October 8, 2013

I Like Apple Pie

Has anyone made an apple pie yet this season? Julia wanted a crisp and I wanted a pie, so we compromised and made an apple pie with a crumble top. I think that's my favorite kind.

I honestly think apple pie is my favorite. Here's how I like it: VERY CINNAMONY, with not too much juice flowing everywhere, just a little, and I don't like the apples cut into big chunks, but I also don't like them cut too thin. And I like them cooked pretty darn well, no crunchy apples in my pie thanks. But I don't like them mushy.

Very rarely do I get my apple pies right, which is why I don't make them all too often.

I've never tried cooking the filling before baking in the oven, have you ever tried that? Some folks swear by that method, and say it imparts a sort of caramelized taste to the apples. I think I'll try that out sometime soon.

But I do have a recipe that never fails me.

Here's something neato about apple pie. It makes the nicest breakfast in the world. Don't believe? Then why is it in my fabulous cookbook, 'The Breakfast Book' by Marion Cunningham? Hmmm?

I think it might be one of the nicest breakfasts ever. With a slice of cheese.

I finally found a crust I like, the flaky pastry dough from the Joy of Cooking (i use half butter, half shortening). Friends, it takes not very long at all to make dough in a food processor. Or your hands. And it is so so so so much better than anything you can buy premade, it just is and there's no debating about it.

After my dough is made, I go ahead and roll it out right away, and line my pie plate, THEN I chill it. So much easier than chilling first and then rolling out!

And here is the recipe I use for the filling and topping:

BREAKFAST APPLE PIE (adapted from 'The Breakfast Book')

Filling Ingredients:

6 large baking apples, all tart or a combo of tart and sweet
3/4 to 1 cup sugar, depending on how sweet you like your pie and the sweetness of the apples
2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 tablespoons flour
lemon juice

(alternatively, you can omit the flour and instead line the pie shell bottom evenly with 1 cup cornflakes. Tastes wonderful and absorbs the pie juices so you don't have juice running everywhere. This is how the the cookbook suggests making this pie. I like it both ways, made with cornflakes, and made with flour as the binder.)


3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
7 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

1 unbaked 8 or 9 inch pie shell


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut apples. I sprinkle them with a bit of lemon juice as I cut and slice. Toss the apple slices with the sugar, spices, vanilla and flour in a mixing bowl until all the apples are coated. Let sit for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, make the topping. Put the flour, sugar, and butter in a bowl. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles irregular bread crumbs. Spread the apples into the pie shell. Then sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the apple slices.

Bake the pie for 10 minutes at 450 degrees, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until apples are tender and bubbling. Serve warm with a piece of Cheddar on the side.

Pie is so nice.


  1. My Mum had the Joy of Cooking (her copy is long lost) and there was a recipe called melting moments in it. Is that recipe in your book? I'd buy the book again for that alone. I really should make a pie too, and yes you are so right, its a lovely breakfast. In fact anything that makes a change from cereal or toast is good in my book.

    1. I was curious and looked for the recipe . . . and found it.

    2. No, mine is the new version and I am very sad about it because one of the older versions (which is at my dad's place in Hawaii, I need to go steal it :) had a whole chapter on old fashioned candies and candy making, and the whole chapter is GONE from the newer version. sigh. off to go look at this recipe, thank you so much for finding a link!!

    3. Thanks Melissa and anonymous! As far as I can remember these are good for kids to make, as I was one the last time I did.

    4. Andrew would adore these! He loves this kind of cookie!

    5. There's actually a facsimile reprint of the first edition of The Joy of Cooking available--with candies and confectionary in tact. I have one (and a 1950s edition).

    6. P.S. The pie looks fantastic.

    7. eeeeee! I'm telling you, I need to just tell my dad to hand his copy over. Like he's ever going to make candy!

  2. This looks amazing. I have never made an apple pie. My grandmother makes hers a lot, and it's my sister's favorite, but she grates her apples. I prefer slices. My stepmother-in-law makes a great one, but we don't get down to see her very often, so I really should try.

    1. well now's the time, my lovely! go forth and make an apple pie! grated, that is so interesting! It must make for a very creamy consistency, like applesaucy inside with just a bit of texture?

  3. Replies
    1. Pie. So pretty, I agree. It prolly looks less appealing IN MY TUMMY!! :)

  4. Grandma Sue10/8/13, 1:08 PM

    Your pie looks yummy. I just(as in two days ago) made a pear cranberry crisp and have been enjoying it for breakfast. Delicious. Also, I agree your homemade crusts are way better than store-bought but I am too lazy:)

    1. I want some of that! Actually I was never all that happy with the other crust I was using. I like this one much better, it has a higher proportion of shortening than my other one.

      Anytime you feel like making pie, tell me and I'll bring you a crust! xo

  5. I do love a good apple pie. confession: last year you linked to an apple pie on a friday post that was kind of custard like (had eggs and cream in it) I thought it sounded good so I made it and I HATED it. I hated everything about it. haha! oh well. This one looks much more my style! Right now I'm drying apples every day :)

    1. Get out of town! Well saves me the trouble of making it then! Ha ha! Cuz I haven't made it yet! :)

      I think I've seen a recipe somewhere for apple pie that calls for dried apples.....

  6. Ahhh pie....pie pie pie! Pie as breakfast food is ideal...and as lunch food and as dinner food...but with apple pie I think I kind of need ice cream...yes need...though your idea of cheese and apple pie does sound perfect!

    1. you and my dad feel the same way! pie demands ice cream. i think i'm at the point where I could enjoy just pouring cream over the top...