Saturday, August 28, 2021

Classic Apple Pie

My Mom made the best apple pies. You might be able to say the same, but I've never tasted your Mom's, so I still believe that my Mom's is the best. Apple pie was one of my Dad's favorites. He actually enjoyed any pie, especially fruit pies, but since Mom's was the best, you can imagine how much he liked her apple pie! A few years ago I created a cookbook of family favorites and a double crust apple pie was, of course, included. 

Before I could make an apple pie, I had to learn how to make good pie crust dough, which I did. The truth of the matter is that I prefer to use Pillsbury ReadyCrust pie dough because it's almost as good as from scratch and much faster and easier...and Sweetie loves anything made with it. Still, I'll include the recipe for a two-crust pie dough in case you want to really experience the full apple pie making deal.

For apples I us Gravenstein apples because we have two trees loaded with them. They are ripe early for apples, getting just right about the middle of August. Still, later in the year I like to mix any that is still useable with a nice, tart apple like McIntosh or a sweet, crisp one like Honeycrisp. Use your favorite apple or a mixture, but do make an apple pie by the end of September and welcome in the fall. The traditional pie spices of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, plus a pinch of allspice, are those warm spices that herald the change of season to cool, crisp weather and crystal blue skies (we hope-right now we are having smoky skies from wildfires, but hope springs eternal).

Two-Crust Pie Pastry

2¼ cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup shortening
Ice water

Sift flour and salt into a bowl. With a pastry blender or two knives, cut shortening into flour until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle water, a tablespoon at a time, over mixture, stirring gently with a fork until all is moistened (6-8 tablespoons). Press dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic and chill before rolling out. Divide dough into two pieces. Roll out each piece until it is slightly larger than the pie tin. Makes one 2-crust pie or 2 pie shells.

Apple Pie

6-7 cups tart apples. peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons flour
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon (and you can add 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and/or cloves and/or allspice)
1-2 tablespoons butter, in small lumps
Pastry for a two-crust pie

Mix apples, flour and cinnamon. Pile apples in large, pastry-lined pie tin. Dot top with butter. Place second crust over the top, sealing the edges with water, and flute the edges. Slash the top crust in a few (about 5) places to allow the steam to vent. 

Bake for 10 minutes in a 4500 F. oven. Reduce heat to 3500 F and bake for an additional 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on rack.


  1. Last summer's bumper crop of apples awaits this recipe in the freezer... this is a ROTTEN year for apples; we got some kind of blight, and I'm grateful we put up so many and were too tired of them to eat so much! Yes - crisp autumn and apples used to go hand in hand, buuuut, we'll just have to see what we have this year. Hope you get better AQ soon - ours is murky as well, even when the sky is only mildly hazy.

  2. Sorry it's such a bad year for apples. Ours seem to be OK, at least on the red Gravenstein, although the apples are smaller than usual. Blame the drought...and maybe smoke, too. Has been hazy here today and yesterday, but tomorrow is supposed to be better. Between fire danger, drought and smoke autumn isn't nearly as much fun as it used to be. Still, in the very early morning I can get out and garden while the fog is still around. The iris are prolific...would you like some iris corms?