Fall in upstate New York is simply not complete without delicious homemade apple pie! Every year, my friends and I go apple picking and stuff our faces with pies and crisps made from the delicious fruit we’ve picked. Earlier this month, the tradition continued when a group of us took a trip to Bowman Orchards. Despite an hour long wait to get into the orchard, we each left with 10lbs of the best apples the capital district has to offer.
When making an apple pie or crisp, it is important to choose the right apples. On our trip to the orchard we discovered some new varieties, such as the sweet and enormous Shizuka (or as my friend would say “Bazooka”) apples or the supposedly purple Macouns. However, for pies, an apple that will maintain its flavor and texture during baking is essential. As a loyal New Yorker, I stick with Empires, but Cortlands and even Macintoshes will taste great in a dessert.
To make a basic apple pie, simply make the standard pastry, fill with a mixture of apple slices, cinnamon, and sugar, and bake. While the lattice top might seem intimidating, all you need to do is take a pizza cutter to your pastry and weave the strips together over the pie. If you’re pressed for time and need to simplify the recipe, you can instead place a full pastry top over the pie or opt for a store bought pastry. (Be sure to poke a few slits in the pastry if forgoing the lattice).
- 6 medium sized baking apples (I used Empires)
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons shortening
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 5 to 7 tablespoons cold water
- Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Cut in shortening with pastry cutter or two knives until shortening and flour form small (pea sized) chunks.
- Gradually add water (1 tablespoon at a time) to flour mixture and toss with fork. Continue until dough sticks together.
- Form two dough balls and wrap with cling wrap. Store in refrigerator for approximately one hour.
- Remove dough from refrigerator and place on a well floured surface. Roll dough into 2 approximately 10″ circles.
- Make or purchase pie pastry for crust.
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Peel and core apples. Cut into small wedges.
- Toss apples with lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in large bowl.
- Place pastry in bottom of 8 or 9″ pan and fill with apples.
- Cut butter into chunks and place on top of apple filling.
- Use pizza cutter to cut remaining pastry into 1″ strips.
- Place half of the strips on top of pie with 1″ spacing.
- Weave remaining strips onto pie and trim edges.
- Optional: Brush top with water and sprinkle with sugar
- Cover edges with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning.
- Bake pie for 40 to 50 minutes or until filling begins to bubble. Remove foil for last 10 minutes of baking.