Autumn’s Best Apple Pie

by | Dessert, Pies

Autumn’s Best Apple Pie

The sweet smell of apples and warm spices baking inside of a buttery pastry is the first smell of Autumn.

Autumn’s Scent

Can you smell the spices of Autumn when you look at this scrumptious apple pie? All summer it’s been light and fruity desserts. The days are shorter, the sun less intense and you have already stacked firewood for the season just ahead. Nothing says Autumn, like an apple pie. Sorry pumpkin, you will get your turn. Besides no one knows if a pumpkin is a fruit or a vegetable, and since summer is still lingering in the air, we still want fruit! We want warm spices that smell of holidays promise hanging in the air. We want a buttery pastry wrapped around a beautifully baked apple. We want this pie, Autumn’s Best Apple Pie!

Open Apple Pie

Not every apple pie needs a crust on top. If an apple pie is baked open and without a crust, the natural sugars in the apple caramelizes in the heat, which gives a golden color to the tips of the apples. Sometimes I like to take a few pie crust scraps left over, roll them out and press a few shapes to lay across the top before baking but still leave the apples exposed.

Open Apple Pie


Covered Apple Pie

As is often the traditional style of baking an apple pie, a second crust is rolled out and placed on top of the mound of apples, piercing a few steam holes in the top. The apples steam/bake in a covered apple pie but don’t take on the golden color they would if the pie is open, however a cover crusted apple pie makes for a very impressive pie, visually.

Pastry Covered Apple Pie

Apple Orchards

Apple Picking

When is the last time you visited an apple orchard, or have you? So many varieties of sweet apples hanging on trees. So many sweet apples fallen to the ground with bees having their sip. The smell of the damp sweet earth, the smell of the wood of the tree, the smell of those apples!

Granny Smith apples aren’t the only apples good for apple pie baking. Years ago I lived up state New York, in the town of Ithaca, where Cornell University is. By the first of September, people had already taken out sweaters, switched their wardrobe from summer whites and pastels to the warm earthy colors, plaids and flannels of Autumn. The chill was in the air. Apple cider was already filling everyone’s cup, with or without a little booze. Which, by the way, you will not want to skip through Autumn without trying my Apple Cider Toddy! Talk about the warm spices of Autumn, kissed with a little rum!

Spiced Apple Cider

Some of my favorite apples from up state New York were the Stayman Winesap, Jonathan and Cortland apples. These apples are tart and sweet and are so delicious in baked goods, that is if you don’t eat them all before you can cook with them.

Apple Season

It’s easy to see why an Autumn Apple Pie became the national dessert of America. Careful planting of a variety of apple seeds, which probably came from England, throughout the states of New York, Pennsylvania Virginia and Ohio, led to an abundant harvest of fruit in early Autumn. Apples then were able to be preserved, canned or dried for use in a variety of recipes throughout the cold winter months when there were no fresh fruits available in most states.

While freezers were not common in homes back in early times of America, they certainly have become common place in the home now, sometimes owning more than one. Apples freeze beautifully, and when thawed for the baking of an Autumn Apple Pie, in the dead of winter, they will be almost as juicy and sweet as when you prepared them, far better than canning in my opinion. So, be certain to visit the farmers markets during Autumn, stock up and freeze bundles of freshly peeled, cored and sliced apples. When you are ready to bake your pie, all the work will already be done!

Apple Pie Cooking in the 19th Century

Imagine, for just a moment, Kitchen Life 200 Years Ago. What it would be like to want a slice of delicious Autumn Apple Pie, but first you must milk your own cows, in order to make your own butter. Pick your own apples and carry bushels of them back to your kitchen by horse drawn wooden carts. Once you have finally assembled the luscious pie ingredients you are about to bake (one week later), now you must gather wood, build a fire inside the iron fire stove before you can begin to smell the sweet aroma of a freshly baked Autumn Apple Pie…

The most amazing thing was laid right in my lap about ten-years ago. The original, handwritten pages from the late 1800’s, by a woman, Adelaide Hall, about life in her kitchen growing up on her farm. It was intended to be published into a book, but I will never know the story as to why it wasn’t. In the pages, which were written in quill and ink on a paper that has yet to crumble and disintegrate, I found stories about apple picking, apple pie making, their first stove at home and life, unlike anything we can imagine now.

Long story, which I will share in my Lifestyle section, but I spent months deciphering her story, compiled it into a paperback book, of which you can purchase on Amazon through my store. Here are the pages from the original writings about apple picking, apple pie making a more apple stories in her kitchen as a little girl growing up in a northern state in America, which gets bitter cold in the winter. Enjoy, and by all means, pick up a copy for yourself, your children or your grandchildren. But first, let’s make our own, very easy Autumn Apple Pie! Whew, thank goodness we don’t live back then!

Ingredients Needed

  • Pie Crust
  • Apples
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Cream
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Cardamom
  • Salt
  • Cornstarch or flour
  • Butter

Equipment Needed

  • Cutting board
  • Chopping knife
  • Rolling pin
  • Pie Baking Dish
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Mixing bowl
  • Slotted spoon
  • Baking sheet pan – optional to set baking dish on
  • Fork
  • Oven

Autumn’s Best Apple Pie

Recipe by rdaumitCourse: Dessert, PiesCuisine: American
Servings

6

servings

The sweet smell of apples and warm spices baking inside of a buttery pastry is the first smell of Autumn.

Ingredients

  • All-Butter Pie Crust

  • Apples of your choice – 6, peeled, cored and thinly sliced

  • Eggs – 2

  • Sugar – 3/4 cup, refined or brown – extra to sprinkle on top crust

  • Cream – 2 tablespoons

  • Cloves – 1/4 teaspoon

  • Cinnamon – 1 1/2 tablespoon

  • Cardamom – 1/2 teaspoon

  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon

  • Cornstarch or Flour – 1/4 cup

  • Butter – 4 tablespoons, melted

Directions

  • Prepare pie crust inside of the apple pie baking pan of your choice. Roll out pie crust scraps to place either a top or cut out’s on top the apples before baking. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, place the apples and melted butter. Coat all the apples gently with the melted butter.
  • In a small bowl mix the sugar, spices and cornstarch or flour. Sprinkle across the apples and quickly mix and incorporated throughout the apples.
  • In a small bowl, fork whip the eggs and cream. Pour over the apple mixture and toss to incorporate throughout.
  • Transfer to the prepared pie crust. Place pie crust top or cut out’s on top, if you plan to use them. Fork pierce a few holes on top the pie crust if a crust cover is being used. Sprinkle a little sugar on top of pie crust top.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 400. Lower to 350 and continue baking until crust is golden and apples are firm and no longer jiggle, about 45-50 minutes.

Notes

  • Cooling the pie allows the filling to set.
  • Can be left out room temperature for 2 days. If any remains, store covered in the fridge.
Autumn’s Best Apple Pie
 

My Muffin Madness

 

In my family, I’ve always been known as the ‘Muffin Queen’. Out of necessity, I created muffins for breakfast, lunch, on the go snacks, sometimes dinner and a sweet yet healthyish treat for dessert!

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