Originally published by Sweet Lemon Magazine, October 30, 2013 – Republished with permission.
Apple is one of my favorite autumn flavors. While the fruit is available year round, it seems like apples are most crisp, tart, and delicious when there’s a bite in the air and crunchy leaves on the ground. That’s why the next adventure in baking on my my #FallBucketList is Apple Pie.
Though I’ve made apple pies before, usually involving store bought pastry dough and guess-timation, I decided to challenge myself this time by preparing Martha Stewart’s Mile High Apple Pie, as it appears Martha’s American Food.
Here are a few tricks to making an outstanding apple pie:
1) Chill your pastry!
Line your pan with the lower dough and let it chill for at least 30 minutes. For the top of the pie, roll your dough out and leave it to chill in the fridge on either a cookie sheet or pastry mat lined with parchment paper. Warm pastry sticks and stretches, which makes it very difficult to get into the correct position to seal your pie.
2) Toss your apple slices with a little lemon juice.
The acidity of the lemon juice will keep your apples from browning while you’re working on the filling. (The Mile High Apple Pie has 5.5 pounds of apples inside. Peeling, coring, and cutting them up took a while. Also, cutting the apples in half and scooping out the core with a melon baller really speeds up the process.)
3) Be kind to your apple slices.
Once you’ve added the mix of sugar, flour, and cinnamon to your sliced apples, stir everything together gently, either with your hands or with a wooden spoon. If you’re too rough, your apple slices will break. Broken slices mean that the filling won’t back evenly, because the pieces of apple are different sizes.
4) Don’t be afraid of butter.
While butter isn’t exactly the healthiest ingredient around, it adds richness to baked goods. You don’t have to use a lot, since a little goes a long way, but it definitely ups the ‘melt in your mouth’ factor of the finished pie.
5) Vent, vent, vent!
Do not forget to cut steam vents in the top of your pie. If you don’t the steam will build up and find other places to push out of the pie (like, for instance, the seam keeping the top and bottom of the pie together).
By Ally Stuart