Classic apple pie recipes
An American classic is a classic family favorite.
Everyone needs a classic recipe for this American treat. This recipe comes from the Nutrition Education Program at the University of Montana.
Pastry for a nine-inch two-crust pie*
6 cups thinly sliced tart apples
¾ c sugar
¼ c all-purpose flour
½ tsp. nutmet
½ tsp. cinnamon
Dash of salt
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Prepare pastry. Place one crust in a nine-inch pie pan
- Make a few cuts with a knife into the top crust to allow pie-filling steam to escape when baking. Set the top crust aside. You may roll out the top crust at the very end so it is easier to handle.
- Place sliced apples into a medium bowl. Stir sugar, flour, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt into apple slices
- Pour apple mixture into a piecrust in pan and dot the top with butter
- Cover with the top crust, seal the edges and flute. Crimp the top and bottom crusts together
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the crust is brown and the juice begins to bubble through slits in crust
*Pastry for two-crust pie; this is also a basic recipe. You can make choices about the kinds of fat you use; what is basic about the recipe is its 3:1 ratio, flour to fat. Fat makes pie-crust short, that is flaky, which is why whatever fat you use needs to be cold. The water you use to pull the pastry together should also be cold. Warming up the shortening or the water either by letting them sit out or by handling the pie crust too much lets the shortening begin to melt into the flour. Your crust winds up crisp, tough or just plain blah.
Since you want to incorporate the shortening into the flour in little flakes, choose a sharp knife and a fork, two forks or a pastry knife to do the job rather than a spoon or your fingers. A pastry knife, also called a pastry blender, looks like a half-moon made of several wires all attached to a handle. Just push into your mixture and keep pushing.
What you need:
- Large bowl
- Forks, knife and fork, pastry knife (your choice)
- Flat counter, large bread-board or other cleared surface for rolling
- Waxed paper—lay out a couple of sheets under your project to cut down on cleanup
- Pie pan
- Aluminum foil to lay under pie plate in oven (juicy pies can drip)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup "shortening"—white shortening, butter, stick-margarine, lard or a combo (as you continue to bake pies, you'll develop your own preferences)—cold!
- Pinch of salt—2 pinches if your shortening contains no salt
- 5-6 Tbsp. water (cold!)
- Cut the shortening into flour and salt until you have crumbs roughly the size of peas
- Add water, a tablespoon or two at a time, until your crust just pulls together
- Dump it into a plastic bag, squeeze out the air, let it rest at least 15 minutes or until you've peeled and cut up the apples
- Divide the pastry into two balls, one slightly larger than the other. The smaller is for your top crust.
- Roll the bottom crust on floured waxed paper until it's roughly 11 inches in diameter. You need the bottom of the pan plus enough pastry to climb the sides and leave a rim for fluting or crimping.
- Refrigerate the other ball, rolled out for the top crust or not, until you've assembled your pie. Remember to cut some steam-vent slashes with your knife.
Hint 1: If the pastry tears during rolling, dab the tear with cold water, dust on a little flour and a patch-piece from the outside edge of your crust. This is your own version of cut-and-paste.
Hint 2: To get the pastry into the pan and over the top, fold it gently in quarters then unfold in or on the pan.
Crimping and Fluting
There are several methods you can use. A neighbor said that her mother-in-law shared all the family secrets but made her leave the kitchen when she crimped her crust!
- First, using a sharp knife, trim both layers of pastry so they hang over the pan's edge by no more than half an inch
- The quickest crimp is to use of floured fork to press both edges together
- You can also use your floured finger tips to pinch the crusts together making a tiny mountain range as one pair of fingers pinches toward the rim and the other toward the center of the pie
- As you progress you will see fancier crimps in magazine pictures and develop your own secret way.
- Place aluminum foil under pie pan on oven rack and bake
This recipe works well for peach or plum pie also. You may omit cinnamon and may need an extra tablespoon or two of flour if your fruit is very juicy.