Food Babies

No, not you…. you, the bowlegged one

Apple Pie, HilHil Style

Posted by Hilary on November 15, 2008

I adore apple pie, but only if it’s made properly. The last time Kelly and I tried to eat store-bought apple pie it was…. well, let’s just say we agreed never to buy it again. What can I say, I’m a pie snob. There are worse things that I could be. Here’s my technique:

1. Get yourself some damn good apples. Tradition calls for straight Granny Smith & I reject tradition. I like a mix of sweet and tart apples. Do not buy anything less than firm apples (nothing mealy or soft… no McIntosh, no Cortland, you get the idea). My favorite sweet apples are Honeycrisp and Pink Lady. Granny Smith are good for tart apples, as well as Idared, Northern Spy, etc. Get yourself about 7 apples, half sweet and half tart, for a great pie.

2. Once you’ve got your apples, peel them, core them, and slice them. Put them in a bowl of water (add lemon juice to stop them from browning too much).

3. In a small bowl mix together 3/4 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, whatever other spice you like (such as cloves, allspice, powdered ginger, etc.), 2 to 3 tablespoons of cornstarch, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

4. Grab your pie pan, complete with bottom crust (as described in the previous post). From this point on I take a layering approach. I start with a layer of apples, then use a large spoon to put a layer of the sugar mixture, then apples, then sugar mixture, and so on until I simply can’t fit any more apples on top. Make sure you use all of the sugar mixture. Really heap the apples on, because although the pie will look monstrous now, the apples will cook down quite a bit in the oven.

5. Take about 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (earth balance for vegans), cut into small pieces, and place them on top of the apples. Put on the top crust and pinch it together with the edge of the bottom crust. Remove any excess crust.

6. Brush a tiny bit of water on top of the crust and then sprinkle sugar on top (not a ton). Cut vents into the top of the crust.

7. Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees on a low oven rack.

8. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and move pie to center oven rack. Bake for an hour. It’s best to keep the pie on a baking sheet so that when juices overflow they don’t make a mess in your oven. You’re supposed to let the pie cool for several hours (6, if you can believe it)  before you eat it, but more often than not I just can’t wait.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Here’s our Thanksgiving 2007 pie:img_1124


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