Monday, December 7, 2015

How To Make A Perfect Apple Pie

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Apple pie is a classic. I've been making one version or another, trying to perfect a recipe, since I was in high school and I have to say I'm pretty close to perfection with this version. You can easily top this pie with another crust or use the crumble the way I did, either way the blend of apples and spices is fantastic.

As much as I love the pumpkin flavors of Thanksgiving, the chocolate and mint tastes of Christmastime, I have a special place in my heart for apple. I think I love it the most because of the combination of warming spices that blend so well with the fruit. Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, mace...such a delicious blend!

My daughter got in on the fun with this recipe, she loves baking almost as much as I do. Anytime I turn on the stand mixer or food processor she comes running!

The Perfect Apple Pie

Ingredients for the Pie
1 pie crust (use your favorite recipe or check mine out here)
5 large apples, peeled and sliced very thin (I used 2 pink lady apples and 3 granny smith)
2 Tbsp. Penzey's Apple Pie Spice blend
1/2 cup granulated sugar (you can cut back on this if you use sweeter apples)
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup AP flour

Ingredients for the Crumb Topping (omit if making a traditional 2 crust apple pie)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 heaping tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 cup AP flour
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Make the filling by adding the apples to a large bowl and sprinkling them with the apple pie spice blend, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and flour. Toss well with a wooden spoon, making sure the apples are all completely coated. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out your pie crust until its about 1/2" thick and lay it in a 8 or 9" pie plate. Flute or pinch the edges with your fingers and fill the prepared crust with your apple filling.

Mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, flour, salt and nuts in a small bowl, then add in the butter and mash it all together with a fork. Crumble the mixture evenly over the top of the pie. *If making a 2 crust pie, omit this step and just use the second crust to top your pie, cutting vents in the top to release the steam before baking.*

Place the pie on a large baking sheet (to catch any drips if the filling bubbles over) and bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn the oven temperature down to 375 and bake for another 30 minutes. If the crust edges seem to be browning too much, cover it with a pie shield.

Allow the pie to cool for 2 hours before slicing and serving. It will still be warm, but letting it cool allows the juices of the apples to thicken so it slices neatly. I love topping this pie with vanilla ice cream or fresh whipped cream, but it is delicious all on it's own too!

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