How to Make: All-American Apple Pie

While I love to bake, and have made my share of crisps, tarts, cobblers and other fruit desserts, I’ve always been a bit intimidated by the double-crust pie. So when my daughter asked to make a classic apple pie for Thanksgiving, I thought, No time like the present to tackle the double-crust together.

It was fun! The result was a particularly yummy apple pie, a wonderful afternoon in the kitchen, a little pride, and the desire to bake all kinds of things with our newfound double-crusting ability.

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Here’s how you can make a classic apple pie.

For the crust:

2 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 stick butter, chilled and cut in small pieces
5 Tbsp. vegetable shortening
6 Tbsp. ice water

For the filling:

1/2 – 3/4 c. sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. lemon peel
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 lbs. apples (approx. 5), cored, peeled and cut into thin slices.
(Galas or other less sweet cooking apples are a good choice.)
2 Tbsp. butter

Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon peel and lemon juice and let sit until the crust is prepared.

CRUST

Stir flour, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl.

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Add butter and shortening and, working quickly with a pastry blender or fingertips, combine until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

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Sprinkle on ice water, approx. 2 Tsbp. at a time, until dough sticks together.

Roll into a ball and refrigerate for at least one hour.

Remove dough from refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 425.

Divide dough into pieces of 1/3 and 2/3 of the original.

On floured surface, roll large dough piece with a rolling pin until it is approx. 1/4 inch thick and large enough to fit into the pie plate bottom and sides.

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Gently work dough into the bottom of the pie plate. There should be a little bit of overhang over the lip of the plate.

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Fill with desired filling into a fairly rounded shape.

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To fill with apples, make one layer of apple slices. Slices can overlap. Then sprinkle with the sugar mixture. Add another layer of apples and sprinkle. Repeat if desired. When the last layer is done, dot at intervals with small pieces of butter.

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Roll out the remaining dough until it is approx. 1/4 inch thick and place it over the filling. Prick dough with a fork to let air out while the pie is cooking or cut out decorative shapes with a cookie cutter. (You can do this step while the dough is still on the work surface. You have to then place the top crust dough fairly evenly over the filling.) If you’d like, you can make decorative fork marks around the outside of the crust.

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Bake for approx. 40  minutes or until the crust is slightly browned and the fruit mixture is soft, even liquid in places.

Serve and enjoy!

Your pie may not last long! But you’ll be such an expert that you can whip up another.

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Photos by Susan Sachs Lipman

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