I'm Apple Pie Crazy!
Apple Pie is the ultimate comfort food and this homemade apple pie recipe is no exception. My mom used to say “apple pie without cheese, is like a kiss without a squeeze”. I loved to hear her say that more than anything! Fall is just around the corner and that's means apple picking season is too! You won't believe how easy it is to make this pie! Just thinking about the amazing aromas from a pie baking in my kitchen evokes strong memories of cozy family suppers,and the comforts of home.
What’s your favorite topping on apple pie? Whipping cream, ice cream, sprinkles, cinnamon, brown sugar, caramel sauce, chocolate sauce, funfetti?
Or are you like me, prefer your homemade apple pie straight up, slightly warm, those fragrant aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg, butter and brown sugar….hmmmm, getting hungry? Then let’s bake a pie!
In addition to the ingredients list below you will need:
- a rolling pin
- pastry mat
- pastry cutter
- apple peeler
- sharp knife
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- a large wooden spoon to mix the filling
- mixing bowls - large and a medium one
Recently I traveled to visit friends and on my way decided my best contribution to dinner would be an apple pie. My friend Jon loves to bake and has all of the tools, so I knew that wouldn’t be a problem, and that he would have lots of flour to work with!.
I popped in to the local grocery store before my arrival and picked up:
- 5 lb bag of apples
- Dark brown sugar
- Corn starch
- Butter (for the pastry)
What I didn’t have nor had I used before was an old-fashioned apple peeler – you know the kind that you crank by hand? Well I must say I was a bit skeptical, but Jon convinced me and we were off. Enough apples peeled in minutes!
Rolling out pastry dough is so relaxing to me – yes I know a real pie geek! I just love to bake pies. I like to use a pastry mat – that shows the measurements or keep the pie plate nearby – to help guide you with the size. You can finish your pastry once you have the pie crust in the bottom of the pie plate, by holding the plate by the bottom and cut the pastry along the edge of the pie plate with a knife, and then flute the edges using your fingers.
EASY VERSION: Purchase frozen pastry dough and prepare it according to the package directions - no one will ever know and I won't tell!
To help soak up the juice and also mix a little into the apples, I brush the bottom pie crust with cornstarch. Mound the apples in the centre and place the top crust on. Here is where you can really let your creativity run wild! You can see I fun making a design with the pastry cutter and a fork.
Baking tip: My students have asked why their top crusts puff up so high when baking and the fruit sinks – leaving a huge cavity. Here’s why. The top pie crust cooks and becomes hard – but the apples cook down much more slowly. The solution? Par cook your apples (before mixing in the spices and sugar) in the microwave at 3 minute intervals – just to soften them. Then mix in the sugar and spices, add some lemon juice and I always mix in cornstarch and I’ve included that in my recipe.
Mom’s Apple Pie
After many years of testing, this is by far the best apple pie ever. The flour and cornstarch give the apple filling just the right consistency. Sprinkle the pastry with white sugar before you pop it into the oven!
- 6 medium apples
- ½ c white sugar
- ½ c brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 1 tbsp. flour
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ c Butter
- ½ fresh lemon squeezed
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 whole egg and 1 tbsp. water - for the egg wash at the end
- Pastry dough for a two crust pie - use frozen or make it from scratch! (recipe is here)
Mix the apples, white and brown sugar, cornstarch, flour and cinnamon until the apples are fully coated.
Add lemon juice and lemon zest
Place the apple filling into the bottom pie crust and spread evenly - I like to pile it up in the center too!
Dot with the butter
Cover with the top pie crust. I like to use a floating crust as shown in the lecture, but feel free to experiment here!
Cut vents in the top pie crust for even cooking and flaky pastry.
Beat the egg in a small cup and a Tbsp. of water. This is the egg wash that you brush on the top of the piecrust and edges to give it a lovely golden colour.
Bake in the bottom third of a 350F/180C degree oven for 45-55 minutes
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(this post originally appeared in Sprinkles and Sprouts as a guest post)