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How to Make a Pie

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The perfect pie crust is something of a work of art, not only visually but also technically. Though we really enjoy all sorts of desserts, there's something about pie that just feels right, reminding us of a simpler time. There's no need to be intimidated about making your own pie crust, we promise!

We all find it so therapeutic to work with our hands, shaping the dough. Also that sweet aroma! And then ultimately the satisfaction of serving up the delicious fruit of your labors. Worth the effort every time.

This Apple Pie recipe is easy and it can be made in advance so you have more time to spend with your family on Thanksgiving Day!


Ingredients

  • 3 pounds mixed apples (such as Granny Smith, Gala and McIntosh)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 disks dough for Basic Crust
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Coarse sugar, for sprinkling

Peel and core the apples; slice 1/4 inch thick. Toss with the granulated sugar and lemon juice. Heat 4 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the apples and cook, stirring, until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour, cinnamon and salt; cook until thickened, 1 more minute. Let cool.

Roll out 1 disk of dough into a 12-inch round on a floured surface; ease into a 9-inch pie plate. Add the apples, mounding them slightly in the center, and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Roll out the remaining dough into a 12-inch round. Lay it over the filling; press the edges of the crusts together, then fold the overhang under itself and crimp to seal. Brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Cut a few slits in the top crust. Chill 1 hour.

Place a baking sheet on the lowest oven rack and preheat to 425 degrees F for 30 minutes. Place the pie on the hot baking sheet; lower the temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake until golden, 1 hour to 1 hour, 10 minutes. (Cover the edges with foil if they brown too quickly.) Cool on a rack.

Apple-Berry


Make Apple Pie, adding 1 extra tablespoon flour and 1 teaspoon vanilla to the filling. Off the heat, stir in 1 cup mixed berries. Top with a lattice crust, brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Apple Crumble


Make Apple Pie, adding 1 extra tablespoon flour to the filling. Off the heat, add 1/2 cup sour cream and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg. Omit the top crust. Mix 1/2 cup flour, 1 cup oats, 3/4 cup each chopped walnuts and brown sugar, 6 tablespoons melted butter and a pinch of salt. Drop in clumps over the filling.

Apple Strudel


Make Apple Pie with grated peeled Golden Delicious apples. Don't cook the filling. Omit the 4 tablespoons butter; toss the apples with the cinnamon, salt, 2 extra tablespoons flour and 1/2 cup raisins. Dot with 1 extra tablespoon butter.

Apple-Pear-Ginger


Make Apple Pie, replacing half of the apples with pears and using ground ginger instead of cinnamon. Cut the top crust into decorative shapes; arrange on top of the filling. Brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar.

Apple-Fig


Combine 1 1/2 pounds sliced peeled apples, 1/2 pound each dried apples and figs, 1/8 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon in a food processor; finely chop. Don't cook the filling. Assemble as for Apple Pie, dotting with 2 extra tablespoons butter. Bake 50 minutes.

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