I love a freshly baked, Classic American Apple Pie, preferably baked in a deep dish. I especially love the American style cinnamon spiced apple pie recipes like I grew up with. It's even tastier served 'a la mode' with vanilla ice-cream.
Can You Use Normal Apples For Apple Pie?
Of course you can! There are people who claim certain apples varieties must be used for apple pies. At the end of the day, it's up to you and your tastebuds. Granny Smiths are more tart, so I tend to avoid using them. Living in Western Australia, home of the Pink Lady Apple, that is my favorite apple to use. Otherwise, use what's plentiful and in season.
Growing up in the Okanagan Valley, which was predominantly apple orchard country, there was always plenty of apples in the autumn. We ate lots of McIntosh, Gala and Spartan Apples. Deep Dish Apple Pie was always on the menu.
We had so many apples from our trees that we would get them freshly squeezed to make cloudy apple juice. As a kid, I never wanted homemade apple juice but always wanted the clear store-bought apple juice! How times have changed! We also made homemade spiced hot apple cider. Apples were such a big part of my growing up!
This is Where I Offend Aussies
Moving to Australia, the apple pies that I've had here have been pretty bland. Sorry to offend any Aussie bakers, but I guess it's so different from what I'm expecting. The typical bakery apple pie filling recipes here taste like plain unsweetened stewed apples inside a pie (which must be loved by Aussies).
Australians don't use as much cinnamon, maybe its cultural to North America to use lots of cinnamon and spices. I think I'll just chalk it up to cultural differences. It's not a wrong way to make apple pie, just not the flavor I thought was universal. Therefore I make my own American Apple Pie to remind me of the pies of my childhood. It's funny how some food memories are just in-grained in you.
Apple Pie Pastry
Making shortcrust pastry is quick and easy, however many people prefer to buy pastry in the freezer section of the supermarket. It's always ready to be thawed and used, and is quick and easy. This speeds up the recipe prep time. All you need to do is buy the apples, peel and slice, season and bake. If you want to make it from scratch, I have included my shortcrust pastry recipe.
When covering the apple pie, you can use a single pastry sheet with a hole cut in the middle to let the juices out. However I think a lattice top pie looks much nicer, and only take a few minutes longer to make. If you don't want to use short cut pastry, check out my Russian Blueberry Pie which uses a sweet yeast dough for the pie. And if all this is too time consuming for you, try making an easy Sharlotka Apple Cake with only 5 ingredients. Another tasty apple recipe that is so easy to make!
I love the mixture of baked apples with brown sugar, cinnamon and spices. It just takes me back to my childhood and reminds me of autumn and Thanksgiving. American Apple Pie, a comforting fall treat, perfect with a cup of tea. Bon Appetit! Приятного аппетита!
Short Cut Pastry ingredients
- 2 cups flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 6 oz /175g butter* cut into small cubes
- 1 egg chilled
- 3 tablespoons ice water
Apple Pie Filling
- 10 apples mixed varieties (about 3½ pounds/1.5kg)
- ½ cup brown sugar firmly packed
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons butter cubed
- egg wash 1 egg yolk with 1 teaspoon of whipping cream
- sugar for sprinkling pie crust
- In a large bowl or food processor, add the flour, salt and butter. Using your fingers, mix the butter into the flour until it resembles crumbs. If using a processor, slowly pulse until you get the same result.
- Add the chilled egg yolk and mix until it makes a non-sticky dough. Add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until you form a smooth dough. Wrap in cling wrap and place in fridge until you are ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C, and position rack on the lowest height.
- Peel, core and thinly slice the apples and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cornstarch and toss until evenly mixed. Set aside and prepare the shortcrust pastry dough.
- Roll out the dough into ⅛" thin round circles, larger in size than the pie pan. Grease a 9" round pie pan and press the dough into it. Place the apples inside the pie pan. Dot the apples evenly across with the butter.
- You can either cover the pie with the whole rolled shortcrust pastry dough, or cut it into strips and lattice it. If covering with single piece of dough, remember to use a fork and poke air hole vents in the top.
- To make the lattice, cut the rolled dough into 12 -14 even strips. Arrange the strips by weaving a lattice across the top of the pie. Using a fork, press the edges down to seal the pastry. Cut any excess pieces.
- Brush the lattice with and egg wash (beating an egg yolk with 1 teaspoon of whipping cream). Sprinkle the egg washed pastry lightly with the white sugar.Cover the edges of the pie with foil, to avoid edges from burning.
- Place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Then reduce heat to 350°F/175°C and continue baking until crust is golden brown and bubbling (at least another 45 minutes). Allow to cool before serving.