This apple pie recipe was taught to me by an aunt, who makes apple pies from scratch during apple harvest season. It has special meaning to me for several reasons: apple pie was my favourite dessert at the time, and it was empowering to make it myself; I don’t make many desserts in the first place; I bonded with family making this recipe; and it gives me satisfaction to create something as warm, homey, and lovely as pie.
I’ve spent several years experimenting with the recipe, and learned things along the way. For example, using whole wheat flour will make the crust oddly crunchy and grainy; Mackintosh apples will turn into mush if over-baked; and you must not let the apples sit in the seasoning long before baking, or they will release all their juices and turn into a soupy mess, which will then melt your raw pastry shell in the oven and fail to make an adequate sauce for the filling.
In the end, the most important tips are to assemble and get the pie in the oven quickly, and to touch the dough with your hands as little as possible to maintain a flaky texture. You might also want to double the recipe to make an extra pie to share, and if there are helpings hands, let them prepare the apples for the filing (your hands will be tired enough from the dough making).
Truth be told, making apple pie also makes me feel like a domestic goddess. Maybe I watched too many ads from the 1950s and 40s, but I admire that perfect housewife image, wearing lovely stylish dresses and placing steaming pies on the table or window sill. Perhaps the most alluring aspect of it all is how ridiculous and elusive that image is! I don’t know about you, but I do not look like a pin up girl after cooking up a storm in the kitchen all day.
But I digress…
Ps. Feel free to use a combination of apples to your liking. I like using whatever baking apple is abundant during apple picking season (often Cortland). Happy Cooking!