What is more American than apple pie? Honestly, I can’t think of a dessert that symbolizes our culture more than it. It can be adjusted and tweaked according to the season. Wether you add some cheddar cheese during the summer or a sweet streusel topping in the fall, apple pie is timeless.
The sweet aroma of the apples getting soft in the oven, the crust turning a golden brown, and the sugar sprinkled on top giving it a crunch. It’s enough to make my mouth water just thinking of it! If you’re ready to dive into baking a pie of your own, keep scrolling.
I got my recipe from Pinterest. I have made my fair share of Pinterest fails, but this recipe was a success and one that I’d would use again. You can find the recipe for both the crust and filling here.
Tips from the Kitchen Counter*
I’m a frequent pie maker. However, I usually cut corners and buy the pre-made crust from the refrigerated section of the grocery store. Having said that, this was my first experience making a homemade crust. I didn’t really know what to expect but I dove in, hands first.
The dough was fairly simple to make. The hardest part was cutting in the butter and lard. It takes some serious elbow grease to get it all worked in. The recipe says to chill both of them for 10-20 minutes in the freezer before using. This is because room temperature butter and lard will make a soupy mess. However, I would suggest only chilling the butter for 5-10 minutes. Chilling it for 20 minutes made it nearly impossible to cut in, even with a pastry cutter.
After getting my dough divided and wrapped, I chilled it overnight. Had it not chilled overnight, I think the dough would have been way too loose to work with. Even with chilling it this long, the dough was still a bit difficult to work with. The recipe doesn’t state that the dough is sticky, but I found that it was. This made it difficult to roll out. However, once I dusted my counter top, rolling pin, and dough with a generous amount of flour, I found it much easier to work with.
Most apple pies call for lemon juice. This keeps the apples from browning and helps to pull out some of the juice from the apples to make a syrup of sorts. I find it beneficial to put the required amount of lemon juice in you mixing bowl before you being peeling, slicing, and coring the apples. Once you begin processing your apples and adding them to the lemon juice, be sure to stir them so that each slice gets coated.
I used Gala apples instead of McIntosh simply because my grocery store didn’t have McIntosh at the time. It turned out well. The main reason for using another type of apple alongside the Granny Smith is to cut through some of the tartness that they have. You could use almost any sweeter apple as long as they are crisp and will stand up to the heat of the oven. I usually use McIntosh or Pink Lady, but the Gala worked well too.
I used the amount of flour that the recipe called for (2 tablespoons per mix). After cooking, I think that it could have used just a little bit more to thicken the juices.
The recipe has several temperature adjustments throughout the bake. While it may keep you from kicking back and watching The Wheel of Fortune, it does benefit the overall outcome of the pie. The different temperatures ensure a cooked bottom crust, golden top crust, and perfectly cooked apples.
I pulled my pies from the oven after cooking about 25 minutes at the final temperature of 375° because I looked to be done (the recipe says to bake for 30-35 minutes). By doing so, the apples were still a little bit crunchy. I don’t mind the crunch but I do prefer a softer apple filling. If I had tested the apples, I would’ve caught this and put them back in the oven. With that being said, if you like more crisp/crunchy apples in your filling, then follow my lead and pull the pies at 25 minutes after the third temperature change.
*It is important to note that I doubled both the recipe for the dough and the filling to make two pies. This could have affected the outcome of my pies.
I do like this recipe. When I make it again, (I’m planning on making it again this upcoming weekend) I will make a few adjustments having now made it once. This is a very nice basic recipe if you’re wanting a simple apple pie. I plan on posting an updated recipe once I make my adjustments.