Sunday, November 16, 2014

Award-winning apple pie

I am sharing an award-winning apple pie recipe with you today. It is from a woman named Grandma Ople, whose granddaughter shared it on Allrecipes.com.  This recipe won several pie contests and has been rated 5 stars (out of 5) by over 6000 people. Grandma Ople did not provide her crust recipe, so I found one from a cookbook that showcases other award-winning pie recipes.

When I make recipes, I usually have them bookmarked for a while, and I normally have an idea of what I will bake each week. This pie, however, was baked on a whim. I still had a plethora of apples left over from my apple picking adventures, so an apple pie was just screaming to be made. Since Grandma Ople's recipe looked extremely promising, I went ahead and tried it out.

The crust was very easy to make, and it did not require a food processor or too much hands-on time. I grated the butter with a cheese grater so I wouldn't get clumps of butter throughout the crust. It rolled out very easily, and I attempted to create a lattice top as well.

My husband's grandmother apparently made the best apple pie ever, and sadly, I never got to try it since she passed before I met my husband. The good news is that this pie measures up to it. My reaction when I tried a bite of this? "Oh man, this is good." Although I used Fuji apples, which are sweeter than Granny Smiths, this apple pie wasn't too sweet. The caramel sauce is fairly minimal and uses just enough to coat the apples, whereas other recipes have the apples almost swimming in sauce. The crust was flaky and buttery and had a nice balance to the caramel-y apples.

Thanks for this fantastic recipe, Grandma Ople. I hope that it brings much joy to others like it did with my family.

Award-winning apple pie
Crust (makes enough for a bottom and a top crust)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter (cold)
  • 5-6 Tablespoons cold water
Filling
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 6-8 apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I used 6 large Fuji apples but Granny Smith will work)
Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Make the crust: In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt and cold butter together. I used a cheese grater to grate the butter into smaller pieces and mixed everything together by hand. Add water to blend and to form a soft dough (it may look scraggly). Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal pieces.

Roll out one piece into a circle large enough to fit a 9" pie pan. Cut off excess dough. Place the pie pan in the refrigerator. Roll out the other piece of dough and if desired, form a lattice crust top. Place the rolled out dough on top of a piece of waxed paper or parchment paper and put in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Make the filling: In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir until it forms a paste (like a roux). Add the water, granulated sugar, and brown sugar and mix well. Then add the cinnamon and nutmeg. Allow the mixture to boil and then turn down the heat and let it simmer.

Place the sliced apples in a large bowl.  Pour about 3/4 of the filling mixture over the apples and toss well (work quickly before the syrup hardens). Put the saucepan back over the heat (set on low).

Transfer the apples to your pie pan and evenly spread them over the bottom layer of pie crust. Put the top crust over the apples, and if not using a lattice top, be sure to slice some holes in the dough for ventilation. Pour the remaining syrup over the top of the crust.

Place a sheet pan underneath the pie plate and bake in your preheated oven for 50-65 minutes or until the top crust is golden brown and the apples are bubbling underneath.

Allow the pie to cool before serving. Any leftovers can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for several days.

Yield: One 9" pie (about 12 servings)

Sources: Crust from America's Best Harvest Pies (Michael Glodowski of Verona, WI); apple pie filling and technique barely adapted from Grandma Ople via Allrecipes.com

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