Today was one of those crisp fall days that cries out for apple pie. Maybe it was the shift in barometric pressure, or just the sun finally coming out again that gave me that extra oomph to get baking.
honeycrisp apples from Highland Orchard in WilmingtonThis time of year in the northeast, there is no excuse for buying trucked-in supermarket apples. The local orchards have any kind of apple you could want. Here in Delaware we have Fifer Orchards in Wyoming, Highland Orchards right here in Wilmington, and just over the line in Elkton, Maryland is Milburn Orchards. We stopped in at Highland today because they are so close and I love their honeycrisp apples (yes, they are crisp and taste like honey).
inside the Highland Orchards storeThe family-owned orchard and farm is hemmed in by residential developments and it amazes me that they've resisted selling out. I hope they stay forever, so I like to support them and get eggs and produce there. They have goats, chickens, pigs, rabbits, ducks, and peacocks for the kids to observe. It's a nice little outing.
My pie recipe is nothing exotic. I use Martha Stewart's pate brisee recipe for the crust which only sounds fancy. It uses butter instead of shortening, that's about it. I don't use a food processor as Martha recommends since I don't own a full-size one. A pastry cutter works fine and little helper-hands love to use it. The part about using very cold butter and chilling the crust dough is important. The goal is for the little nuggets of butter in the dough to retain some separation, so when they melt in baking, it makes the crust flaky.
For the filling I use my trust Betty Crocker 10" pie recipe but with half the sugar and little lemon juice added:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh, if you can)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of salt
8 cups peeled and sliced apples (chunky!)
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in apples. Dump into your pastry-lined plate. Dot with butter and sprinkle with lemon juice. Cover with top crust, seal edge with a fork, and cut slits in it. Cover edge with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Bake until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust, 50 minutes or so.
I got this nutmeg grinder for Christmas a few years ago and use it a lot this time of year. You can get them at Williams-Sonoma. I never knew what a whole nutmeg looked like until I got this.
I likes it chunky!
Nothing like a fresh pie cooling on the windowsill. Heaven! The weekend is coming- you'll have time...