There’s nothing I will cook that can bring as big a smile to Spouse’s and Stepson’s faces more than Deep Dish Apple Pie.
It’s actually funny how I’m the one with memories of mother and homemade apple pie. Anyone would guess I’d have memories of my mother and rice cakes, me being the Asian in the marriage…but my mother made apple pies when we were kids quite a lot. My best memory is the smell of apples and cinammon filling up the whole house. I also remember watching her pretty hands holding the two knives and cutting the shortening into the flour. “You have to handle it very lightly if you want a flaky crust,” she’d tell about four of her six daughters standing around her while she moved around her bright and airy, aqua-colored kitchen.
Spouse is the American after all and we’ve all heard the old adage, “as American as apple pie…” Apparently, his mom liked Cinammon Rolls better and she called it “Rolly Boys” to make the eating all the more fun for the kids.
I start by prepping 3 lbs. of Granny Smith apples that will go into the pie. Peel, core and slice the apples into a large bowl with 1 c. sugar, 1 tsp. cinammon and a dash of nutmeg.
Cover the bowl and let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight so the juices run and the apple slices shrink. My eldest sister let me in on this little secret of hers years ago. There’s a tendency for the top pie crust to set before the apples shrink in the baking process. Then you’re left with this unsightly cavity between the apples and your top crust. You also have a better handle of how much cornstarch to add to your filling. Leaving the apples to soak for a few hours eliminates these problems.
Preheat your oven to 425F. Place a jellyroll pan in the second to the lowest rack.
3 c. all-purpose flour; 1.5 tsp. salt; 2/3 c. shortening; 1/3 c. unsalted butter; .5tbsps.-1 c. iced water.
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in shortening and butter into the flour with 2 table knives. A pastry cutter will not do since it mushes up the shortening more than cutting it into the flour. Continue until you have smaller than pea-size crumbs.
Then add iced water a tablespoon at a time. I used considerably less for this recipe since I had my dishwasher running and it steamed up the kitchen a bit. Use the 2 knives or a fork to toss and turn the flour with the water. The less you handle your dough, the flakier it’s going to be.
When the dough starts coming together and you only see a few bits of dry flour in the bowl, gather the dough onto a floured board. Divide in half.
Some people like to chill their dough before rolling. But if you use iced water and not just cold water, your dough will be fine.
Roll out your dough and set the bottom piece in a 9.5 inch deep dish pie plate. Roll the top crust and set aside. Spoon your apples into the dish arranging them so there are no big gaps. Leave the juices in the bowl. For every cup of juice left, add 2 tbsp. cornstarch or flour and mix well. Pour this over the apples, dot with 2 tbsp. butter and cover with the top crust.
Seal the edges of your pie and crimp with a fork or your fingers. Cut the top of the pie crust with a small cookie or biscuit cutter and pierce a fork throughout the surface of the crust. Brush with eggwash for color and shine. Sugar may also be sprinkled for shine and crunch but I prefer mine without. Before putting the pie into your oven, cover the edges with foil or a crust protector.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until top is turning gold and the juices start bubbling around the sides. Remove foil/crust protector and continue baking for another 15 minutes.
Cool pie for a couple of hours to allow the pectin in the apples to set. Serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream – Dreyer’s has a good one – or whipped cream.