I’ve mentioned before that I was practically raised on pie. Every holiday (and sometimes just Sunday Dinner) during my childhood involved at least two pies, but more like five or six, of every variety you could possibly dream of. My favorite summertime pie is apple…mmm…warm apple pie with cold vanilla ice cream. Heaven on a plate!
My mom makes the best apple pie I’ve ever had, but when I ask her how she makes it she says, “Oh, you know, a little of this, a little of that.” Not exactly a recipe that this chica can follow. I wish I was one of those people who could cook and bake by “feel” and “look” but it’s just never going to happen. I’m a Virgo, for Pete’s sake.
For Memorial Day this year, I decided to break away from cake and cupcakes and go the pie route. My goal was to finally make an apple pie that didn’t turn to goo in the middle and run out all over the plate, and I finally figured it out. My previous apple pie recipe called for flour to thicken the filling, but I switched to cornstarch and it worked! No goo!
A few tips for this recipe: make sure you slice your apples to a consistent thickness so they bake evenly. Give the apples plenty of time to macerate, the natural juices from the apples are much better than substituting apple juice. And finally, don’t overbake your pie crust. Watch it, use a pie shield, foil, whatever you have. Don’t overbake it. Pie crust is supposed to be tender and flaky, not crispy and crunchy. If you have extra pie crust, cut some pretty shapes out and decorate your pie…or even better, put them on a cookie sheet with a little butter, sugar and cinnamon and bake them. And then fight over who gets to eat them, because they’re fabulous. And try not to burn your mouth – let them cool first. Not that I’d know anything about that…patience is not a strong point of mine…
Enjoy this one! It’s a great summer dessert!
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Facebook: Lemon Sugar
6 apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced (Use a good pie apple, whichever you prefer.)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 and 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1 stick butter
1/8 to 1/4 cup cornstarch
2-crust Pie Crust
*Apple juice may be required
*Extra sugar and cinnamon for decoration if desired
In a large bowl, combine peeled/sliced apples with lemon juice, 1 and 1/4 cups sugar and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Let the fruit macerate for 2-3 hours, or up to 5 hours.
Prepare the pie crust, and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Drain the juice from the apples and set juice aside. Pour apples into crust. You should have 1-2 cups of “juice” from the apples. *If you don’t have that much, supplement with apple juice.
In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over low-medium heat, combine juice from apples, butter, salt and 1/4 cup of cornstarch. Whisk constantly until mixture begins to thicken. If it doesn’t thicken, add a little more cornstarch, a teaspoon at a time until it does, keeping in mind that once it’s boiling, it’s the thickest it’s going to get. (Don’t over do it or the mixture will get TOO thick and will be a ruined glob.) Pour the thickened mixture over the apples in the pie crust, and stir/mix lightly into apples. Sprinkle the top of the mixture with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar. Top with remaining pie crust, and pinch sides to seal. Slice 4-5 small vent holes in the top of the pie, and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon.
Bake for 45-55 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Use foil or a pie-crust shield to prevent over-browning if necessary. Let pie cool to room temperature (or slightly above) before serving with whipped cream or ice cream. Enjoy!