Sunday, November 29, 2009

What Am I Thankful For: Apple Pie

Why am I thankful for apple pie? It is the first kind of pie I ever made 100% from scratch. And, luckily, it came out great. It is really the best pie for a first time baker because apples are the easiest fruit to work with. They naturally release a lot of pectin when baked, which thickens the filling and prevents a soggy crust bottom.

So I am thankful that apple pie is so easy to make. And thankful that it started such a great hobby for me.


I'm the first to admit I don't really get into the Thanksgiving spirit. I am not currently carnivorous and even when I was, these are not the foods that tend to rock my boat.

But I am not anti-social, so when I was invited to Thanksgiving dinner by a co-worker I accepted the invitation. She requested that I bring a pie, of course.


So I brought apple. Just a regular apple pie. The recipe I use is VERY GOOD. I found it here, and use it almost exactly. But with the addition of a bit of nutmeg. I also choose to measure the amount of cut up apple instead of just basing it on the number of apples, because apple sizes vary so widely.

And since it was a special occasion, I decided to make it pretty.




RECIPE:

5 cups sliced and peeled tart apple (I use all granny smiths)
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt


Combine all dry ingredients


Add apple cider vinegar and mix until thoroughly
combined


Add apples (If you toss them into the sugar mixture as you slice them, they won't turn brown. But really, for baking purposes, it doesn't matter if they turn brown.)

Fill standard 9" pie shell with apple mixture. Top with second crust, pinching edges together and make five 1" venting slices in the top crust.
(Or this is a great pie for a lattice crust.)


Cover the crust edge. Bake at 400 degrees until the filling is thick and bubbling, ~60 minutes.


I was actually a little short on granulated sugar, so I used about a tablespoon of brown sugar. Some people like to even use half white, half brown. I'm personally not a huge fan of molasses, so I stick to mostly white, but the flavor was good with a bit of brown mixed in.


Also, although I did bake it until it was bubbling I could see thru the lattice crust after it had cooled a bit that the filling was not as thick as I like it, it still seemed a bit watery. So, I heated up the oven again and baked it some more, until I thought it looked thicker.


I wasn't sure about doing this, but it worked out just fine and the pie tasted great. It looked pretty nice too!






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