Late last week ...
Husband: "Do you know what I would like? I would like an apple pie."
Wife (me): "Okay."
Two days later ...
Wife: "Do you like your apples sliced or chunky?"
Husband: "Sliced thin." Pause. Looks up from doing our taxes. "Are you making me a pie?!?!"
Husband: "Wow. I am the luckiest man alive." (or something to that effect - lol)
Yes, I do love my husband very much. And I do love to bake. So if you ask me for an apple pie, you'll get a homemade apple pie.
And since it's been a while since I've made one, I consulted what I consider the bible of cooking and baking: "How to Cook Everything" by Mark Bittman.
Ohhh, I love this book. Love love love it! Seriously, if I need a recipe for something - anything - I turn to this first, then Google second.
Let's see, what do I love about this book (and Mark himself)? I love that he is not a trained chef. I love that nearly everything is covered in this one ginormous sized cookbook (808 pages of recipes - that total doesn't include the glossary or index!). I love that the recipes are (as he says) easy, virtually fool-proof, and delicious. Oh and I love that his name is in green letters on his website.
Tony could not get enough of this pie. I think the ultimate compliment when you make something for someone is when they go for a second serving and cut it larger than the first piece. I tried a bite (despite my allergy issues!) and I must say it was pretty darn good pie. I admit though, I didn't make the crust from scratch this time, but Pillsbury sure did pull through for me and it was an awesome crust. Here is the recipe I used with some of my own changes:
Traditional Apple Pie (page 687 in the cookbook)
1/4 cup brown sugar (generous measurement)
1/8 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
4 Gala apples, peeled and sliced into 1/4" slices
2 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into bits
1 tablespoon of milk
1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (2 pieces)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel and slice the apples into 1/4" slices and put them in a large bowl. (Note: I only bought 4 apples and the pie was not as tall as most pies, but lucky for me that Tony likes flatter pies.) As you peel each one, sprinkle a little bit of lemon juice on top so that they don't turn brown. Add the flour (which will make the pie less runny) and stir to coat the slices. Add the spices, sugars, and salt making sure to coat the slices well. Place one piece of the crust in the bottom of your pie dish, then pour the filling in. Dot with pieces of butter, then place the second crust on top. Crimp the edges together to seal, then slice three 2" cuts in the middle of the pie to allow steam to come out. Brush milk on the top of the crust. Place the dish on a baking pan (just in case the juices run over while it bakes) and put in the oven for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and then bake for 40-50 minutes depending on your oven. Remove from the oven and let it cool down for at least an hour before you dig into it.