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Chicagoist Cooks: Apple Pie All Around

By Caroline Clough in Food on Nov 8, 2007 4:45PM

2007_november_chicagoist_applepie.jpgLast year we told you about our apple picking and subsequent experience making applesauce. We thought we'd pick apples again late last month, though we knew it was past proper apple picking season. We went to Royal Oak Farm Orchard where, chagrined but unsurprised, we learned that there weren't many apples left on the trees. Those that remained were, much of the time, unreachable to our five foot five self. We persevered and collected a peck of Jonafree and Jonafred apples. We also bought a bushel of windfall apples, just to make sure that we had enough of the fruit to make both applesauce and apple pie. Between what we picked and what we bought we had more than enough. The result: four apple pies and applesauce to last us until next fall. It may be a little late for you to go out and pick your own apples, but it's never too late to make pie. To learn two different, but similar, recipes for apple pie just keep on reading.

This recipe is for one pie, in either a large or extra large pie tin. We tried to make four pies, making all the crust at once. This was a bad idea. If you plan on making more than one pie we'd suggest you make each crust's dough individually.

What You Need For the Filling:

5 cups of apples, peeled and cored, roughly and irregularly chopped
1 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons nutmeg
4 tablespoons flour

What You Need For the Crust:

1 1/3 cup flour (sifted)
1 cup shortening
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons ice water

What You Also Need:

2 large bowls
1 large pie tin
1 egg, beaten
1 pastry brush
1 pastry cutter
1 rolling pin
1 Oven
Additional white sugar for topping the crust

What You Do:

1. Do all your prep work: peeling, coring, chopping etc. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

2. In your large bowl mix all the filling ingredients together. Apples should be coated with the brown sugar and spices. Don't worry if there's some excess liquid.

3. In your other large bowl place your flour and salt, followed by the shortening. Using your pastry cutter (a fork would do as well) gently integrate the shortening and flour. Once the shortening and flour have been combined, add the ice water and mix further. Don't overwork the dough.

4. On a clean, smooth and floured surface, divide your dough into two halves. Roll out the first one until it is a roughly circular shape that will cover the pie tin entirely. A quick way to see if it's large enough is to place your tin over top of it, if the edges of your dough are slightly larger than the tin, you're golden. Repeat the rolling out process with the other half of the dough.

5. Fill your pie tin, now with dough at the bottom, with the apple mixture, spreading evenly. Place the other rolled out half of dough on top. You can easily make your pie special or personalized by using a little dough to make shapes or patterns.

6. Use your pastry brush to lightly coat the top of the pie with a little of the beaten egg. Sprinkle white sugar on top (about 3 teaspoons).

7. Pop that sucker into the oven and cook for forty minutes at least. The top of the crust should be golden brown. If you're worried about the edges of the crust browning too quickly you can put aluminum foil around it to prevent overcooking.

8. Take pie out of the oven and let cool. Serve warm.

A Slightly Different Filling:

All the basic steps are the same. Only instead of the filling recipe above, simply make the applesauce we mentioned at the beginning of this post. Keep it chunky. Place about four cups of applesauce (or as much as you need to fill up the pie but leaving about 2 inches of room) into the pie tin. Place an additional two cups of chopped apples on top. Then liberally sprinkle brown sugar over the apples (we're talking 1/2 a cup or less). Put top on as usual and bake. This results in a slightly less sweet pie but with a wonderful blend of texture and flavor.


1. Beating up a little whipping cream and adding cinnamon would be a very good addition as a topping. Cinnamon ice cream would also work.

2. Pop a slice into the microwave for 30 seconds for fresh-from-the-oven-temperature in the following days.

4. Play with your top crust. Do a lattice. Make a face. Spell out a name. It'll be fun. We made an apple rainbow....2007_november_chicagoist_applebow.jpg