Since it was Thanksgiving, I had to have some pie. Instead of buying a pie this year, I made my very first pie! For some reason, baking my own pie seemed like a very daunting task. It feels like there are many things that could go wrong. Fortunately, I didn’t run into too many problems.
I decided to make a Dutch apple pie, which is the kind that has the crumble topping. The recipe, which I got from The New Best Recipe book, calls for Granny Smith and McIntosh apples. I couldn’t find any McIntosh apples so I substituted it with Pink Lady apples.
The night before Thanksgiving, I mixed the dough for my crust and let it chill overnight in the refrigerator. Then Thanksgiving day, I took the dough out and let it sit for an hour or so to become room temperature. Making the pie crust was the part that I was worried about the most but it was not too difficult. The book provides excellent directions for how to roll out dough and make a crust. After I rolled out the dough into a big circle, I rolled the dough around my rolling pin and then unrolled it over the pie pan. If the book had not told me this, I probably would have lots of tears in my dough trying to use my hands to get it into the pan. I used a Pyrex pie pan because according to The New Best Recipe, having a glass pan is useful when doing a blind bake (when you bake a crust without filling) because you can see through the bottom of your pan to see if your dough is done. Once I got the dough into the pan, I trimmed the edges of the dough. Then I crimped the crust to make it more decorative. I folded a large piece of aluminum foil in half and then set it onto the crust. Then I put my pie weights into the pan on top of the foil and baked the crust for about 12 minutes.
Crimped pie crust
For the apple filling, I cut up the apples and mixed in sugar and cinnamon. In a large pot (they recommend a Dutch oven), I brought some butter to a boil and then added the apple mixture. Then I added some golden raisins. After the apples had cooked to where they were soft, but not mushy, I strained the mixture over a large bowl. With the juice that came out, I mixed that with cream and cooked it over the stove. This is the part of the recipe that I thought was weird because it doesn’t seem like there is normally cream in apple pie. I put the apple mixture into the crust and then poured the cream and juice mixture over the apples. I think that either I was supposed to be able to strain out more juice or cook the cream more because the cream to juice ratio seemed disproportionate.
Apples with sugar and cinnamon
The crumble topping is a combination of melted butter, sugar, brown sugar, and cornmeal. I thought the cornmeal was an odd addition and I may actually omit this in the future. After mixing those ingredients together, I baked them in an even layer on a baking pan. Then I scattered the mixture over the top of the apples and baked the whole pie for an additional 5 minutes.
In the future, I need to do some altering with the recipe because I would prefer to have a softer crumble topping and I may have to do some altering with the apple mixture and cream. Overall though, the pie turned out pretty well and was not so scary to make after all.
Dutch apple pie
Slice of pie