Hi, all. I hope everyone had a fun, delicious Thanksgiving. Now, with the turkeys out of the way, the baking season begins and, as you can imagine, every day in December is some food holiday, most of which are for baked goods. December 3 was National Apple Pie Day. Practically an official national dessert, apple pie can be found everywhere, from small, out-of-the-way diners to fancy bistros. (In fact, Farmer’s Almanac readers voted apple pie as the national dessert.) I can’t imagine that there is anyone in this country who has not had apple pie at least once in their life. It’s like a rite of passage to sample a piece of the soft, sweet apples dusted with cinnamon and nutmeg and blanketed in a flaky, buttery double crust. It is on the list of American comfort food.
Apple pie also the kind of dessert that has no season or holiday associated with it—people will bake and eat apple pie any time of year. You will find it served just as readily at a Fourth of July barbecue as on a Thanksgiving table.
Although apples are not native to the New World, they have become a staple of American farms across the nation and are ranked in the top 20 crops in the U.S. American children are told the story of Johnny Appleseed (real name John Chapman), planting apple seeds during his journeys around the Midwestern countryside.
In the 20th century, apple pie became the symbol of America and everything associated with it, and when American soldiers were asked during WWII what they believed they were fighting for, the iconic response became: “For Mom and apple pie.” That says it all.
So, in honor of Apple Pie Day and to encourage you all to try your hand at this beloved dessert, I offer you here three different apple pie recipes. For you à la mode lovers, top yours with a good quality ice cream. The best homemade pie deserves the best-tasting ice cream. Enjoy!
Classic Double-Crust Apple Pie
(Courtesy of Epicurious.com, first appearing in Bon Appétit, November 2001)
Tart apples and sweet ones come together in this all-American favorite.
Yield: Makes 8 servings
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 tablespoons (about) ice water
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 3/4 pounds sweet apples, such as Spartan or Golden Delicious, peeled, cored, thinly sliced (about 5 1/2 cups)
1 3/4 pounds tart apples, such as Granny Smith or Pippin, peeled, cored, thinly sliced (about 5 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon plus large pinch of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
1 tablespoon whole milk
Whisk flour and salt in large bowl to blend. Add butter and shortening and rub in with fingertips until very coarse meal forms. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons water; toss until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if mixture is dry. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Flatten into disks. Wrap in plastic; chill at least 1 hour. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated. Soften slightly at room temperature before using.)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray 9-inch-diameter deep-dish glass pie dish with nonstick spray. Stir all apples, 3/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and vanilla in large bowl to blend. Let stand until juices form, about 15 minutes. Mix in flour.
Roll out 1 dough disk on lightly floured surface to 12-inch round. Place dough in prepared pie dish. Spoon in filling; dot with butter. Roll out second dough disk to 13-inch round. Using small bottle cap, cut out ten 1/2-inch-diameter circles from dough for decoration; discard circles. Drape dough over filling. Seal top and bottom crust edges together; trim to 1/2-inch overhang. Fold overhang under; crimp decoratively. Brush pie with milk. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon sugar and large pinch of cinnamon in small bowl; sprinkle over pie.
Transfer pie to baking sheet; place in oven. Immediately reduce temperature to 375°F. Bake pie until crust is golden brown, apples are tender and filling is bubbling thickly, covering edge with foil if browning too quickly, about 2 hours. Cool 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover loosely; store at room temperature.)
Cranberry Apple Pie
(Courtesy of Applepierecips.net)
Wonderful pie for the fall holiday season. Homemade pie crust filled with apples, nutmeg, cardamom, cranberry sauce, Amaretto liqueur, and lemon zest. Baked until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbling out the top.
1-3/4 cups Flour
1/2 cup crushed Pecans
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
6 tablespoons Butter, softened
3 tablespoons Vegetable Shortening
1/2 cup Ice Water
1/8 teaspoon Ground Nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon Ground Cardamom
1 (21 ounces) can Apple Pie Filling
1 (16 ounces) can Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
1 tablespoon Amaretto Liqueur
1 tablespoon Cornstarch
1 teaspoon Lemon Zest
1. In medium bowl, combine flour, crushed pecans, and kosher salt.
2. Using fork or pastry cutter, cut in butter and vegetable shortening until crumbly and pieces are pea sized.
3. Stir in water a few tablespoons at a time, until dough forms ball.
4. Remove 1-cup of dough ball and set aside to use for lattice top.
5. Flour a dry flat surface. Flatten dough, and roll dough out from center to edge, forming 12-inch circle.
6. Place dough into 9-inch glass pie plate.
7. Preheat oven to 375 F.
8. In medium bowl combine nutmeg, cardamom, apple pie filling, whole cranberry sauce, Amaretto liqueur, cornstarch and lemon zest.
9. Pour apple pie filling mixture into pie crust.
10. Flatten dough and roll out to form 8-inch circle.
11. Cut ½” strips for lattice top. Weave the dough in crosswise pattern on top of pie.
12. Trim off any excess dough off edges. Flute the edge with fingers.
13. Bake apple pie 55 to 60 minutes Crust should be golden brown and pie filling bubbly.
14. Allow cooling and serve warm.
Apple Pecan Pie
(Courtesy of ApplePieRecipes.net)
The perfect holiday pies. Filling features apples, cinnamon and sugar. Topped with a mixture of pecans, quick cooking oats, flour, brown sugar and butter. Pies are baked until bubbly. Serve with caramel ice cream topping.
Pastry for Double-Crust Pie (9 inches)
1 cup Sugar
1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt
12 cups thinly sliced Tart Apples (about 10 apples)
1 cup packed Brown Sugar
1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Quick Cooking Oats
1/2 cup cold Butter
1/2 to 1 cup chopped Pecans
1/2 cup Caramel Ice Cream Topping
1. Preheat oven at 375 F.
2. Place the 2 pie crusts in 9-inch glass pie plates.
3. Trim and flute edges decoratively. Set aside.
4. In large bowl, combine sugar, all-purpose flour, cinnamon and salt.
5. Add apples to flour mixture. Toss to coat. Spoon apple pie mixture into pie crusts.
6. In medium bowl, combine brown sugar with all-purpose flour, and oats.
7. Cut in butter with fork until crumbly.
8. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture over apples.
9. Cover edges loosely with foil.
10. Bake 25 minutes. Remove foil from pie crust edges.
11. Bake additional 30 minutes or until filling is bubbly.
12. Allow pie to cool at least 10 minutes.
13. Sprinkle top with pecan pieces and drizzle with caramel ice cream topping.