Not exactly apple pie - but it has apples in it!

In which our hero seeks the forgiveness of her colleagues and readers for wildly tardy blog post.
Augh!  I love apple pie, and I love making apple pie and I was really looking forward to this day!  Sadly, however, I ended up working very very late last night and, in the course of that work, completely forgot about my blog until this morning.  So terrible.  That is why you have to make do with the picture of Apple Blackberry pie (above) instead of true Apple Pie – because, funny about that, I’m at work and I don’t tend to keep pictures of my creations at work.  This was just a fluke.

In any event, this post will be short (unusual for me).  It goes like this:

Apple Pie is the quintessential American dessert.  As the saying goes, “American as Apple Pie.”  Of course, as with many patriotic sayings, there may be some hyperbole involved.  Check out this link for an interesting discussion on the history of apple pie and whether Americans have any exclusive claim to the dish.

I believe that the best apple pie is a deep dish apple crumble pie.  That’s the apple pie I like to make.  I will share the recipe with you with the caveat that I’ve been making it for many many years which means that I long ago stopped measuring anything (if I ever did).  First of all, the pastry.  I follow the recipe, generally, on the back of the Fluffo box.  I told you about this in a previous post.

The filling:

1. Use tart apples of the firm flesh variety – granny smith, gravenstein, mutsu, pink lady, fiesta, paula red.

2. Peel them and slice them paper thin.  You can even cut the paper thin slices in half.

3. Toss in a bowl with lots of cinnamon, some brown sugar, some lemon juice, some nutmeg, some cornstarch or flour and some heavy cream.

4. Roll out your pastry and place in a deep dish pie plate, making nice fluted edges if you want.

5.  Dump your apple mixture into the pastry.  Dot the apples with pats of butter.

6. Top with crumble topping which you make using equal parts brown sugar, whole oats, flour and butter (usually I use one cup of each) that you mash up with your fingers.

7. Slide the whole mess into a large brown paper grocery bag.  Staple the end closed and put in a pre-heated 425 degree oven.  Trust me – the paper won’t burn.  If you don’t believe me, look here for an account from the Elegant Farmer regarding “the best pie in America”. It’s a paper bag pie.

8.  Bake for 15 minutes at 425 and then turn the heat down to 350 and bake for around an hour (unless you have disregarded my direction about the deep dish pie plate and are using a standard pie plate – what’s the point? – in which case, you might have a finished pie in 35 – 40 minutes).

9. Carefully slice open the paper bag – watch out for escaping steam – to check that your pastry is nicely browned.

10. Eat pie.


As an additional treat – you can make the same basic pie recipe but add fresh berries to the apple mixture (which necessitates an increase in the amount of flour or cornstarch you use) to obtain yourself a mixed apple berry pie such as the Apple Blackberry Pie in the picture here.  I think my all time greatest triumph in pie-making came in the form of an Apple Raspberry Pie that several people described as, “the best pie I have ever had”.  So I recommend mixing berries with the apples.