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Want to make the best apple pie you've ever had, and don't want to spend all day in the kitchen studying complicated recipes? Martha Stewart, Rachel Rae and Alton Brown have nice recipes, but nothing beats this Amish Pennsylvania Dutch apple pie! Anyway, this pie is so easy and has stood the test of time. Everyone I ever serve it to raves about it. What makes it different is: it's mostly apples, not crust or sugar; and the combination of spices is superb! And it doesn't matter if you're not a chef or have never made a pie before! Following these illustrated directions ANYONE can cook a perfect apple pie for Thanksgiving, Christmas or any occasion! For detailed descriptions many apple varieties that you can pick or buy at the grocery store, see this page!
As I said in the ingredients, it takes about 20 medium sized apples for a deep dish pie. But that can vary based on the variety. Gala's tend to cook down more, while harder, more dense apples, like Rome and Fuji do not. Some varieties, like Honeycrisp and Pink Lady, contain more water than others. You can use any variety you like, and by choosing the right variety for your tastes, you'll get the texture of pie you like.
I prefer a mix: about 1/3 Gala, 1/3 Fuji and 1/3 Honeycrisp.
Just wash them in cold water, no soap. We're going to remove the skins anyway, so don't spend too much time on it. You can remove any stickers that the grocery store put on the apples, though. Peelers often get sutck on those.
The fastest way to peel the apples is one of these peelers! With firm apples, it takes about 20 seconds per apple. These apple peelers don't work well on soft, mushy apples or apples with soft spots on them. In that case your stuck with a hand peeler!
Once they're peeled, remove any remaining brown spots (see the photo at left - before removing the blemishes.)
These apple peelers work absolutely great on firm apples, pears and potatoes. They don't work so well on apples that are mush or have soft spots. There are 2 types of peelers: those that have a suction base ("Back to Basics", below) and those that clamp on to the edge of a table ("Progressive" below"). I prefer the suction type as you can use it more places. As you can see in the photo below, it's so easy, a 3 year can (and eagerly will) peel the apples!) Click on the links below for more info or to order one.
You can use a knife, but the $5 corer/slicer you see in the photo is
available at any kitchen store (Bed, Bath and beyond, etc.), and is the
fastest, easiest way. But any slices that are between 1/4-inch and 1/2 inch
thick will do.
Remove seeds, stems, any hard parts near the seeds and brown or soft spots.
Here are the apple slices, ready for the pie!
These corer/slicers are fantastic. Think about it; it makes six slices in the time you can cut one with a knife AND it cores. The one sold here through Amazon.com is better than any I've seen in the stores because it has tall handles (so you won't knock your knuckles) and is washable in the dishwasher. Click on the link below for more info or to order one.
Combine the sugar, flour, corn starch and spices in a bowl.
And mix them well!
Never made a crust either? Fear not, they are really simple. Click here for instructions about making a pie crust. It will open in a new window, so just close the new window to return here. Now is a good time to get the oven preheating to 425 F.
Sprinkle a 4 or 5 tablespoons of the sugar-spice-etc. mixture into the pie crust and place a layer of apple slices, one slice deep, on top of that. Use any pattern you like, just keep them snug so there air space is minimized.
Put another 4 or 5 tablespoons of the sugar-spice mixture on top on the apples in the pie crust.
Repeat steps 6 and 7, laying apples and spice mixture until the pie crust is filled and then some!
The apples need to be piled between an inch and 1.5 inches above the top of the pan. The apples cook down a LOT!
Finally, sprinkle more sugar-spice on top of the pie!
Cook the pie at 425 F for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down and cook at 375 F for another 45 minutes to 1 hour.
When the apples are soft (stick a blunt knife in the middle to test), and the top is golden brown, remove the pie to cool!
And here is a slice of the finished pie.