Spiced Apple Pie

March Farm First Cut 018

It's apple time!

Here is my current favorite apple pie recipe, using tart green apples and spices.  Feel free to substitute other varieties of apples.  I do like a tart one myself, but follow your personal preferences, or use whatever's available.  Romes are a reliable baking variety. Macintoshes can be a little soft once baked, and turn into an "applesauce" filling.

6 large (2-1/2 to 3 pounds) apples (ex: Greenings / Granny Smith)

1 T lemon juice

2 T butter, melted

1/3- 1/2 cup brown sugar (depending on the sweetness of the apples)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. cardamon

Pie crust (see recipe from previous post, below)

1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 T light cream

1 egg white, mixed with 1 tsp. water

1 T sugar mixed with 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (depending on your cinnamon preference)

Crust dust: 1 T flour mixed with 1 T sugar

Prepare the pie crust.  The top of the pie will be covered with crust (not a lattice top) so roll out the second disc in a big circle.  Using a pastry brush, brush the crust with the egg white mixture and set aside to dry while you prepare the apples. You will not use all the egg white.

Core, peel, and slice the apples.  (I do not always peel the apples - it's up to you.) Put in a big bowl and stir in the lemon juice, to prevent browning.  Stire in the melted butter, then the the sugar and spices.  If you like, you can mix the sugar and spices all together first to ensure even distribution of the spices.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and assemble the pie:

Sprinkle the crust dust on the pie crust.  Add the apples, piling up in the center a bit. Cover with the top crust.  Press the edges together.  (There are many ways to do this - a topic for another blog post.  But however you do it, sloppy or neat, it will all get eaten.) Brush the top crust with the egg yolk and light cream mixture.  You will not use all of it. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top.  Using a sharp paring knife, make some air vent slits on the crust.  Feel free to be creative here.

I cover the edges with foil because in my oven they tend to brown too soon.  I've tried the pie-edge cover called Tan Don't Burn (clever name and idea, I thought, recalling the old Coppertone commercial) but found it didn't work well for my oven. I just keep an eye on the edges and the top, because that can also get a little too brown.  Be ready to cover the whole pie loosely with a piece of foil if it's browning too quickly.

After 15 minutes at 400 degrees, turn the oven down to 350 and bake for another 40 to 45 minutes.  The juices should be bubbling out of the air vents a little.   Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or homemade whipped cream.  Sigh with deep satisfaction, then cut yourself another piece.  Try to save some for breakfast.