My dad is my best friend (mom and brother too!). He is kind, smart, supportive, and loving; but, when it comes to apple pie – he’s so picky it is maddening.
“Too many apples. The apples aren’t soft enough. The apples aren’t sweet enough. What is that, lemon zest? No.” My brother even chimes in, insisting that crumb toppings are “lazy.” You see what I have to deal with? I thought being a Culinary Institute of America trained, former New York City pastry chef would give me a little authority on the apple pie discussion – I was very wrong.
You know what’s even crazier? He’s not looking for anything fancy – he loves the store bought! He likes the canned filling!
Pie after pie I made, still with no success. I wasn’t about to stand down. I was determined to make an apple pie my dad would love – as pie is almost as important to our family as being right is. After much necessary research, aka pie eating, I came up with a strategy. I would precook chunks of apple and, in doing so, soften them and create that sweet and sticky goo he adores. And forghetta about anything fancy like lemon zest! Butter, cinnamon, sugar, apples – old school.
Dad deemed my final pie worthy so I put one in the win category and kept the recipe. A pie I feared would be boring and old fashioned is, well, delightful and old fashioned. The crust is an old standby, perfect for all kinds of pies. The fillin’? An oozy, gooey, appley interior with just the right amount of spice. It is like a river of sweet apple flavored magma. This pie doesn’t even need vanilla ice cream but I won’t discourage!
Bring this pie to your next party and be prepared to see smiles. If it can impress my dad, it can impress anyone. Really. Enjoy!
The ingredients of my apple pie are very simple – apples, butter, salt, cinnamon, clove, cornstarch and brown sugar. You’ve got that stuff, we all have that stuff.
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped apples, salt, spices, sugar and cornstarch. Toss to combine.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, for 30 – 40 minutes until the apples are soft and the “goo” has thickened.
Chillin’ the fillin’ makes for a nice thick, gooey, consistency. It will chill faster if you spread it out in one layer and pop it in the fridge. While the filling chills completely, make my All Purpose Pie Dough.
Once the filling is completely cool and the pie dough has chilled for 30 minutes, you can assemble the pie. Roll out the bottom crust and lay in an ungreased pie dish. Fill.
Top with second 1/2 of dough, make a vent, and brush with egg wash.
Place in an oven that has been preheated to 350°F. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the filling is bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.
I happened to make this pie for Father’s Day, how appropriate! My dad said, “This is some serious good pie.” I bet you’ll agree.
3 – 4 Fuji Apples, peeled and cubed
4 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 egg, beaten
To make the filling, melt the butter in a large sauté pan. Add apples, sugar, salt, spices, and cornstarch. Cook for 30 – 40 minutes over medium-low heat until the “goo” has thickened and the apples are fork tender.
When ready, transfer the apples to a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silpat (for easy clean up) and smooth them out into one even layer. Place in the fridge to chill.
While the filling is chilling, make the pie dough. Divide the dough into two, wrap in plastic and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350° F.
When everything has cooled, assemble the pies. Roll out one of the doughs and place it into an ungreased pie plate.
Fill with apple filling.
Use the one egg to make an egg wash and brush some around the edge of the bottom crust.
Roll out second portion of dough and lay overtop the apples. Press the edges down to seal. You can crimp the edge however you like.
Cut slits in the top of the pie and brush with the egg wash.
Place the pie in the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.