Few things are more appealing than the sweet and tart aroma of a fresh baked apple pie coming from your kitchen. In national surveys, apple pie always tops the list of favorite pie varieties. This fruit-filled pie that uses sliced apples as its primary ingredient can be created using both top and bottom crusts, without a crust so that the apple slices shine through, or using a lattice style crust that allows the juicy slices of baked apples to peek through the openings.
Although canned apples can be used to create an apple pie, the best apples for making pies are fresh baking apples. These include Granny Smiths, Jonathan, Pippin, Jonagold, Braeburn, Fuji and Pink Lady varieties. Their flavor and consistency holds up well during the baking process. Avoid using Red or Golden Delicious apples to create your pie filling because these varieties tend to develop a mealy taste during the baking process.
Start out by determining that you have all the ingredients you need to create a perfect apple pie by checking to see if you have a pie tin in your pantry, flour and butter to create a pie crust from scratch if you are not planning on using a frozen ready-made pie crust, 8 cups of sliced baking apples, one-third cup light brown sugar, one-third cup white granulated sugar, a tablespoon of cornstarch, 2 tablespoons of butter, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, and extra milk and sugar for using on the top crust.
Start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees Farenheit (220 degrees Celcius). In a small mixing bowl, combine both light and white sugars with a quarter teaspoon each of salt and nutmeg as well as a teaspoon of cinnamon. Remove peels from whole baking apples and cut into slices until you have approximately 8 cups. Places these sliced apples into a large bowl, then sprinkle your sugar/cinnamon mixture over the freshly cut fruit, tossing the fruit gently to distribute the sugar mixture throughout. Allow this to stand for about 10 minutes to create the formation of a little natural juice.
While your apple slices are marinating in the sugar, take your pre-made frozen pie crust out of the freezer or make your own pie crust and place it into an 8 or 9-inch pie shell. Make sure that your dough overhangs the edge of the pie plate by about one-fourth of an inch. This leaves you enough dough to securely attach a top crust layer or to crimp the edges between your thumb and forefinger if you are not planning to place a top crust or lattice crust on the top but prefer to leave the pie be open-faced.
Now place your sliced apples that are marinating in the sugar and cinnamon mixture into the pie shell. Don’t worry if the mound seems high because the apples tend to shrink during the baking process. Add little chunks of butter throughout the apple mixture. This will blend with the apples’ natural juices and sugar during the baking process to create a thick syrup that will hold the sliced apples together when you cut the pie.
Now you’re ready to attach a top crust to your pie. First moisten the edges of the bottom crust, lay the top crust over the fruit and begin to crimp the edges of the pie shell in order to attach the top crust to the bottom layer. Using a very sharp knife, cut a few slits in the top pie crust to allow steam to escape during the baking process. In order to achieve a nicely browned and crispy crust, brush the top crust with a mixture of a little milk and white sugar.
Set your kitchen timer to 40 minutes after you place your pie into your pre-heated oven. When you see some juice bubbling out through the slits you made in the top crust, the apples will be nice and tender and your pie should be brought out of the oven. If during the final minutes of baking, the edges of your pie crust are browning too quickly, cover them in aluminum foil. Allow your freshly baked apple pie to cool until warm, then slice and enjoy topped with cheddar cheese, whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.