I grew up with a New Englander’s taste for apple pie, tart, heavily spiced and running with juices. But, my husband likes his apple pie a little different: a bit lighter on the nutmeg—no allspice or cloves, and he likes his filling gooey. It’s taken me some time to tweak the recipe to that sweet spot of bliss-inducing rightness, and along the way, I had a surprise. I discovered that my taste in apple pie is really not so different from my husband’s—I just didn’t know I liked it better his way!
1 recipe Cider Mama’s Perfect Pie Crust
5-7 Granny Smith apples (depending on size of apples and whether you are using a deep dish pie pan or a regular one), peeled, cored and sliced very thin (about ¼’’ thick)
½ c. granulated sugar
¼ c. golden brown sugar, packed
¼ c. cornstarch
1 T lemon juice (since I’m not using zest, I just use bottled lemon juice; it’s cheaper)
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. vanilla
½ t. nutmeg
¼ t. salt
1 T butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg beaten with 1 T water
granulated sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 425F.
Mix the apples, sugars, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. Mix it really well. You want everything to be completely distributed over the apples.
Roll out one disk of pie dough and place in greased 9’’ pie dish. Fill crust with apples. Dot with butter pieces. Roll out second pie dough disk and place over the apple filling and butter. Cut your crust overhang to 1’’, fold under, and flute the edges. (Tip: If some parts of your overhang are scanty, use scraps of dough that you’ve cut away to bolster it by rolling your edges around bits of scraps you set in place. This will fill out your edge and help it keep from burning in places.) Brush the crust with the egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake pie in the center of the oven for 15 minutes. (Tip: You may have to set your rack just below the center setting because a pie is thick and domed, not flat like a cookie sheet, and you want the pie itself to be centered, not merely the rack on which it is placed.)
Turn the heat down to 350F and bake for a further 35-45 minutes until your crust is golden and filling is bubbling. Remove from oven and cool on rack 1 hour.
I highly recommend serving this pie a la mode with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. That’s the sure way to melt Cider Man’s heart, and I suspect it’ll work the same magic on any man.