Simple Apple Pie

It’s been a while since I baked apple pie.  And the other day, I went to McDonald’s and got their apple pie on a rainy day — Ummmm… I forgot how I miss the cinnamon & nutmeg aroma and the gooey juice of the apple.  So I decided to make one today, since it was cold out and thus perfect weather to bake a pie 😀

After lots of trial on recipes, I settle for this one — which is going to to be my go-to recipe from now on.
The recipe makes two 9″ pie crusts, or one 9″ covered pie crust.

INGREDIENTS

For the crust 

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold unsalted butter,  cubed
1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon iced water (add 1 tablespoon at a time as needed)

Directions

  • Using a rubber spatula, thoroughly mix the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.
  • Cut the butter into small cubes, then add to the flour mixture and cut vigorously with a pastry blender or two knives. Work as fast as you can so the butter doesn’t melt.  As you work, periodically stir dry flour up from the bottom of the bowl and scrape clinging fat off the pastry blender or knives until the butter become pea-sized pieces; the rest of the flour should be reduced to the consistency of coarse crumbs or corn-meal.  The mixture should seem dry and powdery and not pasty or greasy.
  • Drizzle over the flour and fat mixture the ice water.
  • Using the rubber spatula, cut with the blade side until the mixture looks evenly moistened and begins to form small balls.  Press down on the dough with the flat side of the spatula.  If the balls of dough stick together, you have added enough water; if they do not, drizzle over the top 1-2 tablespoons ice water.
  • Cut in the water, again using the blade of the spatula, then press with your hands until the dough coheres.  The dough should look rough, not smooth.  Divide the dough in half, press each half into a round flat disk, and wrap tightly in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and preferably for several hours, or for up to 2 days before rolling.  (The dough can also be wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 6 months; thaw completely before rolling. – If you need help with rolling out the dough, click here).
  • While preparing the filling and rolling out the dough, preheat the oven to 350°F

For the filling

6 small or 2 large Golden Delicious (Gala, or Fuji) apples
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoon cornstarch
3 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground ground cinnamon

Mix together sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice and cornstarch.  Sprinkle over apples and toss to coat. Cook in a saucepan over medium heat until tender.

Meanwhile, roll out the dough that you previously put in the fridge and transfer it to the pie pan.  Then put the filling in the unbaked pie crust.

Roll out the other half of the dough and cover the pie.  Squeeze the rim to make decorative rim or just press with fork to close the seams. Cut slits in the crust to vent the heat.

 

Bake on the middle rack for 45-55 minute until the crust turn golden and the filling is bubbly.  Let cool on rack for at least 15 minutes.  Slice and serve warm by itself or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Variation

If you don’t want the top crust, here’s a great alternative for the topping:

 

 

You’ll need:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter (cold cut into cubes)
  •  A few dashes of cinnamon

Using a pastry cutter, mix together the flour, sugar and butter until evenly distributed and crumbly in texture. Sprinkle over the filling topped with dashes of cinnamon. Put pie in the oven on a cookie sheet to catch the juices that may spill over. Bake 45 minutes or until pie crust is golden brown.

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