Easy as apple pie?

The house I’ve just bought has an apple tree in the back yard. My friend says that the apples are “edible”, but are not as good as store-bought apples. His mom says they’d be good for pie.

So let’s say I want to make a pie. Step One would be to peel the apples, right? How do you do it? Just get a knife and peel them? I’ve heard about “par boiling” them. Is that done before or after the apples are peeled? What function does it serve?

Once I have the peels off, how do I make an apple pie?

(No hurry on this, as my moving date is dependent on whether I get the job I interviewed for here in So. Cal.)

So glad you asked. I have my cousin’s apple pie recipe which is one of the best I’ve had. It’s also way easy.

You need:
2 Pilsbury Pie Crusts (the refrigerated/frozen ones)
6 cups of Granny Smith apples (about 6 medium)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp lemon juice
milk or egg wash

Peel and slice the apples to get your 6 cup measurement. Mix all ingredients. Fill pie crust. Top with another pie crust. Cut vents in upper crust. Brush a little milk or egg wash9eggs and water) over top crust to give it that pretty shine. Bake 45 minutes at 400 degress.

Ooooh, goodie!

You can substitute any firm, slightly tart apples for the Granny Smiths. I’ve always just cut the peels off and sliced the apples, cutting out any seeds I see.

Feel free to correct me, but I think par-boiling may be used by some people to make the skins softer and to cook the apples slightly before baking. I’m not sure why you’d do this. Like, I said, I just peel them with a knife.

Good luck and happy pie eating. :slight_smile:

It may be easier for you to use a potato peeler, that indispensable kitchen gadget with the twin-edged swivel blade. Using a knife can lead to: frustaration, losing too much of the fruit or blood. Don’t precook the apples, they’d be mush before too long and pulpy apples make a terrible pie. You want the slices to retain some texture. The best pie, IMHO, is made with 2 or 3 kinds of apples. My preferences are: Golden Delicious, not the red, they are useless for anything, Granny Smith’s as noted above, Gala’s, Staymans. MacIntosh have good flavor, but become soupy quickly. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy.

Thanks, DaisyFace. I’ll try it when I finally get up to Washington. :slight_smile:

Pillsbury pie crust, you say? Premade pie crust?! Fie!

1 cup (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cold water

Drop the flour, sugar and salt into the food processor (you do have a food processor, right?) with the paddle attachment in it. Mix them for a second or two, then cut each stick of butter into 16 slices (2 for every tablespoon; there should be a measuring scale on the wrapper).

Turn the processor back on and drop in the butter, through that chimney thing. Make it quicklike, because if you run the machine too long, the dough will get warm and you’ll have to fridge it before rolling.

By the time you’ve put in all the butter, plus thirty seconds, the dough should be crumbly: you don’t need the butter to be fully integrated just yet. Turn the machine off and take a pinch of dough. Squeeze it between your fingers; if they don’t get greasy, you’re good. If they do, fridge it for ~15 minutes.

Now add the water. (This is the step I tend to forget.) After that, take it out and work it with your hands so that it becomes a solid lump.

Divide this lump in half. Now, sprinkle flour generously on your work surface, and dust the rolling pin with more flour. Start pressing down on the dough to flatten it out (with the rollling pin, I mean), then roll it south to north…then east to west…then south to north again…then southeast to northwest…You get the picture. Keep rolling it from different angles, is the idea, until it’s round and flat, just slightly bigger than your pie pan. And don’t hesitate to keep flouring the rolling pin and the work surface, so nothing sticks to anything else.

When it’s as big as you need it to be, flop it in half, lift it up, plunk it into the pie pan and unfold it. Your pan is glass, BTW. Or pyrex. Not metal, is what I’m getting at. Never use a metal pan for a fruit pie, because once that fruit juice leaks out, they’re both ruined.

The Bomb Apple Pie

7 apples, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup honey

There’s a little gadget you can get anywhere they sell kitchen utensils: looks like a wagon wheel, or a cross section of a citrus fruit. After you’ve peeled the apples, place each one on the cutting board, stem side down because that’s a wider base, center the gadget over it and press down. Voila! Eight apple slices! The core should be stuck in that center part. Cut out any seeds or seed pods that snuck in, and cut each slice in half again.

Mix together (in a bowl, obviously) the sugar, the flour, two teaspoons of cinnamon, the vinegar and the salt. Dump in the apple slices and mix them thoroughly. Use the spoon like a…what’s that earth-moving machine with the crane and the bucket…a steam shovel, that’s it! Steam-shovel the apples so you’re getting the flour and junk stirred up from the bottom of the bowl. You want all of it to adhere to the apples, not collect beneath them.

When it’s all thoroughly mixed, plop it into the pie pan, then pour the honey on top and sprinkle the cinnamon. (Hint: To sprinkle a spice evenly, move it around while tapping the stem of the spoon gently with your fingertip.) Now do the same thing I described earlier to roll out the top crust.

Ideally, the top crust should be slightly bigger than the bottom one was. Try, as best you can, it’s not easy, to fold it over and underneath the rim of the bottom crust so it forms a tight seal. If there’s any dough left over, set it aside because there’s a cute Martha Stewartesque thing you can do with it.

When you’ve gotten the top and bottom crusts aligned, make little dents with your fingertip all the way around the rim, for that fluting effect. Take a fork and prick the top crust all over, like that captured missionary who wanted to ruin the natives’ canoe. Now, take the leftover crust and form it into little leaves and paste them on top of the crust.

On second thought, forget that noise. Just eat it. The leftover dough, I mean. I’m serious; it’s that good.

Now put the pie on a cookie sheet (that’s to catch the runover, if any. You don’t want that dripping onto the floor of the oven, because it will caramelize.) Bake for one hour + 5 minutes at 400. (You did preheat the oven, right?) The crust should be slightly brown at the edges when it’s finished.

(Some people say you should take it out 20 minutes before completion, sprinkle a tablespoon of milk on top, dust it with a sugar/cinnamon mixture, and put it back. Some people say that’s overkill. And if the pie is at all lumpy, the milk will end up everywhere but on top of it anyway.)

I make a fabulous apple pie. Here’s how:

First prepare the apples. 6 bigger ones or 8 smaller ones for one pie. Don’t parboil them. Just peel them (I prefer a small sharp paring knife rather than a potato peeler, but YMMV), cut them into quarters (vertically) and core them. Then slice the quarters fairly thin. Taste the apples – they should be fairly tart. If they are too sweet, you can add a teaspoon or two of lemon juice. That shouldn’t be a problem with homegrown apples, though. They are more likely to be tart than otherwise. Sprinkle a little flour over the apples – not much, maybe half a scoop. You don’t want the apples to look coated in flour or anything. Then about the same amount of sugar – more if the apples were really tart. Then plenty of cinnamon. Mix it all up good and let it sit while you do the crust.

Pie crust is easy enough to make and homemade is so much better than premade. I use the recipe on the outside of the Crisco can. Basically, shortening, salt, flour and water. I don’t use a pastry blender or a food processor. I put the shortening in a bowl and dump the flour and salt in ther with it. Then I take two butter knives, held crossways blades down, and cut through the flour and shortening over and over until all the flour is “cut into” the shortening. It should look like a crumbley mass, with no crumbs larger than 1/2 a pea and most of them smaller. The bulk of the crumbs should look a lot like cornmeal. Then, using a large fork I mix in the water (it should be cold, BTW) a teaspoon or two at a time until the crust holds together. It should look smooth (not wet). Then I spread plenty of flour on my work surface and plop 1/2 the crust on there and roll it out – I have a marble rolling pin that I cool a bit in the fridge before rolling out pie crust. Roll first one way, and then crosswise to keep the crust round. Once you’ve got it big enough to fit your pan, fold it in half, then in quarters. Move it into the pan, then unfold it. Line the pan smoothly (trying not to stretch the crust too much). Using a sharp knife, trim the crust off even with the edge of the pan. Dump your apples into the crust and dot the top with butter. Set the pan aside and roll out the seconf half of the crust same as you did the first. Fold it into quarters and set it on top of the pie. Trim the crusts off even with the edge of the pan, then crimp the edges together with your fingers. Cut a couple of slits in the top crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or so.

This sounds a lot harder than it is to do – writing it was harder than it is to do, actually. Showing someone how to make a pie is a lot easier than telling them! How about I come over some day and show you? We’ll make 2 pies and I’ll take one back home with me, ok?

There’s an excellent, very simple recipe in the Joy of Cooking. Truly, few things are simpler than apple pie.

You peel an apple with a potato peeler. If you can peel it in one long peel you get a wish! Slice each peeled apple into half, then quarters. Cut out the core by making two angled cuts across the apple. Now slice each quarter into 3 or 4 slices.

Voila. Your apples are now “peeled, cored and sliced.”

I’ve made my own crust and to tell you the truth I didn’t find it worth the bother. Pillsbury is more than acceptable for a first-time pie maker.

Correction: Red delicious are useless for any cooking, but they’re wonderful raw.

And while you’re at it, try one of those apples off your tree raw, too. They’ll probably look ugly, but the best apples I’ve ever tasted have all looked ugly.