The days are getting crisp and the sky is a heart stopping blue. Driving by the farm stands on the way home from an appointment, I noticed drifts of pumpkins around the crates of freshly picked apples, but signs that still say tomatoes...the summer has ended, but harvest time brings summer foods, mixed with fall produce.
If you have been seduced by the beautiful apples at the farmers market or farm stand or grocery store, here is a lovely way to use them...a nice, comforting apple pie with a thick crust. The crust is such an easy one to make, so don't be scared of trying an apple pie from scratch, even if you usually avoid pastry making. It is easy to handle dough, more like a biscuit or scone dough than the traditional finicky thin pastry crust.
If you prefer your apples peeled, by all means do so. I just like the skin left on for flavor and extra vitamins, too. It also makes this a pretty quick pie to make.
A piece of this with a nice cup of hot apple cider and you know one reason why lots of people swear that Fall is the best season of the year.
Apple Pie with a Thick Crust
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick ) cold butter
About 3/4 cup milk
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix in the butter using a pastry blender, fork, or your fingers until the largest pieces are pea-size. Pour in the milk and use a fork to gently form a soft dough. Do not overmix. Divide the dough in two pieces, making one slightly larger than the other. The dough will be a bit like biscuit dough or scone dough.
On a generously floured surface, use a rolling pin to gently roll out the larger piece of dough into a circle about 12 inches across, rolling from the center outward. Sprinkle dough with flour if sticky. Gently fold the dough in half and transfer into a 9-inch pie pan. If the dough tears, simply press it back together with your fingers. Roll out the remaining piece of dough into a slightly smaller circle and set aside (or wait until you have the filling in the pan and then roll it out).
about 2 pounds Gravenstein, Granny Smith, or Pippin apples (or your favorite kind)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon each – ground allspice, nutmeg, and cloves
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
Cut in half and remove the core and the blossom and stem ends. Slice each half into about 8 slices. Put all the slices in a big bowl. Add the flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves, and brown sugar. Stir to mix thoroughly.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Place apple mixture into pastry lined pan. Spread evenly, mounding slightly in the center. Gently fold remaining rolled out circle of dough in half, and transfer to cover the apples in the pie pan. Use a bit of water to seal the top pastry circle to the bottom one, pressing slightly to seal. Trim excess pastry around the rim and turn under and flute the rim of dough. Slash the top of the pie with a few small slashes of a knife to let steam escape.
Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes, then turn oven down to 350 degrees F. and bake an additional 25 – 30 minutes, or until pastry is golden and juices bubble in the slits. Remove from oven and let cool at least 20 minutes.
Serve warm or cold. Serves 8 – 10. Pie has a thick crust. A scoop of ice cream goes well with this!