Apple Pie: A Timeless Comfort Food

apple pie recipe
Image credits: Patrick Fore via Unsplash

A delicious concoction of apples, flour, milk, sugar and a dash of the aromatic cinnamon, apple pie is the ultimate comfort food that evokes a sense of warmth and familiarity.  Served with cream or cheese, it is a dish that has several regional variations.  This apple pie recipe can be made with several kinds of apples and the filling includes sugar, butter and cinnamon. 

Origin

Apple pie traces its origin to England and the earliest documented apple pie recipe dates back to 1381.  Most of the recipes of those times used honey instead of sugar as the latter was an expensive commodity.  Typically made with Bramley apple, the English version is served with ice cream or just whipped cream or custard.  The Dutch style apple pie incorporates additional ingredients like almond paste, lime, resins and nutmeg.  They are made in two varieties, a crumb (appelkruimeltaart) and a lattice (appeltaart) style pie.  The French version of the apple pie recipe uses a variety of fruits including pears while the Swedish version of the dish is akin to an apple crumble. 

Apple pie which is an intrinsic part of American culture was introduced in the country during the 17th and 18th century by the English and the Dutch as part of colonization. Today it is a dish that is considered typically American with phrases like as “American as apple pie” and “we love our baseball and apple pie” being common parlance.  In fact, it is the state dish in Vermont and the unincorporated community of Pie Town, New Mexico is named after apple pie. 

Nutrition facts

A major part of this best apple pie recipe nutrition quotient is derived from apples whose health benefits are reflected in the famous quote “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”.  Rich in soluble fibre it is recommended to eat apple with its skin.  The intake of fibre reduces cholesterol build up and aids digestion.  It is rich in polyphenols, particularly a flavonoid called epicatechin that makes it effective against blood pressure and reduces the probability of conditions like a stroke. It is replete with antioxidants that have a positive effect on the treatment of diseases like cancer and even Alzheimer’s and helps boost the body’s immune system.

How to make apple pie

Here is a simple and easy apple pie recipe that you can make at home and enjoy with your afternoon cup of tea.  Read on to find out more about this toothsome apple pie recipe.

Ingredients used in this traditional apple pie recipe:

For the crust

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable or cooking oil
  • 1 tsp salt

For the filling

  • 8 cups sliced apples
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg

Method:

  1. Here’s the apple pie recipe begins-
  2. Prepare the dough by sifting the flour as the first step.  In a bowl mix the flour with salt, milk and oil and knead into a nice firm ball.  You can also use a mixer for this purpose.  Divide the dough into two parts.
  3. Now transfer the dough to a clean, flat area and with a rolling pin, roll out each part into a circle of 11 inch in diameter.
  4. Place one circle of dough on the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate and fit it well while removing the excess dough from the edges.  Seal the cracks and tears, if any. 
  5. In a bowl toss the apple slices, flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. Spoon this mixture over the pie crust.
  6. Cover now with the second pie crust; seal thoroughly and make some slits for ventilation.
  7. Bake at 425-degree Fahrenheit for 10 minutes and then reduce the temperature to 375-degree Fahrenheit and bake for another 40 minutes.  The filling inside starts bubbling and the crust turns brown which is an indication of the pie being baked.
  8. Cool completely at least for an hour and a half before serving.
  9. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream

Simple apple pie recipe’s tips:

  • You can roll the pie crust on the workspace between two wax sheets if you find that easier.
  • Prepare the filling first and set it aside for an hour. This will let apples release their juices.
  • If the apple pie filling is runny then you cook it down a bit more.
  • Cool it before cutting as the liquid inside will get a chance to thicken more and further it will prevent a soggy slice.
  • Honeycrisp, Granny Smith and Pink Lady are some of the apples that work best for apple pie.
  • If your dough crumbles, add more water.
  • Make sure to use peeled apples and slice them halves into thin slices.
  • If you slice the apple pie when it is hot can make it very soggy.  You can cool for some time at room temperature and then refrigerate to ensure the pie has cooled completely.
  • Refrigerate it if you want to keep it beyond 24 hours.

FAQs

What kind of apples are best suited for apple pie?

Honeycrisp, Granny Smith and Pink Lady are some of the apples that work best for apple pie.

Did apple pie originate in America?

No, the dish is not originally from America.

Should you peel the apples before making the pie?

Peeling apples gives you a soft pie but discarding the peel makes you lose the fibre and nutrients which makes the pie less nutritious.

How to store the apple pie?

You can store already baked apple pie in the fridge by covering it loosely with plastic wrap.

Can I store it in the fridge unbaked?

If you leave it unbaked for two days, it’ll get soggy.

Can I make it a day ahead?

Yes you can but let it cool to room temperature, cover it and keep it at room temperature overnight.

How to prevent pie filling from getting watery?

You need to have your pie crust ready before mixing the filling. If the filling sits for longer before baking, it will release more moisture.

How to know if the pie is done?

If you see bubbles through the vents of the top crust, then the pie is done. You can also pierce the pie to check and if the apples feel more crunchier, then it’s an indication that the pie needs more time.

How to store leftover apple pie?

You can either keep it at room temperature for two to three day, or store it in a refrigerator for up to a week. Then you can rewarm the slices for five to ten minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in the oven.