Classic Deep Dish Apple Pie

Warning — you may not be able to stop eating this apple pie. There is something irresistible about the combination of a flaky pie crust, an aromatic (but not too sweet) apple filling and a crunchy oatmeal crumb topping. Autumn is the time of year to find varieties of apples at farmer’s markets and produce stands that don’t appear at other times of the year.Classic Deep Dish Apple Pie - IMG_5627

This is a classic apple pie with a homemade pie crust. Surprisingly, the crust isn’t too difficult to make using a food processor. The oatmeal crumb topping adds to the ease of the recipe.

My husband took a trip recently to the Northern states; with instructions to bring home local apples from upstate New York. He returned with a box of five varieties of apples which are not available in our area.  Unfortunately the apples tumbled out of the box so we are not totally sure which variety of apple is what; but it probably doesn’t matter too much. I used a mixture of apples for the pie.Rochester Apples - 2015 - IMG_5515Many of these local apples were developed at the New York State Experiment Station, an agricultural research branch of Cornell University. Research botanists were searching for improved varieties of apples in taste, texture, disease resistance and storage. Sweet, tart, aromatic, crisp and juicy are some of the desired characteristics that vary from apple to apple. The varieties (we think) are left to right:

  • Jonagold – a very large apple which is a hybrid of Golden Delicious and Jonathan apples from the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva. It is a blend of sweet and tart, crisp, juicy with yellow flesh and a great aroma when baked in apple pies. Use for salads, sauces, baking, pies.
  • Macoun – developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva in 1932; named for a famous Canadian fruit breeder. It is extra sweet, aromatic, juicy with tender, white flesh good for eating, salads, sauces. It is available only in the fall.
  • Crispin Green – a large green delicately spicy and juicy apple. The original name for this apple was Mutsu, reflecting its Japanese heritage. It was renamed Crispin in the late ‘60s. It is used for sauces, baking, salads, pies.
  • Cortland – an all-purpose apple developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva in 1898. It is sweet, with a hint of tartness, juicy, tender, snow-white flesh and is excellent for eating, salads, sauces, pies and baking.
  • Empire – a cross of  Red Delicious and McIntosh apples; it was developed at Cornell University in the ‘40s. It’s a sweet-tart combination that’s very versatile. It is sweet, tart, juicy with white flesh good for eating, salads, baking pies, sauces.

Health Benefits of Apples

Apples are such a part of our culture that it is easy to take the health benefits of apples for granted. Thanks to storage techniques, apples are available year around. Many of the varieties available in grocery stores have changed over the years, but an apple is still an apple to me.

While not rich in any particular vitamin or mineral, apples have many healthy properties. Apples are good sources of soluble fiber which helps control blood sugar and cholesterol with a lower risk of both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Apples are being studied for their connections to preventing several forms of cancer including lung and breast cancer. Apples contain phytonutrients and an antioxidant called “quercetin” which improves neurological functioning and may help prevent dementia. Plus apples help with satiety and theoretically may help with weight loss. The idea is that you eat less food if you fill up on raw apples. However, it is possible that you might consume more with apple pie!New York Apples for Apple Pie - IMG_5529

How to Make a Homemade Food Processor Pie Crust

A homemade pie crust can be a little tricky to make. So for ease I often use a purchased pie crust. This recipe makes a large pie; purchase a deep dish pie crust.

When food processors first became the rage, we were all excited. It was so quick and easy to chop, slice, dice, puree vegetables, knead dough for bread, mix up recipes. I purchased a heavy duty Cuisinart food processor. It still runs and has paid for itself over the years.

With the food processor craze, I developed a method of making a pie crust in a food processor which is quite easy. Practice helps, it may take several trials to get the pie crust technique down.Pie Crust Ingredients - IMG_5521

Blend the flour and a pinch of salt in the food processor mixer bowl. Then add solid margarine (healthiest), butter (best flavor) or Crisco (easiest to roll out) in small pieces. The solid shortening is more pliable and rolls out easier than diet or soft tub margarine. It results in a flaky crust, the layers “peel off”. Pulse just a few times until the shortening is cut into the size of small peas.Pie Crust in food processor - IMG_5524

Then with the blender running, add ice water – just a few tablespoons — until the dough forms into a ball. Don’t add too much water; the dough will be sticky.Pie Crust in food processor - mixed - IMG_5525

Chill for half an hour or longer, then roll out on a floured board. Don’t let the dough stick to the board or rolling pin; add flour as need. I roll the dough out onto floured parchment paper.Pie Crust ready for rolling out - IMG_5541

Measure to see if the dough is rolled out enough and simply lift the paper up and place the dough into the pie pan or dish. Take care not to stretch the dough during this step. This recipe makes just enough dough for the 9″ deep dish shell; no room to spare.Measuring pie crust for fitting pie pan - IMG_5543

Cut the edge of the dough even with the edge of the pie pan and crimp the edges. Take small pieces of dough, wetted with your fingers, and fill in cracked areas of the pie shell. It’s in the bottom of the pie dish, no one will see the patch jobs.Pie crust in pie pan - IMG_5546

Apple Pie Filling

In my opinion, homemade apple pies are infinitely better than purchased ones. This pie filling is not too, too sweet. The flavor of the apples predominates. I add just a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg to add to the flavor. Dried fruit, such as raisins, or fresh fruit such as cranberries, blackberries or blueberries can be added to the pie filling.Appie Pie Filling Ingredients - IMG_5532This recipe uses 8 cups of apples; this is about 2 ½ to 3 pounds. If using a regular pie pan; reduce the apples to 6 cups. Any variety of apple which is identified as a baking apple can be used in the recipe; become familiar with varieties available in your area. Using an apple slicer to core and slice the apples makes this task relatively easy. (These were then sliced thinner.) I peeled most of the apples, leaving the peeling on a few pieces for nutritional value–although this gives a pink color to the filling.Slicing and Coring Apples - IMG_5536

The apples are blended with lemon juice, flour, sugar and spices. Let this mixture set for about half an hour and then pour into the pie shell.Filling added to pie crust - IMG_5547

Oatmeal Crumb Topping

Using a crumb topping, rather than a second pie crust on top of the pie, makes the recipe easier. For the topping, the ingredients – flour, old fashioned oatmeal, brown sugar and a pinch of salt – are mixed and the margarine is cut in. Oatmeal adds to the flavor and nutritional value of the pie.Crumb Topping Ingredients - IMG_5530

Pour over the filling and bake. Here is the crumb topping in the background.Apples filling and crumb topping - IMG_5540

Baking Pies

Fruit pies take about 45 – 50 minutes to bake so that the filling is cooked through. In this amount of time, the pie shell often burns. Placing aluminum foil around the edges for part of the cooking time helps prevent this. In addition the oven temperature is lowered during part of the baking time. For this pie, I actually tented foil over the entire pie as the topping was baking too quickly.Wrap with foil - IMG_5550

Here’s the finished pie. It tastes great when served hot with ice cream, whipped cream, whipped topping or yogurt.Classic Deep Dish Apple Pie - 5 - IMG_5605

Classic Deep Dish Apple Pie by MayleesKitchen

  • Servings: one 9-inch deep dish pie, 8 - 10 servings
  • Time: 1 hour prep plus 50 minutes to bake
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Pie Crust:

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup solid Crisco, margarine or butter
  • 3 Tbsp ice water

Method and Steps:

  1. Add flour and salt to food processor bowl and mix with mixing blade.
  2. Add shortening, cut in chunks, through shoot.
  3. Turn on pulse cycle and pulse 4 cycles until shortening is cut into size of small peas.
  4. With food processor on continuous cycle, add ice water through shoot and mix only until pastry is moistened (I continue until it forms into a ball).
  5. Remove pastry, form into a ball, chill and then roll out.

Apple Filling:

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups (about 2-1/2 to 3 lb) cooking apples (6 cups for regular size 9″ pie)
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Method and Steps:

  1. Wash, core, peel and thinly slice apples. Place in large bowl.
  2. Sprinkle lemon juice over apples and gently toss to mix.
  3. In small bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  4. Add flour mixture to apples, gently toss to combine. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Oatmeal Crumb Topping:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 3/4 all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup margarine

Method and Steps:

  1. Combine oatmeal, flour, brown sugar and salt in medium bowl.
  2. Cut in margarine with pastry cutter or fork until finely mixed. Topping will be crumbly.

Apple Pie Assembly:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Roll pie crust dough out on floured pastry board or counter. I place dough on large piece of floured parchment paper. Add flour to rolling pin and pastry board to avoid having dough stick as needed and occasionally turn pie dough in 1/4 circular turns. Roll pie crust out until slightly larger than diameter of 9″ deep dish pie pan.
  3. Wrap pie crust over rolling pin, or lift up parchment paper, and place pie shell in pie pan taking care not to stretch the dough. Take scraps of dough, moistened with water, and fill in cracks.
  4. Trim the edges of the pie crust even with the pie pan and crimp the edges of the pie dough in a decorative pattern.
  5. Add the apple filling.
  6. Sprinkle the oatmeal crumb topping evenly over top of pie filling.
  7. Wrap narrow strips of aluminum foil around the pie pan and crimped edge of the pie dough.
  8. Place in 425 degree oven and bake 15 minutes.
  9. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Remove aluminum foil. Bake 30 – 40 minutes longer until pie filling is bubbly and pie shell is browned. If pie topping or crimped edges of pie bake too rapidly, tent with more aluminum foil.
  10. Remove from oven. Best served hot. Serve with ice cream, whipped cream, whipped topping or yogurt.

Classic Deep Dish Apple Pie - 1 - IMG_5590This pie is well worth the wait.

References

New York State Apple Country. //www.nyapplecountry.com/

The Worlds Heathiest Foods. Apples. //www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=15

10 Health Benefits of Apples. //www.healthdiaries.com/eatthis/10-health-benefits-of-apples.html

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