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Because I can’t hand out physical samples in a virtual world, the apple pie recipe:

Apple Pie

  • 5 large apples or 9 small ones (about 1 and 3/4 pounds — a mixture of two or more pie-apple types is best), cored, peeled, and thinly sliced.
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel (fresh!)
  • sprinkling of fine tapioca

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a pie pan with pastry.  (Use what ever pie crust recipe suits you.  These days, the store-bought uncooked pie crusts from the refrigerator case, that you unroll from their waxed-paper wrappers, have reached a respectable level of edibility, which is a good thing if you’re in a hurry, or if you’ve never had the proverbial light hand for pastry.)

If you’re making a two-crust pie, moisten the edges of the lower crust. Sprinkle the bottom of the pie crust with the fine tapioca.

Mix together the sugars, spices, and cornstarch.

Fill the pie crust with the thinly-sliced apples:  Place slices around the edges of the pie pan, then pile the rest in layers.  As you make the layers, interleave the apple slices with sugar, gratings of lemon, and dots of butter.

Top with either the other pie crust (pricked or cut to vent steam) or with streusel (see below.)

Bake 15 minutes at 450; lower the heat to 375 and cook another  25-30 minutes.

Serve hot, warm, or cool (if it lasts that long.)

Streusel

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 T sugar
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1 cup flour

Cream butter; add sugar and cinnamon mixture alternately with flour.  Blend until crumbly.

The most recent apple assortment we’ve been using is a combination of Granny Smith, Macintosh, Rome, and Lady Alice apples.  These are all good baking or baking/eating apples.  What you don’t want are Red or Golden Delicious, or any of the other varieties that are meant to be eaten out of hand rather than cooked.  They will make your pie filling turn out mushy, and you don’t want that.  The filling in a good apple pie, like the prose in a good short story or novel, should be crisp and toothsome.

(Admit it.  You were waiting to see how I was going to work in the obligatory writing reference.)