Fall is in the air, there are a ton of apples just right for the picking, and my house is filled with the smell of apple pie and apple crisp cooking. Even the puppy keeps sniffing the air to find where the wonderful aroma is coming from.
Growing up, I never liked apple pie. I liked my apples fresh and crisp, preferably just picked off the tree. Nothing like picking them yourself and wiping one in your flannel shirt to shine it up, all pretty, just before biting into it. Even though I never cared for apple pie I still enjoyed making them. A lot of people stress over all of the steps it takes, but into today’s world there a ton of wonderful gadgets to make the task much easier. I start by using my apple, peeler, corer purchased from Pampered Chef (although they can be purchased elsewhere). As I am peeling, coring and slicing I put the apples into a cold water bath with ice and lemon juice (it helps to keep their natural white color. Like potatoes apples can turn a rusty color once they are peeled). For this recipe you need 6 good sized apples. By all means if you don’t have the gadget to do this feel free to do it the old fashioned way, by hand and knife.
Classic Crisco Pie Crust
1 1/3 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ stick well-chilled Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening Sticks OR 1/2 cup well-chilled Crisco® All-Vegetable Shortening
3 to 6 tablespoons ice cold water
TIP: Test dough for proper moistness by squeezing a marble-sized ball of dough in your hand. If it holds together firmly, do not add any additional water. If the dough crumbles, add more water by the tablespoonful, until dough is moist enough to form a smooth ball when pressed together.
½ cup very cold butter cut into small chunks
¾ cup all purpose flour
I also make the crumb topping in the food processer. Takes only the time to pour the ingredients in and to maybe 30 seconds to whir it all together to the cornmeal stage. However, if you don't have a processor you can to it by hand with a fork or pastry cutter. Set aside.
6-7 pie apples (on the tart and crisp side)
Juice from one orange (about 2 ounces)
1tsp. lemon juice
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg.
Assembling the entire Pie
Arrange the coated apples in unbaked piecrust. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the apples. Place pie onto foil lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes until golden brown and apples are tender. Check pie half way through the baking time and cover the edges of the crust with foil if necessary to prevent burning.
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