I think we can all agree that apple pie is an all time favorite for most people. There must be a million recipes floating around out there and I don't claim to corner the market on good pie. I will say this, I believe apple pie should be simple. It should let the flavor of the apple shine through. I've seen recipes for apple pie with cheese (why? why would you do that?), caramel, berries, they all have their merits, but when I want apple pie, I want plain ol' apple pie with lots of apples, a little cinnamon and some fresh grated nutmeg. You can't go wrong if you keep it simple.
Crust1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup shortening plus 3 Tablespoons of butter (these should be cold)
6 Tbsp ice water
Note* Hydrogenated oils are BAD for you. I have been using an organic non hydrogenated shortening that I find at Kroger in the gluten free and health food aisle. It is called Spectrum Organic shortening and it works fabulously. If I can't find that I prefer to use non hydrogenated lard when I can find it.
Mix all the dry ingredients together, add shortening and butter and cut in using a pastry cutter or fork until the shortening is the size of small peas and incorporated throughout the flour mixture. You want these little chinks to make your pie dough flakey and tender. Once you have the shortening and butter incorporated add ice water (no chunks of ice please) one Tbsp at a time, drizzled over the flour mixture and mixed in with a fork. When you have all of the water incorporated you should be able to gather the dough all together into a ball. If it is still a little too dry you can add a little bit more water until it holds together. You don't want it too wet, you just want it to hold together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. This is enough for a two crust pie.
For a 9" pie
6 cups thinly sliced , pared tart apples
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon (or a little more if you really like cinnamon. I usually use up to 3/4 tsp)
a dash of salt
2 Tbsp butter
Heat the over to 425. Prepare pastry by cutting it in half and rolling out 1/2 of the crust at a time. Place it in a 9" pie plate.
For the filling stir together the apples and all ingredients except the butter, and turn it into the prepared bottom crust. Cut the 2 Tbsp of butter into chunks and dot the top of the filling with the pieces. Roll out the top crust and lay it on, crimp it around the edge, cut slits in the top for steam to escape and pop it in the oven. Some people say you should cover the edge with foil the first 15 minutes, I never do, and my crusts are fine. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the crust is brown and the juice begins to bubble through the slits in the crust. Just a suggestion, I always line a cookie sheet with foil and bake the pie on it. It catches any juices that might bubble through and it keeps my oven clean and is easier to clean up than gooey sugary filling baked onto the pan.
And there you have it, easy apple pie that will make your mouth water and your husband smile. Enjoy!