I love this time of year, and one of my favorite pies that go with this weather and season is an apple pie. There are a lot of apple pie recipes out there, but this is the one I like the best.
The apples I like to bake and cook with are the green Granny Smith apples. The Granny Smith apple is a crisp, tart, juicy and versatile apple, and they are available year-round. They are best for baking as they retain their shape during baking.
Other varieties you can use are Jonagold or Braeburn. Both are a good cooking/baking apple and can be found in the grocery store year-round.
Pastry for a 2-crust pie
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla
5 to 6 cups peeled, thinly-sliced cooking apples
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine in a large bowl flour, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add apples and vanilla and gently toss to coat. Spread apple mixture in pastry shell. Dot the top of apples in several places with butter.
Place second pastry on top. Seal and form a decorative edge as desired. Cut slits in top crust so steam can escape.
Sprinkle top of pie with a little cinnamon/sugar mixture.
Cover edge of pie with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake additional 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Serve it with a little ice cream on top.
For the pastry, I will on occasion use the pre-made, ready to fill and bake crusts. There are two in a box, and they actually are really good. However, if you have the time, there is nothing like a homemade crust.
Pastry for 2-Crust Pie
2 cups plain/all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup shortening
4 to 5 tablespoons cold water
Mix together flour and salt in mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender or a fork, cut-in shortening until mixture is the consistency of small peas. Sprinkle water over mixture. Stir gently with a fork until dough leaves sides of bowl. Mixture should be moist enough to form a ball but not be sticky.
Divide dough in half. Shape first half of dough into a ball. Flatten on lightly floured board or pastry cloth. Use rolling pin and roll out into a circle about 1 inch larger than rim of pie plate or tin.
Place into pie plate, being careful not to stretch pastry. For top crust, repeat procedure, carefully placing pastry over apples. Fold top crust under bottom crust, then press to form a decorative edge as desired.