The all-American favorite apple pie begins with firm, crisp, slightly tart apples. And the best place to buy them is just a few minutes drive from our Asheville dental office.
On a recent September day, I drove to a Hendersonville apple orchard to taste and chose the best apple for my first pie of the season. Hendersonville orchards produce most of the apples grown in North Carolina, which is the seventh largest producer of apples in the country.
A good apple pie begins with a tasty apple.
On this day, the best choice for a pie was a Jonagold, a cultivar which combines the thin, smooth skin of a Golden Delicious and the sweet-tart flavor of a Jonathan. After tasting a few, I bought a bag along with some Mutsus, a green honey-flavored apple.
The combination proved irresistible: the pie was gone within a day.
Delicious Apple Pie
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
8 tart apples, peeled and thinly sliced (about 6-7 cups)
¾ cup of sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (if the apples are very juicy use cornstarch)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and a dash of ground nutmeg (or 1 ½ teaspoons of apple pie spice)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of butter
Dash of salt
Combine apples, sugar, flour, spices, lemon juice, and salt. Mix well.
Line a 9-inch pie plate with pastry. Fill with apple mixture. Dot with butter.
Adjust top pie crust, cutting slits to allow steam to escape. Seal the edges.
Bake at 400 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes. Use aluminum foil to prevent edges from browning before the top of
2 cups of sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cups of shortening
5 to 7 tablespoons of cold water
Sift flour and salt; cut in shortening with a pastry blender or two knives until pieces are the size of cornmeal
and small peas. Sprinkle cold water gradually and form dough into a ball. Flatten on a floured surface and roll
from center out till 1/8 inch thick. Makes enough for a 9-inch double crust pie.
(The recipe I use is based on the Perfect Apple Pie from the 1971 edition of Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book.)