The NFL Playoffs have come around again and what better time to have friends over and regale them with tasty desserts?
"It's as American as Apple Pie" is a saying in the American lexicon. Everyone's grandmother had her special apple pie recipe that she would break out on special occasions. And we all remember those cartoons form our childhood where an apple pie would be set on the window sill and the protagonist (wolf, Jerry, etc.) would literally float through the air pulled by the delicious scent.
Well, here is a recipe that you can take and make your own. Literally, because the fun of apple pie is the fact that it is so simple to make but because of all the variations that you can add, the possibilities are limitless.
Let's start with the crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
(Makes two 10 in crusts)
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 8 tlb water
Mix the flour, salt, shortening, and water in a bowl with your hands. Gather the resulting dough into a ball and combine until all the flour in combined. Take the dough and separate into two balls. Lightly flour your mixing surface. Roll our your dough with a rolling pin until it is large enough to fit your baking dish.
For the filling:
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- dash salt
- 8 cups of thinly sliced apples (about 8-10 apples)*
- 3 tbs butter or margarine
*Let's talk about apples. When I said the recipe would be fun, I find this to be the part that is the most fun. Every apple has a different flavor and texture and you can use whichever you prefer. I am not a fan of Red Delicious because the can be mealy and are already sweet and given the amount of sugar you are adding the pie will be in danger of bing overly sweet. Personally I prefer Macoun but they are a seasonal variety only available in the Fall. This recipe originally required Granny Smiths, and those are readily available most of the year. But I have experimented with Macintosh and Gala and found these to be just as satisfying.
Add sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt to the sliced apples in a bowl. Mix everything well so the apples are covered in the dry ingredients. Brush bottom crust with melted butter before adding apple filling. Brush filling with melted butter.
To the second half of pie dough add one teaspoon each of cinnamon and sugar. Roll out second half of dough on a lightly floured pastry sheet. Cover pie with the top crust and cut slits into the top to allow heat to escape. Seal top and bottom crusts together by brushing with melted butter and cover edges with aluminum foil. Remove the foil with 15 minutes left of baking time.
Bake for 60 minutes at 350 degrees. Pie is done when the top is brown and juice bubbles through the slits in the crust.
You can serve with a side of vanilla ice cream or what ever you favorite is, or with a slice of tangy cheddar cheese.
Mangia and enjoy!