What says “America” more than an apple pie?
The secret to making one is preparing the crust. First, you need the right pan, circular with flat, sloping sides. It can be hard to find outside of the US, but in Spain, a deep paellera pan 22 centimeters wide might do.
Then it must be lined with pastry. This is a skill. If you’ve never make pie pastry before, you might want to find more detailed instructions and videos on the internet. Search for “flaky pie crust.”
2-1/2 cups flour, 350 g
1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 ml
3/4 cup lard or butter, 160 g
6 to 7 tablespoons cold water, 90 to 100 ml
First mix the flour and salt. Then put in the lard or butter and cut it using two knives or a pastry blender until it resembles coarse meal or very small baby peas. Sprinkle water over it a little at a time, mixing with a fork, just until it holds together in a ball. Then place half on a floured surface, roll it out a little larger than the pan and fit it into the pan.
3/4 to 1 cup sugar, 150 to 200 g
1 teaspoon cinnamon, 15 ml
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 7 ml
1-1/2 tablespoons flour, 22 ml
6 to 8 firm, tart apples, such as Granny Smith
To make the filling, mix together the flour and spices. Peel, core, and slice the apples, then toss them in the mixture.
Place the filling inside the pie pan. Roll out the other half of the pastry dough, place it on top, and use a little water as “glue” to hold the two layers of pastry together. Crimp it around the edges.
Bake in a preheated oven at 425F/220C for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350F/180C for 30 to 40 minutes, until the apples are soft and the crust is browned.
Best served warm with whipped cream, ice cream, or even cheddar cheese.
Some recipes suggest using cloves instead of or in addition to nutmeg, or other spices, or using half brown and half white sugar, or even adding a dash of apple brandy or lemon juice. You can also cut strips of pastry and make a lattice top crust. Ever cook has her preferences and secrets.
This is the perfect dessert for celebrating Independence Day on the fourth of July, along with a parade and fireworks.