Michael loves apple pie while I prefer cherry or berry. I usually buy pre-made apple pies because mine seldom turn out the way I intended. By that I mean, I want the juices from the apples to thicken so that when I cut a slice, it stays together. I hate watery pie filling that makes the crust soggy. Yuck. I have been on a quest to perfect my pie fillings, one flavor at a time. I have checked blueberry pie off my list with this Memorial Day recipe.
I bought a couple of bags of small Fuji apples to use as bait to lure our donkeys to the fence to put their masks on and take them off. It makes my life easier than chasing them over five acres. With a bag and a half of apples remaining, I had the urge to make a pie last night. Sorry Jack and Diane. You still like carrots, right?
To make this pie, I used a tip suggested by a reader to cook the apples first to extract the juice before filling the pie. I winged it because I couldn’t remember the specifics ,but it worked! I added sugar to the peeled and sliced apples in a large pot. Cooking over medium heat for a few minutes the juice was extracted, allowing me to pour most of it off. After pouring most of the initial juice off, I added additional sugar and cinnamon and cooked it again on low heat. The final step was to add instant tapioca and flour to act as thickeners. I allowed the filling to cool before adding it to the pie tin.
Partially cooking the apples allowed me to decrease the amount of baking time for the pie, leaving the crust perfectly golden brown and flaky. This may not be the way baking experts make apple pie, but it works for me! It was delicious warm for dessert last night and again cold for breakfast. Pie is ok for breakfast, right?
- Double pie crust
- Fuji apples, 3 pounds or about 9 medium apples. ( I used 14 small apples)
- 1 TBS lemon juice
- ⅔ cups sugar
- ⅔ cups sugar (not a typo)
- 2 TBS cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 TBS instant tapioca
- 2 TBS all-purpose flour
- 2 TBS butter, diced into small pieces
- 1 TBS heavy cream
- ½ TBS sugar
- Fit the bottom crust into a 9 inch pie pan. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Peel, core, and slice the apples. Place the sliced apples into a large pot with the lemon juice and ⅔ cup sugar. heat over medium heat until the apples soften and the juices are released. Pour of almost all the juice, reserving ¾ cups. Add the second ⅔ cup sugar, the lemon juice, salt and cinnamon. Put the tapioca into a clean coffee grinder or spice grinder and pulverize. You can use a small food processor or mortar and pestle as well. If you use a food processor add the flour to increase the amount so that it hits the blades. Combine the tapioca and flour. Heat the apple filling over low heat until it just starts to bubble. Add one half the tapioca/flour mixture and stir. If the juice thickens to your liking stop there. If it is still watery, add more. Remove from heat when the juice is thickened but not gelatinous. You still want a juicy pie just not an inch of water in the bottom.
- Allow the pie filling to cool to just warm, then add it to the crust in the pie tin. Dot the top with the pieces of butter. Place the top crust over the pie and seal the edges. Make 8-10 small slits in the top crust to allow the steam to escape. Brush the top with heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar. Place strips of foil over the edges of the pie or use pie crust savers to keep it from over browning. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove the foil or pie crust savers, reduce the heat to 35o degrees and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden growing and the juices are bubbling through the slits.
- Remove the pie from the oven and allow to cool before serving. Can be served while still warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or it can be refrigerated and served chilled. Enjoy!