When I was young, my grandmother would wait for me to come back from school to start making her pies. She would do several kinds but her apple pie is definitively the one I remember the most.
She would wait in her kitchen, an eye on the road and the other on the clock, ready to start making her dough just as she would see the school bus on the horizon. I would run from the end of the street to her house, throw my backpack in the living room and sit at the table with her.
My favorite part was watching her make the crust and jumping on every little piece that would be left behind. Sometimes she would fake to be upset with me “eating all her dough”, but I know for a fact she loved having me around and teaching me her baking secrets.
My grandmother wouldn’t measure too much – she knew her recipe and had done it hundreds of times. With her bare hands, she would create the best crust and her filling was always out of this world.
She was 95 years old when she passed away seven years ago. I still remember the smell of her apple pie baking in the oven, the flour all over the kitchen table, her apron around her waist. I remember everything so clearly. These are the kinds of memories that never fade away.
Once she was gone, we all tried to bake apple pie the way she famously made hers. My sister does an amazing job, and so does my mother. I have to say that my mother’s apple pie is divine – no joke it is great. But as much as I tried, I was never able to recreate my grandmother’s recipe.
So here is the way I have learned to do pie. It is not my grandmother’s recipe, but I like to think that she showed me the way to bake in the kitchen. This post is for her.
You will need:
2 ¼ cups of flour
A good pinch of salt
¾ cup of cold butter cut in small cubes (my grandmother would use shortening)
6 to 8 tablespoons of cold water (the colder the water, the flakier the crust)
5 lobo apples; peeled, cored, and sliced
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
2 tablespoons of corn flour
½ cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of melted butter
For the crust:
(For tips on how to do a great crust, click HERE).
Combine in a food processor the flour and the salt.
Add the butter, one piece at a time, mixing between each addition.
Add water, one spoon at a time, until you get a wet, yet not sticky, dough.
When the dough starts to stick together, knead it on a floured work surface. Do not over work the dough. Cut the dough in half and make 2 disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Put in the fridge for about 45 minutes.
For the filling:
In a bowl, mix the cut apples with sugar.
Using a rolling pin, gently but firmly roll the dough on a floured work surface until you get the shape of a nice circle that will fit in your pan.
Pour the apple filling into it.
Again with your rolling pin, roll the dough until you get a circle big enough to cover the pie.
Press on the side of the pie to seal it. Make some cuts on the top of the pie to let the steam escape while baking.
TIP: Before baking, brush the top of the dough with some egg yolk mixed with a little bit of milk. It will make the crust golden.
Bake 30 minutes at 350F, then another 25 minutes at 375F. Let it cool and enjoy!