Apple pie is my least favorite pie. Un-American, I know. I love apples, love brown sugar, love cinnamon, love pie, don't like them mixed together. I don't even like the smell of apples and cinnamon. Weird, I know. But, this recipe I like. Not love, but like and based on my tolerance and my family's adoration for this pie I figure it must be the best darn apple pie ever.
You will need:
1/2 to 1 cup flour
6-7 cups Granny Smith apples
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 T butter
1 tsp cinnamon (I use more...lots more.)
2 pie crusts
1 pie pan
One apple equals about one cup, so I used 6 apples. If you get your hands on some tiny Granny Smiths you might need closer to 8. I used my handy dandy apple peeler (it also cores and slices). I love it and wish I loved to bake with apples more so I could use it more often.
The peels were so pretty I just had to take a picture.
Mix the flour, sugars, and cinnamon in a large bowl. I used 3/4 of a cup of flour. Finding the right amount of flour is tricky...it all depends on the juiciness of your apples. Unfortunately, you usually can't tell how much liquid they will give up until they are baked. It's a crap shoot--you could end up with an overly-juicy pie or one that is too thick and can stand on its own. Those pie slices that are thick and stand up high are beautiful in magazines, but they don't taste so great in real life. I have found that 1/2 cup is almost always too little, though.
I like to chop my apples instead of slicing them. With the slices you have to cut up your pie and I don't like that. I just want to dig in and get a forkful. The large chops cook all the way through, I promise.
Now add your apples to your flour, sugar, cinnamon mix and get in there with your hands to mix. Kids love to help out with this part!
Line your pie plate with one crust. I just use the refrigerated ones. Easy and super yummy. Add all of the covered apples to the pie pan. You will have lots of the mix leftover--just pour it over the apples.
Cut up the 2T of butter and place around the top of the pie.
Now here's a trick. I use mini cookie cutters to cut out shapes from the top crust. This trick allows more steam to evaporate from the pie and caramelizes the sugars inside. SO GOOD! (Save your cutout shapes.)
Place the top crust on top of your pie and seal the edges. Now brush the entire top crust with milk and place your cutout shapes anywhere you like, except over the openings. Now brush the tops of the cutouts with milk and sprinkle cinnamon sugar over the top of the whole pie.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes. I use a cake tester to poke the apples and make sure they are soft. I've never had to bake for more than 55 minutes.
This pie speaks for itself, don't you think?
**note: I baked this pie a few months ago. I'm still not turning on my oven in this heat and I am really, really looking forward to the big cool down in September (if we are lucky) or October. Definitely cooler by November. Or December. I'm having trouble remembering when it was cool... :)