All American Apple Pie

by Laura on October 19, 2010

I struggled with apple pie for some years trying to find a way to avoid the typical apple pie pitfalls.  The apples shrunk away from their top crust, the fillings were watery or were made gummy by various thickeners, and, even with apples suitable for pie baking, they were often disappointing in texture and flavor.  Then late one night reading The Joy of Cooking I noticed a recipe for an apple pie made with sautéed apples. I never really follow recipes, but I played with the idea using an entire peck of apples for a single pie and it was the stuff of apple pie dreams.  Most apple pie recipes seem to call for about four to seven apples.  Pre cooking the apples allows you to squeeze in more than two dozen apples, ensures that your top crust will rest happily on even the highest mound of apples, and eliminates the need for a thickener.  What results is a pie with pure apple flavor and a lovely mouthfeel. This is a pie that lives up to all of the apple pie hyperbole and clichés, a pie worthy of a little flag waving, and definitely a pie worth the time it takes to make.

There are many apple varietals that are suitable for pies, but in my experience Haralsons can’t be beat.   They are a Minnesota apple, red with pale green highlights and a brown speckle or scarring.  They are quite tart and make an apple pie that is also so.  If you prefer a sweeter pie, increase the amount of sugar in the pie.

Serving  Suggestions
This pie would be delicious napped in vanilla custard, with a pour of heavy cream with a high butterfat content, a scoop of ice cream, or a thick slice of aged cheddar.  Apple pie is best served the day it is baked.  You may warm it in a 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes if you wish to serve it warm.

Music for pie baking with Minnesota apples:
Peter Ostroushko, Minneapolis-based fiddle and mandolin player
Minnesota: A History of the Land
Heart of the Heartland

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 William Nolan February 13, 2011 at 5:03 pm

I can’t believe I didn’t see this posting! Ahh! I love apple pie!

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