Do Granny Smith apples even have a season? Either way, if you’ve never made pie with Granny Smith apples, give it a go. We can wait until fall to take advantage of the delicious local varieties.
Granny Smith apples are tart, and although when baked in this pie its toned down, it still shines through, giving this pie the little flavor punch it needs. Cinnamon is used to balance out that flavor and fill the kitchen with that lovely cinnamon, sugar, and apple smell. Just thinking about the smell makes me want to run to the kitchen to make another pie.
For this pie, I use my All Purpose Pie Crust recipe; however, if you have a favorite crust recipe then by all means use it! Just make sure that you have a double crust (a top and a bottom).
For the last couple years I’ve been slicing my apples with a corer/slicer. It is helpful, but absolutely not necessary. I made this many times peeling and slicing the apples by hand, and it is equally as tasty. I do find it best, though, to make sure the apple slices are thin. Try not to succumb to the typical wedges.
If you are worried about the tartness, and pondering switching out part (or all) of the Granny Smith for a sweeter variety – don’t! It would be too sweet and wouldn’t have that nice balanced taste. If you want to use another variety of apple, then I fully endorse experimenting, but I would reduce the sugar in the recipe if I were you. Regardless, have fun – happy baking!
Robert's Favorite Apple Pie
A cinnamony sweet pie, made with Granny Smith apples.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put the butter in a small pot on the stove over med-low heat.
When the butter is melted, add the flour, sugar, and brown sugar. Stir until combined.
Add the lemon juice and water. Stir, and bring to a boil. Let boil for two minutes and then remove from heat.
In a mixing bowl, pour the sauce from the pot over the apple slices. Use two forks to toss the apples (the sauce will be hot).
Once the apples are coated in sauce, sprinkle the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg over them, and toss again until the apples are evenly coated.
Pour the apples into a pie dish with a prepared bottom crust. Drizzle any remaining sauce from the bowl over the apples.
Place the top crust over the apples, and seal the edges to the bottom crust.
Cut vents in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Place a sheet of tinfoil over the top.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Remove the tinfoil* and continue baking for 35-40 minutes. *Note: If you would like to farther protect the edges of the crust, instead of removing the tinfoil completely, rearrange the tinfoil so that it only covers the edges, and leave it over the edges for an additional 5 minutes.
I will be the first to admit, I hate making pies. And to be more specific, I hate making pie crust. Getting that nice, flaky crust with the right balance of flavor and texture… it just didn’t come easy for me. I can’t be the only one. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you want to look at it) for me, my apple pie gets requested at least a couple times a year. So I have had more than a few years to slowly learn how to work with pie dough. I hate to say it, but pie dough still makes me want to turn around and walk the other way… but at least now it’s a walk, not a run. And I can also admit that when I take the time to make it, I make a darn good crust!
So now that you understand my position, I would like to announce that I am stepping up and confronting my discomfort. The next few weeks will be recipes that involve pie dough. I’ll start by sharing the very first building block: the pie dough recipe that I’ve found works best for me. I’ve tried more than a few recipes… some fancy, some simple. What I’ve landed on is simple. It’s a slight variation of this Genius Kitchen recipe. Do note, that a big part of what makes a perfect pie crust is not the ingredients, but the process. It took me an embarrassingly long time to figure this out. If you struggle with your dough game too, here are the top 10 lessons I’ve learned over the years.
- Chill. Chill the butter. Chill the shortening. Chill the water. Chill your attitude.
Dough makes me nervous, so I tend to throw everything together and go. What that means is I end up with a sticky, overworked mess. It pays to make sure your ingredients are cold, and that you’ve taken a deep breath to calm your mind.
- Start with a little water, then add more if needed. I almost always need less water than I initially think I’ll add. On that same note…
- You only need enough water so that your flour mixture doesn’t completely crumble. The flakiest of crusts almost resembles a pile of four before its rolled out… the important this is that when it is pressed/rolled, it sticks together.
- Let the dough (pre-rolling) sit (covered in plastic wrap) in the fridge. This lets the fats get cold again, but also lets the moisture even out among the flour.
- If you’re going to be doing fancy weaves or cutouts, its easier to do if you substitute more butter for shortening, and work it a little more than you otherwise would (but don’t overdo it).
- Rolling the dough between two sheets of parchment paper means you don’t need to use any extra flour (more taste, less cleanup).
- A cake lifter makes a lovely pie dough lifter as well… I’ll use it if the dough is really fragile. Otherwise, I just use the parchment paper I rolled it out with to flip it onto the dish.
- If the bottom crust cracks (or breaks) and ends up looking like Frankenstein, likely nobody is going to care (and depending on the pie, they also might never know). Just roll with it.
- If you’re making a fruit pie, brushing the top of the bottom crust with egg white will help prevent the fruit juice from turning the bottom crust into a soggy mess.
- You can use tinfoil to prevent the top from burning. At the start, I like to cover the full thing, then I cover just the edges, and finally I remove all the tinfoil.
All Purpose Pie Crust
This is a lovely flaky pie crust dough. Ingredients are enough to make a top and bottom, as well as some pie dough cookies with leftover scraps.
In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour and salt.
Cut the shortening and butter into smaller chunks, and scatter throughout the flour mixture.
Use a pastry cutter to work the butter into the flour. You should end up with "chunky flour"... a relatively loose mixture with pea-sized chunks of butter/shortening in it.
Sprinkle the vanilla and water over the chunky flour. Use your hands to distribute the liquid evenly throughout the chunky flour. At this point, you'll have your dough... try to work it as little as possible. It is ready when the flour starts barely coming together. If the flour doesn't come together, keep adding water a little at a time. Try not to go beyond 3/4 total cup of water.
Lay out two sheets of plastic wrap, and divide the dough so that one part is slightly bigger than the other. Put the dough pieces in their respective sheets of plastic wrap. Cover them completely in the wrap, and them press them into a disc. Put these in the refrigerator for two hours.
After two hours, the dough is ready to be rolled out.
Hello, and welcome to The Wright PLAYce Eats! This is my little blog that revolves around the recipes I have come to know and love. I’ll keep this brief – there are only a couple points I want to drive home:
- Everything on here is from me, personally. I will never post about a recipe I haven’t tried, nor a product I can’t stand behind.
- I’m a baking (and cooking) enthusiast, but not a professional. My experience over the years has lent itself to some insights that I hope to share along the way… but I will not pretend to be a master of this craft. With that in mind, I hope you will join me on this journey; learn from my mistakes and rejoice in the delicious foods we eat!