apple crisp because I have all the ingredients laying around.
Once you’ve finished the apples, its time to start working on the glaze. You’ll want to melt butter in a saucepan on low-med. Stir in flour and form a soft paste. Then add your white sugar, brown sugar, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce your temperature back to low-med and let simmer for 5 minutes. I add cinnamon and nutmet, because…I want to?
While its simmering assemble the apples into your homemade or premade crust. I recommend homemade because its more pliable and will net you prettier latticing or artwork. However, on this occasion, because it was a week night and a hastily thrown together dessert for my husband, I used a pre-made crust.
Once your apples are in the crust, you can do any of a few things for the top. Be artistic and creative, knock yourselves out. I always go old schol and latice the top in a weave pattern.
This picture is textbook why I use homemade crusts when possible. You end up with prettier pies because the ingredients are fresh and it hasn’t been sitting in a grocer freezer drying out in an insufficient plastic bag.
Once you’ve got it together, its’ now time to glaze. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off. Try to be as even as possible so that all areas get a nice coating.
Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes.
Not my best work but not bad either. No complaints from my husband Neil the taste-tester. The full recipe:
Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie
- 1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 8 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced
- Melt butter in a sauce pan. Stir in flour to form a paste. Add white sugar, brown sugar and water; bring to a boil. Reduce temperature, and simmer 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work of crust. Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
- Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes.
As I mentioned earlier, even though I’ve been using this recipe for several years, I always forget that 1 pie doesn’t require all 8 apples. I don’t know how, red-headed amnesia aside, I somehow convince myself that the one pie can even contain 8 apples. Regardless, I always have leftovers, and apples don’t keep as plain leftovers, they turn brown within the hour. So, I always make apple crisp with the leftovers. Apple crisp has evolved in my life in two different forms; dessert apple crisp, and healthy breakfast apple crisp. Here are both recipes.
Breakfast (healthy) Apple Crisp (Via Simply Recipes):
Decadent Dessert Apple Crisp (my childhood recipe)
- 4-6 large tart baking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly (such as Granny Smith)
- 8 graham cracker squares (2 1/2 inches each)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup rolled oat (such as Quaker old fashioned or quick oats, not instant)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup sweet unsalted butter or margarine, melted
- whipped cream (optional) or ice cream, garnish (optional)
- You will need a 12″ round stoneware baking pan for this recipe (such as the Pampered Chef deep dish baker).
- Use enough apple slices to fill the stoneware pan 3/4s full (amount will vary depending upon your apples).
- Finely chop the graham cracker squares and mix with oats,brown sugar, flour, and spices.
- Add melted butter and mix well.
- Spoon this mixture over the apple slices.
- MICROWAVE method: Microwave on high 12-15 minutes or until apple are tender, turning dish after 6 minutes.
- OVEN method: Preheat oven to 350°F and bake 30-35 minutes or until apples are tender.
- Serve with a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream, as desired.
- Cool slightly and serve while still warm.
What I love about this recipe is the sweet and soft apples combined with the crispy graham cracker crust pieces. It’s a heavenly combination and deliciously horrible for your waistline. I recommend using a deep baking dish rather than a pan.
So there it is. I didn’t reinvent the wheel but it works, and I guarantee it will net you compliments and save you from having to eat the cardboard crap that the grocery stores mass produce during the holidays. I worked in retail, those pies have been sitting in the stock room a lot longer than you think. Additionally, it will make your house smell like the 50’s and if you do it barefoot your husband will swoon and crack jokes about the only thing missing being a kid on your hip. Maybe that’s just at my house though….