Recipe Box Project: Perfect Apple Pie
It’s a new year and I still have plenty of recipes to go through–my box is still pretty full. This is a must to include for The Recipe Box Project-it actually should have been first. This is one of the first-from scratch dishes-I ever made. The recipe goes back to the ancient late eighties or early nineties. I clipped the recipe out of the newspaper in Saginaw, Michigan. It was originally a Peach Pie recipe-well-I’m sure it still is-but I like apples better. At the time, I had two wonderful peach trees in my back yard and I had no idea what to do with them.
This is how much I cherish this recipe–I even had it laminated! Now it is here in permanent print. I love that.
The list of ingredients are basic to any fruit pie recipe. The biggest difference to this recipe is the crust. It is my favorite. Now-I love a flakey, buttery crust-but this crust is savory. I love that word-savory. It is rich and handles just like play-dough. But don’t play with it–it will get tough.
Just cream together 2 sticks of softened butter and one 8 ounce package of cream cheese. I use my mixer–just because it is faster. It really mixes well. Add 2 cups of flour-and blend well. That’s it.
Separate the dough into two equal size balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and stick it in the refrigerator while you prepare the filling.
I think this is the most tedious part of an apple pie. The slicing of the apples. I am a thin slice apple pie girl. I have used my apple peeler/corer/slicer for many years now-but I didn’t have it for this pie. I left it at my other house-and well-it just showed me that when I slice the apples by hand-it makes for an amazing pie instead of just a good pie.
I mix together cornstarch, cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg, and sometimes some cloves. I also add some lemon juice to the apples. Just for a little tartness. I also am fussy about the apples I use. I stick with Jonathan or a mix of Jonathan and Golden Delicious-but I have found my favorite to be the Jonagold hybrid–if that is what they call them. A mutt of an apple.
Now we are ready for the crust and you will realize why I love this crust so much–before you actually even taste it. Just put a piece of floured wax paper down and another on top and roll to a nice circle.
It really does roll out easily. Just be sure to flour your wax paper well. It also does not roll out well without the wax paper. It also does not work well for a one crust pie–too much butter–and you also cannot substitute margarine for the butter. I’m just warning you. Remember how long I have had this recipe and trust me.
This is one of those tricks I learned from this recipe. After peeling the top wax paper off-put the crust in the bottom of a deep dish pie plate. Peel the other piece of wax paper off and fit into the pan. Just like playing with play dough. I use an egg wash (egg with 2 Tablespoons of water) to brush the bottom of the crust. It waterproofs the crust. It keeps the crust from becoming soggy from all of the juices of the apples.
Add the apples-and dot the top with butter. It really brings out the flavor of the apples. Don’t skip this step. I have forgotten many times and the pie is not as savory. I want to see how many times I can use the word savory.
Roll out the other piece of dough between new sheets of wax paper and add to the top of the apples.
This is my favorite part. The decorating. Just like play dough-I’m telling you.
Make beautiful slits in the top-brush with the remaining egg wash-sprinkle with sugar and voila! All ready for the oven.
I cover the edges with a pie shield and bake until golden brown. The perfect apple pie–at least it is in our house.
For the Crust:
2 Sticks salted butter-room temperature
8 oz Pkg Cream Cheese-room temperature
2 Cups flour
Mix butter and cream cheese together. Add flour. Mix well. Separate into 2 equal size balls. Wrap in plasic wrap and refriderate at least 30 minutes.
For the Pie:
3 pounds Tart apples
juice of 1 lemon
3/4 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
3 Tbsp Cornstarch
3 Tbsp Butter (to dot top of pie)
Egg wash ( 1 egg, 1Tbsp water)
Peel apples and slice thin. Add juice of one lemon. Mix together cornstarch and spices. Add to apples.
Roll out crust and line bottom of a deep dish pie plate. Brush with egg wash. Add apple mixture. Dot with butter. Roll out top crust and carefully place over apples and butter. Trim and flute edges. Brush with remaining egg wash and spinkle with sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until crust in golden brown. Use a pie shield or foil to protect edges from browning.