I grew up with a Grandmother who made the world’s absolute, best apple pie. Apple was the only kind of fruit pie I would eat in those days. Well actually, only “her” apple pie! Being I lived only a bike ride away and visited her quite often, I probably got many more slices of pie than her other 34 grandchildren 🙂 Lucky me. Grandma made the flakiest, best homemade crust I’ve ever had. Decades later I can still see her, in my mind’s eye, rolling out the pastry on the kitchen table. She would peel, core and slice the apples with nothing more than a small paring knife. She would sweeten and spice the apples. Fill and seal the pastry, pop it in the oven and then…oh, the smells filling the kitchen…heaven! Grandma, not surprisingly, did all of this without a recipe. I remember, years later, trying to “get” her recipe, watching her make the crust, asking how much flour goes in…her answer…until it looks and feels right! Really?? She was always a “pinch of this” or a “sprinkle of that” kind of cook. Wonderful to eat, nearly impossible to duplicate. Ugh, to this day, 17 years after her death, I still can’t make her tasty crust. I’ve tried. It just doesn’t compare. Maybe, just maybe, her crust was too perfect. So what’s a girl to do?? Cheat! Yep, cheat with a pre-made pie crust. They’re pretty good these days. A little too thick in my opinion, something a rolling pin can fix. The texture and flakiness are pretty close to a homemade version. Farm fresh fruit definitely heightens the overall flavor. My filling recipe has been the same for years, good old Betty Crocker’s. And though my pies don’t quite measure up to Grandma’s, a slice, still warm from the oven, will always make me think of her.
1 box pre-made refrigerator pie crust [2 crusts], room temperature
6 cups tart apples: peeled, cored and thinly sliced [6-8 apples, depending on size]
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 Tablespoons butter
Heat oven to 425°F.
Lightly flour counter or other work surface. Unroll 1 pie crust and lightly flour the surface. With a rolling pin, gently roll pie crust to approximately 13 inches. The diameter will be about 2 inches larger than the fresh out of the box size.
Lay in the bottom of the pie plate, centering it so the “overhang” is equal all the way around.
Place the prepared apples in a large bowl. Add the sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir just until all of the ingredients are well blended.
Turn apple mixture into pastry lined pie plate; dot top of apples with butter.
Roll out the top crust in the same way you did the bottom. Cover the apples with the top crust.
Using kitchen shears, or clean scissors, trim the crust to within 1/2 inch or so of pie plate end. Seal two crust together, dipping finger tips in water if necessary. Roll the edge over and flute the edge with fingers, or press with the tines of a fork.
Cut slits in top of pie crust to vent. Cover edges with a 3 inch strip of aluminum foil, or use a purchased pie crust “hat” as pictured below. Remove foil during last 15 minutes of baking.
Bake until crust is golden brown and juice begins to bubble through the slits in crust, 40-50 minutes.
Recipe from Betty Crocker’s Cookbook