Homemade Apple Pie & 10 Minute Easy Pie Crust

When we bought our house 4 years ago, we were unaware that 2 of the 3 trees in our back yard were apple trees… and boy were we surprised when we started growing hundreds of apples!! They are like little bombs falling from the trees this time of year and if your not careful you will get bonked by one or ten falling!!

Now, normally I pick them and take massive containers out to my grandma and she peels and cores them and makes a number of different apple treats. She is 92 and still baking like she did when she was in her 30’s, how she does it still I don’t know.

But this year, she said she will take a couple pails full but not all of them! Ahh – what to do with all these apples, my oh my! So over the last few days I have been picking a few times a day, and I have more apples then I know what to do with. I made a few pit stops yesterday at some friends houses with apple deliveries and have a few family members lined up to take a bunch. I have donated to the some programs that make food baskets and to my sons school. But yet, I still have apples falling and tons in the fridge waiting to be used!

So today after washing another bunch I figured, it is way to hot to be outside in my garden I may as well make a pie, so that is just what I did!

The best thing with apple pies is you can make them ahead of time, freeze them and have fresh apple pie at your finger tips. If you have guests pop over, or just want a treat, you just need to defrost and there you have it.

Apple pie is so simple to make, and there are many different variations of the sweet treat, today I stuck with just basic pie, nothing special with this one, but it is so good to be just a simple pie, so of course I had to share.

If you read my post about Raisin Butter Tarts you know I am not a huge fan of making my own pastry, but fresh picked apples deserve homemade pastry. So out came my rolling pin and away I went.

Once you have your pie pastry prepared it’s pretty quick from there on. You combine a few simple ingredients in a bowl and toss onto your apples and pour into your pie crust and bake – pretty simple!

If you do not want to go through the hassle of making your own pastry by all means go to the grocery store and purchase a pre made frozen crust – that honestly is my preferred method, as I really truly do not like making pastry, I don’t know why really – it is not that hard but I just never have enjoyed it I guess!!!

The recipe I am using today for pastry is by far the most simplest way for someone who like me does not like the fuss of making pastry. It honestly takes less then 10 minutes to prepare roll and bake. It is a no fail pie pasty that is flaky and all around great! It uses 3 ingredients, flour, Crisco Golden Shortening and ice water.

First you start with getting your flour and shortening together in a bowl, use a fork to break down the shortening into the flour. You want to have small balls start to form and the flour to be incorporated into the shortening, but not mixing to much, just until there are the small balls. Once the balls form, start by adding tablespoons of ice water into the bowl and continue mixing with your fork.

Keep mixing until you get small pieces of the shortening and the four is more incorporated
This is once ice water has been added, and we are starting to be able to form pretty solid balls, you then combine it with your hands into a big ball.

You do not want to over mix this, as the gluten in the flour will start to form and will not get a flaky pasty. You do not want it to be to dry or to wet, so once you have it combined and will hold into a ball, press together and if dry feeling and major cracking happening add a bit more water until you see that it can be rolled safely with out falling apart.

You then want to roll it out big enough to fill you pie plate, if you have a 9 inch plate, make your diameter 11 inches to ensure full coverage. Once it is rolled out now you want take your rolling pin and roll the pastry back onto the rolling pin so that it can be moved easily into your pie plate.

You will want to make enough crust to cover the top of your pie as well. I normally make a lattice on my top of my pies, it is quick and easy to do. I like to leave large spaces on my top of my pie as I would personally have more apples then pastry when I take a bite, however, some people make a “hat” to cover the entire pie and cut slices in the top. Either way works fine.

What colour crust to you prefer?

  • Dark Brown
    • Brush with water
  • Glossy Golden Brown
    • Brush with an egg yolk mixed with a little bit of water

I use egg yolk and water to brush on top of my pie, the sprinkle brown sugar to give it a bit of a shiny dark golden brown crust – and it is delicious as well!

Lets get to the filling now that we have our pie crust completed!

First you want to clean, peel and slice your apples. You want them to be thick but not to thick, I like mine about 1/4 inch give or take. My apples are much smaller then your regular store bought apples so I needed quite a few (which is fine by me, since I have hundreds)

My apples were starting to turn brown very quickly because they were so tiny

For this pie recipe you only need a few simple ingredients lemon juice, salt, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cornstarch.

For an 8 inch pie plate you need about 3 1/2-4 cups of apples. Once you have your apples cut, you will add the ingredients to a separate bowl and combine well – then add that mixture to your cut apples. Toss well to ensure all your apples are coated.

You will then add to your pie shell and cover your pie with lattice or a complete top cover with holes cut in.

For this recipe it takes about 40-50 minutes in the oven, give or take. You will start by turning your oven to 375*F for 20 minutes then turning it down to 350*F for the remainder of the baking time. You are waiting for your top crust to turn brown and your fruit to start bubbling over the top slightly. You will really be able to smell your pie when it is near completion – and oh my – It. Smells. Good.

Homemade Apple Pie

10 Minute Easy Pie Crust

Ingredients: (1 pie crust + enough to make lattice topping)

  • 1 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons of Crisco Golden Shortening
  • 5-6 Tablespoons Ice Water

Directions:

  1. Combine crisco and flour in a bowl. Blend together with a fork until combined and flakes start to form and flour is incorporated into the shortening – ensuring not completely combining to a solid state.
  2. Once flakes appear start adding ice water a tablespoon at a time, while mixing with a fork still. When you are able to make a ball with out cracks your crust is ready to roll.
  3. Lightly flour your surface and roll out into a circle big enough to cover the interior of your pie plate.
  4. Use your rolling pin, and roll the crust back onto the rolling pin and then move to your pie plate and unroll onto it.
  5. Once your crust is on the plate trim off the the excess leaving a little bit around the edges.
  6. Roll you crust out again, working with it as little as possible. Cut out 3/4 inch strips and once your pie filling is inside, lay the strips on top of the filling, criss crossing over each other to get a lattice effect. Press down the edges or the lattice onto the outside of the interior pie pastry.
  7. Brush with an egg yolk beaten with a teaspoon of water to get a shiny golden brown. You may also sprinkle lightly with brown sugar if you like as well.

Apple Pie Filling

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 – 4 Cups slices apples, 1/4 inch
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar ** Use 3 Tablespoons if you want a sweeter pie **
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375* F
  2. Combine all dry ingredients into a small bowl and mix well
  3. In large bowl add apples and pour lemon juice over, and mix
  4. Add dry ingredients to apples and toss until all apples are covered equally
  5. Add apple mixture into your pie crust and add top lattice cover.
  6. Bake in 375*F oven for 20 minutes, then turn down heat to 350*F, bake for another 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown and apples are bubbling over slightly.
  7. Allow to cool slightly and enjoy with a large scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Variation: If you enjoy raisins you can also add 1/4 cup of raisins to your apple mixture!! It gives a great little surprise in every other bite! YUM!

Enjoy!

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