When we lived in Virginia, we used to always have chili and apple pie contests at church, yearly. In 1999, my apple pie won 1st place! I know it would've won the 2nd year, but the judges were lead astray by the Kool Whip someone *ahem* put on their pie. I. was. unhappy.
But that's alright because I really love my apple pie and so do all who try it. I add a mixture of spices which gives it a deeper flavor. I love a nice hearty slice with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. MMM MM GOOD!!!!!
This is a little gadget I bought two years ago and let me tell you.. it was awesome. It's an apple peeler, corer, slicer. I bought it at Sur la Table for about $30.00. Pampered Chef sells one very similar, but doesn't have the suction bottom. This one is nice because I can use is on any flat surface ANYWHERE. Love it!
See what it does? So. totally. cool.
A complete time saver too. I can get an apple pie made from start to finish in 30 minutes. Boom. boom. done!
After you've put the Granny Smith apples through the slicer (all 6 of them), cut the rings in half and toss out the top and bottom pieces that still have peel on them. My daughter loves to snack on the scraps so if you have a child that loves tart granny smith apples, let them have them!
I am guilty of not using measurements. I can tell you this. Add about a cup of flour. You want enough flour to coat the slices of apple. You want enough sugar to coat each slice as well. Then add 1/3 cup brown sugar. Mix so everything is dispersed evenly and all the pieces are coated.
Now add your spices. 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp ginger, 1/8 tsp allspice and 1/8 tsp cloves. Squirt in a little lemon juice and then mix everything up again. Set aside.
Now this is the part I don't want you to be scared about. We're going to make a homemade crust! The key to a good pie crust are to 1)NOT overwork your dough; and 2)keep everything cold!
Before you begin making your pie crust, get everything you need out and ready to use. Your hands will get messy so make sure lids are off and things are open, and stuff is measured. Make sure you have a glass of ice water ready too.
I absolutely love my rolling pin. I bought this around the same time as I bought my apple peeler. It's a silicone rolling pin from Sur la Table. The silicone mat is from Pampered Chef. I bought the pastry blender at King Arthur Flour.
In a bowl, put 2 1/2 cups flour and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Mix together with the pastry blender.
Add 1/2 cup regular shortening and 1/2 cup butter flavored shortening. I use both regular and butter flavored for a reason. If I use straight shortening, I have a really flat tasting crust. If I use butter, my crust shrinks wayyyyyy down and isn't nearly as flaky.
Cut in the shortenings with the pastry blender until it's all nice and crumbly.
You can work your dough as much as you want up to this point. When you start adding your liquid, that's when you need to BABY THE DOUGH. Do not overwork. And play with it as little as possible.
Take away the pastry blender and grab a fork. Start adding Tablespoonfuls of ice water (the colder the water, the better) and fluff the dough with the fork.
Keep adding spoonfuls of water and fluff until it starts pulling together. When you get it to the point you want it, form into a ball and split in half.
Roll out the bottom crust a well floured rolling mat and put in the pie plate.
Trim the edges and add the apples, making sure the slices fill all the edges of the bottom.
Roll out the other ball of dough and put on top of the apples. Trim the edges, tuck under, pinch edges to seal and then use a knife to make vent holes on top. I like putting a heart on top of mine because I make everything with love. (awwww)
Brush the top of the crust with a little milk and then sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Put in a 350* oven and bake for an hour to hour and half. Normally I can tell the pie is done when the juices start oozing out the top.
Serve warm. Enjoy!