Happy Thanksgiving! One of my favorite recipes to make during the fall and through the holidays is apple pie. I have been using the same recipe forever! No kidding! A family favorite!
Yes, it is time consuming because the dough is made from scratch, the apples have to be cored, peeled and sliced, but in the end it’s worth it. A couple of weekends ago, Mike and I took a road trip to Carter Mountain near Charlottesville, Virginia, to purchase apples at the orchard. The apples were gorgeous. We couldn’t even wait to get to the car before reaching into one of the bags and snagging an apple. That first bite was all that we had hoped for… crisp, tart and delicious! Perfect for eating and perfect for pies!
I find the best apples to use when baking a pie are a mixture of tart and sweet ones such as granny smith, golden delicious, pink lady and stayman, a Virginia favorite. When baking a pie, I use six to seven apples, depending on their size. For this year’s Thanksgiving pie, I used four granny smith, two golden delicious and one stayman.
My recipe for the crust is as follows:
2 ¼ cups flour
2/3 cups lard
¾ teaspoon salt
3 ounces of water
In a food processor, combine flour and salt; add in lard and water, and blend on high setting until dough starts coming together into a ball (about 30 seconds). When you take the dough out of the processor, it should be soft and sticky. Form into ball, cut in half and cover. In the meantime, prepare the apple mixture.*
The apple mixture is as follows:
6 – 7 apples, cored, peeled and sliced
¾ – 1 cup sugar, will depend on how sweet you want your pie
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
Core, peel and slice apples, add sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix and then add in water. Coat apples thoroughly.
Prepare pastry by rolling out the bottom half of the dough to about 1/8 inch thick on a floured pastry sheet. Place the crust into a pie dish. Pierce the dough with a fork, sprinkle with tapioca (optional) and then pour the apple mixture into the dish, dot with small pieces of butter. Roll out the top crust (be sure it is slightly larger than the bottom), using a knife make slits in the center of the dough to allow steam to escape. Place top crust on to pie, press around edge to seal. Brush pastry with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 to 60 minutes until crust is browned.
If you can, I suggest making the pie a day ahead as the longer it sits, the more flavorful it becomes… I hope you enjoy!
*Dough can be wrapped in plastic wrap and put in refrigerator if you are not ready to make the pie.