Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Autumn Apple Pie - The Best Apple Pie Recipe Ever!

This Pie Filling.

This Dough.

This Pie Crust Cutter Set.

Ever since I first tried the Spiced Apple Pie Recipe from Martha Stewart, I knew I would never make another type of apple pie filling again. It is so. good. It combines the apples with lemon juice, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and a little bit of flour, and it is unbelievable. The texture is perfect. In fact, I recommend making extra filling so you can nibble on some as you are making your pies. It is that good! 

I'm sure the recipe is amazing when made verbatim, but I've made a few adjustments to my own taste.
  • I use tart apples (such as granny smith). 
  • I skip the lemon zest 
  • I do use a half of lemon for the juice. Instead of measuring it out, I take the lemon half, and squeeze out the juice over the apples as I finish slicing them. It keeps the lemons from browning while I finish peeling and slicing all four pounds, and it gives just the right amount of tartness to balance out the cinnamon and sugar mixture. For easier squeezing, roll the lemon on the counter a few times before cutting it in half. 
  • By the way: a full four pounds of apples will fill two pies for me, it just depends on the size of your bakeware. Either double your crust recipe, or use less apples. 
  • Sometimes I use a pie pan, and sometimes I use a 8" round cake pan. The sides of a cake pan are deeper, which means I don't have to 'dome' the filling. Looks better in my opinion and the added height also means more pie filling per slice - yum! 
  • I skip the nutmeg 
  • I skip the dots of butter 
  • I slice all of the apples thin (not half of them as the recipe calls for) They cook faster. 
  • I find it easiest to combine the sliced apples and lemon in one bowl, and all of the dry ingredients in another bowl. 
  • When you're ready to mix the two, stirring works fine, but a bowl with a lid that you can shake is the quickest way to get your apples coated. 
  • To prevent the leaf shapes from burning, cover the whole thing in foil at the 25 minute mark. (right as you lower the temperature for the remaining hour and ten minutes.)
The fully coated apples will look like this. Seriously, I could eat the whole bowl without baking a single pie. 

The crust is much more straightforward. I follow the recipe as its written, only I roll out the dough wider than my pie pan circumference. There is enough dough to make a wide enough perimeter to cut out my leaf shapes with my autumn leaves pie crust cutters. While this exact set (pictured below) of pie crust cutters is no longer available at Williams Sonoma (I bought it several years ago), they have an extremely similar set which is currently available, and it looks like they added another cute autumn set! They are a bit of a splurge, but I will say that they are extremely durable and I have gotten a ton of use out of them. (I've owned my set since 2008) Side note: If you don't mind waiting, you can  usually get them at the end of the season on sale or clearance. 

The finished result!


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