Just by looking at it you can tell that preparing this apple pie is quite time consuming, but it is delicious as much as it is beautiful and will get you many compliments! There are a few shortcuts: for peeling and slicing the apples I recommend an apple peeler-corer-slicer with a vacuum base, it definitely shortens this tedious job. Instead of preparing the crust it is also possible to use the store bought type – personally I have used Oronoque Orchards™ Deep Dish Pie Crusts , one crust can be used for the bottom and the other one can be rolled up and used for the top. I used cookie cutters in the shape of leaves for the top layer but there are many more ways that are less (or more!) time consuming. The recipe for the crust is taken from “Spice and Spirit”. For the filling I like using Granny Smith apples because of the tartness factor but you can experiment with other types of apples.
This recipe yields 4 shells – enough for 2 apple pies. The unused portion can be frozen.
- 4 C. flour
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 3/4 C. shortening
- 1/2 C. water
- 1 Tbsp. vinegar
- 1 large egg
- 3 lbs. apples – peeled cored and sliced
- 2 Tbsp. margarine
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 2/3 C. sugar
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- pinch salt
- In a bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment mix flour with sugar and salt. Cut in shortening until crumbly. In a small bowl beat the egg, vinegar and water and add to the shortening mix. Process for 30-60 seconds until the dough comes together as a ball. If it is too sticky add flour, one tablespoon at a time. If the dough is too dry add water, one teaspoon at a time. Try not to over process. Divide the dough into 4 balls and chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Place the apples with the margarine in a large frying pan, cook until they start sizzling. Add lemon juice, sugar and salt. Cook for 5 minutes until the apples start to soften – don’t over cook or you will end up with apple sauce (no offense to apple sauce). Pour apples into a shallow baking pan and let cool 30 minutes.
- Mix in flour and cinnamon.
- Turn oven on to 425º.
- Roll out one ball of dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. It should be large enough to fit into a deep dish pie plate with edges extending out, the edges should be folded under. You can shape the edges with your fingers (similar to the picture) or decorate them with a fork as you wish.
- Pour the filling into the crust.
- Roll out another portion of dough between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, choose the design of your choice. Place on top of the filling. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
- Place pie in the oven on top of a large piece of aluminum foil (to catch the spills). Bake for 50 minutes or until crust is browned. The pie freezes well.