There are over 7,500 varieties of apples worldwide, and in the U.S., they are harvested three times a year. There is mid-summer peaking in late summer, late summer to early autumn and early autumn peaking as late as early winter. Late season apples, or winter apples, can be kept at cool temperatures above 32 degrees F. and will stay fresh into spring. Winter apples are great for cooking!
Braeburn, Fuji and Pink Ladies are just a few of the winter apples we see in stores. I prefer Golden Delicious for pie baking. It has a nice balance of sweet and tartness. They are soft but hold their shape well when baked. Other top apples chosen for pies are Granny Smith, MacIntosh, Honeycrisp and Pink Lady.
When making a fruit pie, I choose a butter crust recipe. When making a pecan pie, I usually go with lard or vegetable shortening. It’s just a preference. I’ve been using this crust recipe by Simply Recipes for the last couple of years and really love it. It gives you a step-by-step process of how to combine the ingredients to get the best crust each time.
First I mix up the dough and put it into the refrigerator. While it’s chilling, I peel and core the apples, toss them in lemon juice to prevent browning, then toss again in the sugar mixture made up of granulated sugar, brown sugar, all-purpose flour, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. I place the covered bowl into the refrigerator then roll out my dough.
Every oven is a little different so watch your cooking time. I decided to pile on more apples and added more lemon juice this time which caused more moisture within the pie. It was harder to get the bottom crust to bake without burning the top. It tasted amazing but was difficult to slice evenly.
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 6 to 7 cups thinly sliced peeled apples
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Double-crust pie dough (9 inches)
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons butter
- 1 large egg white
- Granulated or sparkling sugar
Combine the sugars, flour and spices in a small bowl; set aside.
In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Add sugar mixture; toss to coat then put bowl in refrigerator.
Roll out one disk of dough, line 9-inch pie plate with dough, then trim edges and fold over to create a ridge.
Pour in apple mixture; dot with butter.
If covering pie top completely, cut slits in pastry to vent during cooking.
Beat egg white then brush over the top of the pie.
Sprinkle with granulated sugar, or sparkling sugar.
Cover edges loosely with foil.
Bake at 375° for 25 minutes.
Remove foil and bake another 25-30 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
Cool on a wire rack.
Oven temperatures vary so adjust baking time if needed.