So, I am ashamed to admit that I have never, ever made an apple pie before. I am ashamed because I live in Western New York where apples not only abound but much of the area spends the whole Fall throwing apple festivals and every person I know makes a huge deal about picking weekends and baking extravaganzas. I have also never liked apple pie...until now.
After perusing a million recipes online, I finally decided to just pull out my Betty Crocker cookbook and just go basic. I bought four different apple varieties to try and achieve the perfect sweet, tart apple yummy-ness (Macintosh, Empire, Jonamac and Braedon).
I peeled, cored and thinly sliced.
I also munched a lot on these along the way...
and so did my dog.
I was most nervous about making the crust so I did a bottom crust only and made a crumble for the top. I figured if the crust was bad, at least there would be some good sugary sweetness on top. The process was super-easy and it rolled out nicely. I didn't look perfect but I can live with that.
Since I was an apple pie newbie, I did not tweak a whole lot of the recipe. The only change I made was substituting some of the white sugar with dark brown sugar. The end result-love! I loved this pie. It cooked up perfectly. The crust was delicious and perfectly golden. Bonus-my house smelled AMAZING.
6 cups thinly sliced, peeled cooking apples (2 1/2 lbs.)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional) I didn't use this.
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare an roll out pie crust**
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup shortening (I used butter-flavored Crisco)
4-5 tablespoons water
Stir together flour and salt. Cut in shortening until pieces are pea-sized. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of water over part of mixture. Toss with fork. Push moistened crust to edge of bowl. Repeat until all mixed. Roll out. Wrap around rolling pin and lay in pie tin. Trim as desired.
Sprinkle apples with lemon juice. In large bowl, stir together sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add apple slices. Gently toss until coated. Tranfer apple mixture to pastry-lined pie plate. Sprinkle crumb topping (1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons butter mixed until resembles course crumbs) over top. Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove foil. Bake for an additional 20 minutes or until fruit is tender and filling is bubbly. Let cool at least two hours before serving.