Let me start be saying we are NOT bakers. Although Rickie was a chemistry minor in college, he was not that enamored by the idea of following directions to the letter, which meant he caused his fair share of chemistry catastrophes. The same can sometimes be true with some of our baking experiments. Nevertheless we are fond of jumping right in and trying something new, especially if it means making something mostly from scratch. And so began our adventure with apple pies a few years back. Back in that year, we had lots of holiday parties and family get-togethers to attend over the months of November and December, so we decided we’d do all the prepwork for our part of the potlucks at once. Three days and 10 frozen apple pies later, we realized a) we kick ass and b) we’re never going to make 10 pies in a row from scratch for fun again.
As we posted previously here, we recently visited our favorite orchard in the NC mountains and returned with 4 bushels of apples. So although we have enough apples for 10+ more pies, we decided instead that we would focus our attention on making one beautiful apple pie to freeze and then cook when we visit the family for Thanksgiving. We highly recommend the concept of making pies to freeze (just not 10 at once) so that you only need to thaw and bake when you are ready. We think the food network recipe for a traditional apple pie is a great option, but as usual we’ve added our own notes to give you our take on this great recipe.
First, prepare for messiness. Making a crust from scratch requires the ability to make a mess without stressing over it all. Gather all your ingredients and have a large flat dry surface ready to go. Also, realize that you may fail… repeatedly… in making the perfect pie crust, but eventually you will get the hang of it.
Here’s the recipe with our notes (original recipe by Sandi Anderson via the Food Network)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening (recommended: Crisco)
1/2 cup to 1 cup all-purpose flour
6 to 7 cups apples cut into thin slices (we like to use a combination of Arkansas Blacks and Pink Ladies)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter (to be used at the end of the recipe as a filling topper)Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Roll the remaining pastry into a 12-inch circle. Place on top of the filling. Trim off 1-inch beyond the edge of the pie plate. Crimp the edges as desired. Cut slits to allow steam to escape when baking. Sprinkle a little sugar and cinnamon over the pie.
Cover the edges with foil to prevent over browning. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, or until it is golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream if you wish.