Deep Dish Apple Pie

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Who doesn’t love deep dish apple pie? I have this amazing recipe that I get to share with you right here, right now.  But first a little history about this apple pie…

I got the recipe back in the early 90’s from a friend down in Orange County, California and have been making it for Thanksgiving and special family celebrations ever since.

What makes this recipe special you ask? I’d say the millions (ok tons) of apple slices that I pile up in a mountain inside the crust.  Or maybe it’s the extra cinnamon I add to make it taste more delicious.  Or perhaps it’s my friend Janet’s pie crust recipe that is flakey and crisp under those millions of apples.  I’ve got it now…it’s the crumble topping, yes that must be it!  A mixture of butter, flour and sugar all combined to form the tastiest, decadent delight.  Oh, and don’t forget to serve with vanilla ice-cream and a glass of ice-cold milk.  Who needs chocolate cake?  I’d choose this apple pie over that any day of the week.  After you make it, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about!

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So last week I went to a local family apple orchard in our little town of Fruit Heights and picked some Golden Delicious apples.  In fact, I picked 50 pounds of apples, all by myself.  At only .40 per pound, it was a cost effective endeavor for sure.  And, although I almost fell a few times as I tripped over apples on the ground, it was a sublime experience.  I smiled to myself, as I picked these large, juicy, sweet apples at the base of our local mountains on a brisk fall day.  Life is good and I felt happy inside, as if all was right with the world.  I think perhaps I was meant to be a farm girl…I love taking freshly harvested food and making nutritious, delicious, natural, additive-free food for my family.  I even prefer this to chick flicks, manicures and sushi.  Yes, it’s true.  I took those same fresh apples and canned applesauce inspired by my sweet grandmother: chunky with cinnamon and raisins and another batch with orange zest.  But that my friend, is the subject of another post…

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Janet’s Pie Crust

  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup ice water

Make sure the butter is completely chilled.  Cut cubes of butter into slices.  Now here comes the fun part…combine the butter and flour mixture using either a food processor, fork or pastry cutter.  Recipes often say to cut the butter in until the mixture “looks like peas”.  Not true.  I found this great tutorial on making pie crust, which says the some of the butter pieces should be the size of walnuts and some the size of peas.  I’m here to tell you that this works!  I’ve tested it three times and each time the crust was flakey, crispy and well, perfect!  Also, make sure the water is completely cold by using ice.  But, don’t pour the ice into the bowl, just the water. Mix gently with your hands just until combined, then cut in half and form into the shape of a disk.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.  Do not skip this step because it’s another key to a successful pie crust.  After chilling, roll into a circle approximately 1″ larger than your pie dish.  Fold the crust under and crimp.  If you don’t know how to crimp a pie crust, watch this YouTube video to learn…

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Apple Filling

  • 9-12 Apples (Jonathan, MacIntosh, Golden Delicious-you choose)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 1/2 T corn starch

Peel and slice* apples and put into a large bowl.  Mix the sugar, cinnamon and corn starch .  Toss until the apples are all coated.  Pile those millions of apples into your prepared crust; place dish in the middle of a cookie sheet. Next, comes the best part…

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*I use my handy dandy apple peeler, corer slicer contraption to prepare the apples.  It is seriously amazing.  You must have one.  I got mine at Ross for $13.99 but they are available all over the internet.  The great thing about using this tool is the slices come out just the right width to ensure the apples cook properly.  Any thicker and your crust is overdone with hard apples.  Take my word for it, this is a must-have tool.  My kids and grandkids love to watch and eat the freshly peeled apple slices.

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Crumble Topping

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • Cinnamon

Using a fork or pastry cutter, combine all ingredients until mixture is nice and crumbly. Take this crumble in small handfuls and carefully press it on top of the apples, filling in holes and covering any apples that stick out.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Now you are ready…

Cover the edges of your crust with aluminum foil. Bake the pie at 450º for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350º and bake for 40 minutes or until apples are tender when stuck with a toothpick.  Remove foil the last 5-10 minutes.  Let pie cool for about 20 minutes.  This will allow the juices to be re-absorbed but the pie will still be warm.  Serve with vanilla ice-cream and be prepared to find true happiness!

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