Old-Fashioned Apple Pie

Apple pie is one of my favorite pies to bake. It is such an easy, traditional dessert and it reminds me of my grandpa. He loved apple pie. In this case, I put one together for Thanksgiving dinner. Normally my mom makes pumpkin pie but she suggested we also have apple pie to use up some apples. I was so bummed when I went searching for the apple pie recipe that I’ve been using for years. I couldn’t find it! Luckily I was able to find a recipe similar to it and it seems to have turned out just the same. Apple pie is another easy recipe. The most discouraging thing about pie in my opinion would be putting together and rolling out the pie crust, but you can always chill it in the fridge for a few hours to make it easier to handle.

For the crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp salt

3/4 cup chilled vegetable shortening or unsalted butter

4 tbsp ice cold water

For the filling:

7 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped

1 cup white sugar

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp butter, cubed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. To build the crust, combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl. Cut the shortening or butter into cubes and add into flour mixture using a pastry cutter.

Not familiar with pastry cutters? They help the shortening blend with the flour mixture without losing it’s shape. You want to cut the shortening into the flour mixture until they become pea-sized particles. Make sure your shortening or butter is very cold. Otherwise it will melt and you won’t have those flaky air pockets forming when the crust bakes.

Sprinkle in 4 tablespoons of ice cold water and mash into the flour mixture with a fork. Once the dough is moist enough to form a dough ball, turn it out onto a cool, lightly floured surface. Separate the dough into two balls. Using a rolling pin, roll out one of the dough balls into a 1/2-inch thick round disk. You want it large enough to cover the entire pie pan.

Carefully wrap the dough disk around the rolling pin and unroll over the pie pan. Trim the edges of the dough with a pair of kitchen scissors. Cover the edges with foil to prevent the edges from browning too quickly. Prick the dough with a fork to prevent it from rising in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes. Wrap the second dough ball in plastic wrap and chill for later. Allow bottom crust to cool before adding filling.

In a separate large bowl, combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add apples slices and toss to coat. Pour over cooled crust and dot the top with cubes of butter.

Roll out the chilled, second dough ball and cover pie. Press on the edges to seal and cut three slits in the top to allow air to escape while baking. For my pie, I decided to try the crisscross pattern instead of the usual whole pie crust on top. You can be as creative as you would like. Some people use cookie cutters to make shapes for the top of the pie.

Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 300 degrees F and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and apples are tender. Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Next time I make this pie I want to slice the apples into thin slices instead of chopping them into chunks to see if I prefer the texture that way. I have always cut them into chunks because I love the big taste of the apples with the hint of cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg. I plan on eventually expanding my pie horizons, but for now, apple will always be one of my favorites.

Enjoy. Happy Thanksgiving!


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