Updated: Sep 29
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What, another apple dessert?
Why is it that I'm publishing two apple desserts almost simultaneously?
The answer is easy; we love apples, and one of these desserts that I published, the Ponchiki is my favorite. The childhood memories that spring forth every time I take a bite of a ponchiki produces a smile upon my lips and a warmth inside my heart along with a satisfied tummy!
Today's dessert, CLASSIC AMERICAN APPLE PIE, is my husband's all-time favorite dessert, after chocolate cake of course!
When we were dating in Kiev, David told me how much he missed American Apple Pie, most particularly the New England style apple pie that is served with vanilla ice cream.
This was one of those moments in which childhood memories would cause him to yearn to be back in the US to experience the delicious taste of American apple pie, pumpkin patches, etc., all those things that bring to mind the thoughts of youth and the fall season!
And I can understand the power of this pie for not even a fancy apple dessert can beat good old-fashioned apple pie. I still remember my first-time making this pie, AND it was a total kitchen disaster. Trust me, the result was NOT GOOD to say at least.
But with many years of practice while working in a French bakery during peak pie season, and making up to 18 pies a day, I have achieved quite a bit of success. Also, I think I have all the tricks and tips to show you how to make a quick, easy classic pie and most importantly do so with no mess in the kitchen.
The marvelous combination of buttery ultra-flaky crust with a tiny bit of salt in it, and soft, juicy sweet and tart at the same time fresh apple filling that melt together with the butter and sugar to insane perfection. When sugar, butter and the apple juice meet together, it creates an irresistible full flavor explosion in your mouth that won't allow you to stop with just one bite. Pairing these warm bites of deliciousness with vanilla cream makes for an indescribable dessert experience! I promise! Doesn't this sound like the ultimate apple pie experience?
By the way if you are serving this pie for a special occasion, like Thanksgiving dinner, it's well worth it to make homemade ice cream, check here for an easy classic vanilla ice cream recipe.
WHAT DO I LIKE ABOUT THIS RECIPE?
A decadent 9.5-inch pie containing freshly cut apples and then cooked to perfection with an ultra-flaky double crust. This luscious pie is baked until golden brown with bubbly filling.
When it comes to Thanksgiving, our family celebrates this special day by incorporating many traditional dishes at our table with such delights as miso mashed potatoes and cranberry relish. This pie can be the prize of your holiday table and also it is perfect any time of the year and will make you smile with each bite. However, since this pie is not too sweet, I recommend that you serve it with vanilla ice cream. Should you decide to serve it as it is, please increase the sugar content by a half cup.
The flaky crust supports the apple filling with plenty of buttery flavor, and you will want to eat it every bit even up to the very last crumb. I promise!
Using a variety of apples creates a different texture and flavor profile. It is enjoyable to eat and fun to make.
Last week we as whole family and our friends took a trip to apple farm, www.SkyTopOrchard.com
For the kids, it was their first apple picking opportunity. OMG, they loved it so much. For me as a mom it is very important to teach my children where we get our food and specially to learn about apples, I'm from Vinnitsa Riggen in Ukraine and we have hundreds of different varieties. I love apples and my husband referred to me as an apple-Holic when I first arrived in the US.
Do you want to know which kind of apple is my favorite to eat? Please drop your answer in the comment section below.
Here is my all-time quick and easy recipe that my family appreciates for breakfast or dessert.
WHAT APPLES ARE BEST FOR THIS PIE?
For this recipe I recommend using a few different kinds of COOKING APPLES if they are available of course. The more different kinds you are using, you build more of a flavorful profile, and the texture is also the key when it comes to slice a pie too.
I like to use these kinds of apples: Granny Smith,
Northern Spy, etc.
And I recommend that you not use these: Fuji or Gala
These will totally turn into a mushy applesauce texture.
So why lard? What lard for pie crust?
I know so many of you will raise your eyebrows about using lard. And I'm even guessing what you are thinking; lard isn't good for you. But it is 2022 and not only real butter is making its way back to the American's table, but lard is making its way back into use for cooking and baking too. Yes, lard is another healthy fat that should be used in every household. I grew up on pork fat, and before 1992, before export and import took place in Ukraine, no one knew what Crisco was, or "You Can't Believe It's Butter," palm oil, etc. is.
The overweight people were extremely rare and there was no obesity. But now with all foods that the western world enjoys is now present in Ukraine. Now Ukrainians are sick with heart disease, allergies, with just about every other child having an allergy problem. Other issues include the rise of cancer along with thyroid problems.
Even before processed crap foods took over our lives, “THEY” started telling us that butter, lard and saturated fat was bad for us. Now we know that butter is so much better for us than margarine. So, shamefully I still see, once in a while doctors, who believe that saturated fat is the devil.
And by the way for people who calculate their calories, lard is lower in calories than butter, which is another reason for you to use lard more often.
Based on many doctors, including Dr. Axe, Dr. Berg consuming saturated fat as part of a healthy diet has also been proving in some cases to have an inverse relationship with obesity-related type 2 diabetes. Check yourself this study.
Lard doesn't have much flavor, but it does help create a perfect flaky crust that everyone craves. An all-butter crust is nice too because it is easier to work with, is tasty but won't give you as flaky a texture.
So here is a beautiful solution: I'm using both fats and they create a PERFECT crust.
If you like natural real fat, like I do and not fat from Crisco type products then check out this recipe with nuts in the crust and another one of my most delicious pies.
Where to buy lard?
Lately, I often see that lard is available not only in health stores, but regular groceries will have a jar with lard from farm-raised pigs. Non-commercial raised pigs are better because their fat is very high in vitamin D, which is about 10 times more than mushrooms.
For lard usually used Pork Leaf Fat and it's the cleanest, healthiest fat you can find. It's creamy white and taken from the fat surrounding the organs. I make my own, the way my mom always did.
WHAT EQUIPMENT DO I NEED TO MAKE THIS PIE?
Pie dish - 9.5 inches, keep it in mind, ceramic will take longer to bake than glass one.
Dough cutter or food processor - I'm all about saving time, so I used the food processor.
Rolling pin - use your favorite one.
WHAT INGREDIENTS DO I NEED TO MAKE THIS PIE?
Flour - all-purpose unbleached flour.
Butter - grass-fed real butter that has to be very cold, so leave it in the freezer for 10 minutes before you are planning to start making a dough.
Lard - please, use a good quality lard and NOT the one you can find in the store next to Crisco.
Vinegar - only a small amount is needed for the crust, so any kind will do it.
Apples - a few varieties, see note above on apples.
Spices - cinnamon, cloves, all spice, salt, sugar.
7. Cornstarch - to catch all the juices that the apples will produce during baking, but you can easily use some flour for this.
8. Turbinado sugar - optional; it's only for garnish.
9. Egg white - to washing the bottom crust before apple filling added.
10. Egg yolk with a little bit of milk - to egg wash the top crust before a baking prosses.
NOTES: tips and tricks
I have to mention, after you take the pie out of the oven, you MUST WAIT 30 minutes before slicing it. This allows the juices and flavor to settle. This step is as important as the baking process!!!
Use an egg whitewash on the bottom crust before you add the apples because it helps to prevent a soggy crust.
Use a food processor for making the crust is not only faster, easier and less mess but also keeps the dough to stay nice and cold without warm hands contact. Helps keep the butter pockets in place and prevents overworking the dough.
Be sure to cut slits in the dough being used for the top of the pie so that the steam will release as the pie is being cooked. This will ensure that you won't have separation between the pie filling and crust after it has been baked.
Let's do it...
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 60 minutes Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes Author: Inna of innichkachef.com Servings: 8 generous portions
Ingredients for the lard-butter crust
2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
12 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
7 Tablespoons lard (see note above)
7 Tablespoons ice water
1 Tablespoon vinegar
Ingredients for the filling
6-7 large apples, cored, peeled, and sliced into ½-inch slices (about 9 cups)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground clove
½ cup raw cane sugar (use additional ½ cup of sugar if you like to serve without ice cream)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 egg white (for egg washing bottom crust)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten with 1 Tablespoon of milk (for egg washing top crust)
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling top crust
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
To make the crust, put flour, sugar and salt into the food processor, pulse once or twice. Then add in cold chunks of butter along with the lard.
3. Add water and pulse a few more times, until the flour and butter are thoroughly mixed and hold its shape together when you touch it.
4. Pour the flour mixture into a zip lock bag, and shape into a disk. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, for the filling, peel the apples and slice them in like size. In a big bowl mix the apples and the lemon juice. Add sugar, mix, then add the spices and mix all together. You will see the apples begin to sweat as they slightly release their juices. Add cornstarch and mix well. Set aside.
6. Using a dough cutter, divide the dough in half. Working with one half at the time, roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper. Place the first rolled dough gently into a 9.5-inch baking pie dish and then peel off the paper. Tuck in the dough along the edges of the pie dish with your fingers. Don't worry if it's not perfect.
7. Repeat rolling the dough procedure with the second half. Egg wash with egg white.
8. Pour the apple filling into the pie dish and add pieces of butter. Now carefully place the remaining rolled out dough on top of the apple filling. Tuck in the dough nicely with your fingers. Using a knife, make cuts in a few places on the top of the dough. The cuts provide openings for steam to release during the baking time.
9. Put the pie dish on a baking sheet and place them into the oven on the bottom rack.
10. Bake for 60 minutes and check for doneness, may take additional 10 minutes. Keep eye on.
11. Remove from an oven and let it cool. The longer the pie cools the better. Room temperature or close to room temperature is the ideal time to cut the pie.
Serve with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!