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Sep 6, 2006 05:08 PM

Classic Apple Pie?

Once a year I get an urge to make a pie. The urge just struck.

Any favorite recipes so it will be a killer pie?

Classic, because I like a two crust pie, but sure, if you have a great struesel or sour cream pie, throw it in. It would have to be extrodinary since I'm going for a down-home, grandma's baking type of pie ... almost

I have ALL these strawberries. I'm considering a strawberry apple pie. Has anyone done that? What apple did you use with strawberries?

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  1. I love baking apple pies. After years of playing with ingredients, adding different spices, nuts, etc., I've found the simplest pies are the best.

    I peel, core, and slice about six good-sized, firm apples (my favorite varieties are pippin and gravenstein, which are hard to find around here so usually I end up using the more readily available galas or braeburns, and half granny smiths), add 3/8 cup sugar, 3/8 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark), 1/4 tsp. salt, a few dashes of cinnamon (no more than 1/8 tsp.), 1-2 Tbsp. flour (depending on how juicy the apples are), and an optional 1-2 tsp. lemon juice, depending on how tart the apples are. Stir the mixture together and pour into the bottom crust, dot with about 1 Tbsp. butter (optional), and cover with a top crust. Seal, cut vents in the crust, and bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 F and bake another 35-50 minutes, or until your crust is a deep golden brown (IMHO, there's not much ickier than undercooked pie crust). Let the pie cool for 1/2 hour or more before eating.

    3 Replies
    1. re: vanillagrrl

      That is my favorite classic apple pie recipe. My one addition, sprinkle some granulated sugar on top of the pie before going into the oven.

      1. re: PBSF

        ooh. Or brush the top w/ an egg wash (one egg mixed w/ on tablespoon of water) and THEN sprinkle it w/ sugar

        1. re: MollyGee

          I brush with milk or single cream, rather than egg.

          I hate peeling apples so I make sure I buy thin-skinned apples and then don't peel them.

          I make a double recipe of the crust, then cook the apple filling first so it can reduce somewhat (less "empty space" in the top of the pie), and make it in a cast-iron skillet. It takes 25 large Pippin apples.

    2. My main advice is to use freshly grated nutmeg (with a light hand) and much less cinnamon than you might otherwise think (it should be a hint, not front and center).

      If you use apples prone to "juiciness" a couple of teaspoons of instant tapioca will help remedy that without turning the filling into apple curd.

      1. I think I post this every fall. It is sour cream apple pie with a strusel topping.

        you will need a deep pie dish lined with a good pastry.

        Combine 2 Tbs. flour, 3/4 C. sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg and a halthy dash of salt.

        Beat 1 egg and combine with 1 C. sour cream and 1 tsp. vanilla, stir into the flour mixture and then fold in 6 med. sized apples, peeled, seeded and cored. Pour into your prepared pai shell and bake at 400 for 15 minutes and then reduce the heat to 350 and bake an additional 30 minutes.

        While the pie is baking cut 1/3 C. flour into 1/4 C. unsalted butter with a pastry blender or in your food processor along with 1/3 C. sugar and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon and a dash of salt. Pulse and when it resembles coarse meal, remove to a bowl and add golden raisins and about 1/2 C. walnuts whiich have been blanched and toasted.

        remove the pie from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 400 F. Sprinkle the strusel over the top of the pie and bake an additional 10 mins.

        You can serve it at room temperature but I really like it chilled.

        1. A few years ago there was a recipe in the NYTimes for a Sauteed Apple Pie that calls for 5 pounds of apples in a single two-crust pie. This has become my go-to recipe. It's terrific and you don't end up with a bunch of space between the apples and the top crust. I know a lot of people on this board have said that sauteeing the apples first makes them mushy, but that hasn't been my experience with this recipe.

          Basically, saute 5 pounds of peeled, sliced, 1/2-inch thick apples (I find that 2/3 macs and 1/3 granny smith is ideal) sprinkled with 3/4 cup sugar until carmelized (10 to 15 minutes; may require two pans). Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, toss, and spread on a cookie sheet to cool.

          Do your crust thing and bake in preheated 400 degreee oven about 40 minutes.

          Very definitely a classic and soul satisfying apple pie.

          7 Replies
          1. re: JoanN

            Sauteeing the apples is also how American's Test Kitchen does their "Best Apple Pie".

            1. re: JoanN

              Do you pre-bake your crust? What do you do?
              This sounds delicious. . . . a great way to spend a fall day. . . . I am going to give it a try

              1. re: pancake

                No need to pre-bake the crust. If I happen to have my pizza stone in the oven, and if I happen to be using a pyrex pie dish so I can see just how brown the bottom crust is getting, I bake the pie on the pizza stone to get a really crispy bottom crust. But it's definitely not necessary. I probably do it that way less than half the time. When you pile the sauteed and cooked apple slices into the bottom crust, there's very little liquid to make it soggy.

                1. re: JoanN

                  I will give it a try today. . . . yeah I should pick-up a clear pyrex pie dish, it takes alot of the guess work out of it.
                  Thanks again for the info :)

                  1. re: JoanN

                    Oops. That should have read "sauteed and cooled." Point being, you just put the apples into the crust, not any of the liquid that remains on the cookie sheet.

                    1. re: JoanN

                      what about butter? Do you sautee in butter? On a low heat?

                      1. re: JoanN

                        I melt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter over medium-high heat to saute 5 pounds of peeled, cored, and sliced 1/2-inch thick apples.

                2. I also read somewhere (maybe Chowhound) that someone sliced and baked the apples before placing in the crust. This reduced the "shrinkage" factor and led to a more full domed pie.

                  Anyone remember or has tried and can give some clues?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jfood

                    I use Lindsey Shere's recipe for Apple Crumb Pie in which the apples are cooked before they're placed into the crust. Here's the recipe. It's incredibly good!

                    Apple Crumb Pie

                    2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
                    3/4 teaspoon salt
                    1/8 teaspoon sugar
                    3/4 cup chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
                    3 tablespoons chilled vegetable shortening
                    4 tablespoons or more ice water
                    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
                    1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
                    1/3 cup firmly packed golden brown sugar
                    1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts
                    3 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
                    1 tablespoon butter
                    10 1/2 cups Pippin or other tart apples or a mixture of tart and sweet apples (like pippins and jonagolds), peeled, cored, cut into 1/4-inch slices
                    1/3 cup dried currants
                    1/4 cup sugar
                    3 tablespoons apple brandy, I used Applejack, you can also use Calvados
                    1 teaspoon whipping cream

                    Combine flour, salt and sugar in large bowl. Add half of butter and rub with fingertips until mixture resembles fine meal. Add remaining butter and shortening and rub with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal.

                    Combine 4 tablespoons water and 2 teaspoons lemon juice in small bowl. Sprinkle liquid over flour mixture. Toss with fork until mixture is moistened. Add more water by teaspoonfuls if mixture is too dry.

                    Gather dough into ball. Divide ball into 2 equal portions. Flatten 1 dough portion into disk; flatten second into square.

                    Wrap dough pieces separately in plastic and refrigerate overnight. (Can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Keep refrigerated. Let soften slightly at room temperature before rolling.)

                    Combine flour, brown sugar and walnuts in medium bowl. Add butter and rub mixture with fingertips until moist clumps form. (Topping can be prepared up to 3 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let topping soften slightly at room temperature before using.)

                    Melt butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add apples, cover and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

                    Mix in currants; cover and cook until apples are tender, about 6 minutes.

                    Uncover; cook until liquid evaporates, about 1 minute.

                    Remove from heat. Stir in sugar and brandy. Cool.


                    Place rack in lowest third of oven and preheat to 375 degrees.

                    Roll out dough disk on floured surface to 13 inch round (dough will be very thin). Transfer to 9-inch diameter glass pie dish. Trim edges, leaving 1/2 inch overhang. Spoon filling into crust. Sprinkle with topping.

                    Brush edge of crust with water. Roll out dough square on floured surface to 12-inch square. Using pastry wheel or knife cut square into ten strips. Twist 1 strip 4 times and lay strip across pie. Repeat with 4 more strips spacing equally.

                    Twist 1 strip as before and place diagonally atop other strips. Repeat with remaining strips, spacing equally to form lattice.

                    Trim strips to align with edge of crust. Press strip ends into edge. Fold crust overhang over ends of strips; press to seal. Crimp edge. Brush edge and strips with cream.

                    Bake pie until crust is golden and topping is brown about 50 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool.

                    Serves 8.

                    Recipe by Lindsey Shere, first pastry chef at Chez Panisse, Berkeley, CA and former owner of Downtown Bakery, Healdsburg, CA