Easy as apple pie

Apple pie is not easy. Working with two layers of crust that could be too crumbly or too soft, apples that could collapse when cooked and juices that could get soupy. Many things can and will go wrong when you first attempt this American icon.

I love apple pie for the spices: fresh nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. The lemon zest and juice adds a special kick to the filling. And the crust. Making the pie crust yourself is critical. Unfortunately, I always seem to have trouble with my crusts. Either they are too sticky or too crumbly. Very frustrating.

I turned to my Best Recipes companion, but even then, the pie had some issues. The taste was perfect. The texture of the dough was wonderful (even if it was too wet when I made it) – buttery and flaky.

My problem was the apples. Granny Smith and McIntosh. I think the McIntosh became too soft and resulted in the pie collapsing after it cooled. Maybe next time I will go with an equally sweet but less soft apple – any recommendations?


Not The Apple of Your Eye


3 responses to “Easy as apple pie

  1. Laura Spradley

    The crust has beautiful color and texture–don’t be so hard on it! My favorite pie apple is Jonathon. Maybe Jonagold would be good as well.

  2. I use granny smiths only for apple pie and think it turns great. My dad taught me how to make a good crust – it’s by far the trickiest part. Sounds like you got it to come out great anyway, but it’s a lot easier to handle if you make it quickly and keep everything cold. Refrigerate shortening beforehand, dice up cold butter and put the cold butter and shortening into a food processor with the flour/salt/sugar and blend until its in pea sized chunks. Then start adding a few tablespoons of ice water and blend until you’ve got a doughball. Wrap it up and refrigerate it for half an hour and it will make a perfect crust.

    These are the proportions I use:
    12 tbs butter
    3 cups flour
    1 tps salt
    1 tbs sugar
    1/3 cup shortening
    6 to 8 tbs ice water

  3. Thanks, Zac! I admit that I did not chill the shortening beforehand.

    My dream is to get a big marble board just for making crusts. One of my friends has one and it weighs about 50 pounds but is BEAUTIFUL and really keeps things chilled!

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