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Nov 26, 2008 06:27 AM

Apples for a Pie?

I've got Mutsu and Honey Crisp apples - will these work in a pie?


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  1. I'd go with the Honey Crisp. However, I'm a green apple kind of gal. Not sure if the Mutsu's would hold up well for baking

    1. The honey crisp will do fine. But, I would pre-cook them in a dutch oven over medium heat for about 15 minutes (along with whatever flavorings you are adding. Once you've done this, you can bake them forever and they will NOT cook down or get mushy. Pro bakers do this.

      5 Replies
      1. re: bnemes3343

        That's amazing - I've never heard of doing this...
        But I'll give it a whirl!

        1. re: Cookiefiend

          There are some who poo poo this, but it is definetly the way to go. I got the recipe from America's Test Kitchen. I can put 5 pounds of apples in a deep dish and they do NOT cook down. With some tweaking this got me a 1st prize in my local apple pie contest. Check out their recipe for vodka pie crust as well (Alton Brown also does this). Alcohol, unlike water, doesn't cause the flour to get tough. Another amazing idea (that I haven't actually tried yet), is to cook the pie in a high sided tart pan (again, this was a recent Alton Brown show). When it's done, you lift the pie out of the pan and you have a beautiful pie that can be very easily sliced.

          1. re: bnemes3343

            Definitely precook. It stabilizes the pectin, and the apples cook down a little without getting mushy. You will not need any kind of thickener, which causes you to lose the bright flavor the apples. I would pick Honey Crisp for a tarter pie, to contrast with whipped cream or ice cream. Of course, I prefer Winesap, Northern Spy, or Winesap.

            1. re: drloripalooza

              So I should peel and slice them, put in the spices and lemon juice, then just kinda saute them in the dutch oven?

              Then pop them in the unbaked pie crust, top and bake?
              Will they be hot enough to melt the butter and shortening in the crust and cause a problem?

            2. re: bnemes3343

              Alton Brown gets on some of my buddy's nerves (the costumes and dramatics) but boy can he cook. I also like the fact that he talks about the science behind cooking. My local Marshall's had a bunch of Food TV DVD's for only three bucks a piece, and I grabbed six of his. Thought my omelettes were good, now they are incredible! Can't wait to do some of the others he has... there is a DVD on Ocean Edibles, Manly Eats (steaks, pulled pork included), one called The Ripe stuff with some cobbling tips (which I'll rewatch now after reading your excellent suggestions on Alton's recipes! There are several ones from him on Breakfast Eats, and Desserts "Super Sweets". Again, thanks for reminding me about him!