First, a belated Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers… and that includes those of you who are moms to furry friends! Now on to apple pie….
I made apple pie yesterday for Mother’s Day and today it’s National Apple Pie Day – perfect timing! I already have a rather detailed apple pie recipe here on the blog (click HERE to see it..) but I’m simplifying it for those who want ‘from-scratch’ with a bit more ease… the same recipe, but modified for those who struggle with rolling a crust and getting it into a pie plate.
Easy Apple Pie Recipe:
First, prepare an apple filling (or in a time crunch, purchase a jar of filling). If you are preparing from scratch, this should be done before making your crust, so the apples can bake while you work on the crust. Since your apples won’t be placed in your crust until you’re ready to serve, bake (or heat up) your filling in an oven-proof bowl… make sure to cover with foil or an oven-proof lid so they don’t dry out while baking.
3 Large Granny Smith apples
3 Large Cortland or Cameo apples (or other slightly sweet apple of your choice)
3/4 C white sugar
1 (heaping) tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 Tbsp flour
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large ovenproof bowl/dish, whisk together sugar, spices, and flour.
- Peel apples and cut into whatever size pieces you prefer.
- Add apples to bowl, and stir until pieces are mixed well with your dry ingredients.
- Cover bowl with foil and bake 45 minutes at 425 degrees F. This should get your apples VERY soft (which is how I prefer them)… you can adjust your baking time to reflect how well done you like your apples. You can check to see how tender they are by poking a fork in them.
3 C flour (all-purpose – or whole wheat pastry flour works great also!)
1 1/3 C shortening, cut into ~1 inch pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vinegar
4 Tbsp. ice-cold water
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In large bowl, cut shortening in to flour/salt with a pastry blender, fork or wooden spoon. Blend until crumbly. If using utensils is frustrating for you, just grease and flour your hands, and blend it together with your hands. Don’t overmix – just until you have something that roughly resembles a dough… the shortening doesn’t need to be 100% blended in at this point, but it should be in small pieces.
- Add egg, vinegar, cold water and stir dough until the egg is well-incorporated and the liquid starts to ‘settle’ in (what I mean by this is: most likely the dough will seem way too wet and you wonder what went wrong – keep stirring/mashing and it will begin to firm up… stop right once it begins to firm up and any excess liquid is mixed in; again, you don’t want to over-mix).
- Generously flour a surface to place your dough (I highly recommend parchment, but a clean table/counter is fine if you use ample flour).
- Place your dough (rolling only half the dough at a time may be easier) onto floured surface and flatten it somewhat, then sprinkle the top lightly with a little more flour. Lightly flour the top of your dough as well. Now roll your dough to about 1/4 inch thick. If you have trouble with your rolling pin sticking, you can place a sheet of parchment or wax paper on top of your dough and roll on top of the paper. If you don’t have a rolling pin, grab a round bottle of something handy (wine, olive oil, or even a tall glass will substitute).
- You now have two simple options for baking a pie crust without fussing with a pie plate:
- Place rolled dough onto a cookie sheet (if you used parchment paper, you can leave it on the parchment and just set it on top of a cookie sheet) and bake as is. You’ll want to bake about 15min. at 425 degrees F… until the dough is golden. Let your crust cool, and then cut or break into pieces. Place a chunk into a bowl and spoon pre-baked filling on top and enjoy!
- Make pie ‘cups’ using a muffin tin. Cut your rolled dough into approximately 5 inch squares (more or less depending on the size of your muffin tin). Drape a dough square into each tin and shape it – you’ll likely need to tear off some of the dough at the top, so there’ aren’t any excessively thick edges (if you’re motivated, you could cut dough circles to avoid this issue). Poke bottoms of tins with a fork a couple times prior to baking so that they don’t puff up too much in the middle. Bake until crusts are golden. Fill centers with pre-baked apple filling and enjoy!
Tip –preparing in advance: Mix up your crust dough in advance and freeze the uncooked dough ball. When ready to use, thaw overnight in fridge and set out for about an hour at room temp before rolling. Your cooked apple filling can also be frozen and reheated when ready to use.
Happy Apple Pie Day!