Thursday, December 2, 2010

Apple Pie

I can't remember if I've mentioned it before, but I'm terrified of making pie.  TERRIFIED.  Until this year, I've made pie three times, and each time it's gone poorly.

Pie #1: Pecan Pie
About a month into our marriage, the husband started a new phase in his career.  In order to celebrate this milestone, I decided to bake him a pie.  Pecan pie.  It took me two days to bake the stupid thing.  I had to buy the ingredients.  Make the dough.  Chill the dough.  Roll the dough.  Freeze the dough.  Par bake the crust.  Fill the crust.  Bake the pie.  Let it cool.  When I fiiiiinally served the pecan pie to the husband, he didn't want any.  He didn't like pecan pie, he told me.  (Side note: if your significant other ever spends two days baking you a pie, EAT IT.  If it's your least favorite food in the world, eat it anyway.  If you're deathly allergic to the pie, at least offer to eat it.)  After all that effort, I couldn't let the pie go to waste.  It took me a few days, but I ate the whole doggone thing.  Although it tasted pretty delicious, my feelings were hurt.  I vowed never to make pie again.

Pie #2: Pumpkin Praline Pie
For Thanksgiving 2007 I decided to make my Aunt Joanne's famous pumpkin praline pie.  After the pecan pie situation, I wimped out and bought the crust.  I was nervous that the top would crack and look like the Grand Canyon, but it wasn't too bad!  And it tasted divine.  You're wondering what went wrong with pie #2?  Well, the husband wouldn't eat it.  Apparently, he doesn't like pumpkin pie either.  As you might have guessed, that went over poorly.  I was finished with pie for good.

Pie #3: Apple Pie
By the time Thanksgiving 2008 rolled around, I should have learned my lesson.  And I did...sort of.  This time, I asked the husband what kind of pie he wanted before I started baking.  Apple pie, he said, and he even had a recipe from a friend!  Phew.  No more fights related to his taste buds.  So, I made the specific pie requested by the husband.  The recipe seemed a little suspect, but this was what the man wanted, so I kept on.  Well, I should have listened to my gut on this one.  The pie tasted terrible.  Absolutely awful.  The husband tried the pie, declared it inedible, and took all the blame for the bad recipe.  He's a very smart man.  I declared that I was never making another pie.  Ever.  Seriously this time.

Being the eternal optimist, I decided to give it one more shot this Thanksgiving.  And I am proud to report, in the year of our Lord 2010, on the 25th day of November, I conquered pie.  It took both my mom's and my dad's help, but I DID IT!!!  I baked a fan-freakin'-tastic apple pie.  Ok, I might be overstating it slightly, but it was tasty.

The moral of the story?  Don't let fear keep you out of the kitchen.  It's not always easy, but it's worth it.

Apple Pie      
This recipe is from  It's called "Apple Pie by Grandma Ople."  Cute, huh?
Serves: 8

1 recipe for a 9" double crust pie (on my friend, Jen's, recommendation, I used this recipe from Martha Stewart.)
1/2 cup butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg white, lightly beaten
8 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced very thin

Adjust an oven rack so it's in the lower third of the oven.  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place it on the rack.  Preheat oven (with the baking sheet in it) to 425 degrees.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir flour into butter to form a paste.  Cook for 1-2 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste.  Add water, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Bring mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, about 5 minutes.  Turn off the heat and stir in vanilla.

Set aside about a quarter of the butter-sugar mixture and stir the rest into the apples.

Meanwhile, place the bottom crust in a 9" pie plate.  Brush the bottom crust with egg white to help prevent it from getting soggy.  Fill crust with the apples.  Cover with the top crust.  Crimp the edges and cut decorative slits into the top crust.  Use a pastry brush to brush the reserved butter-sugar mixture over the top crust.  (If the mixture has cooled and thickened, just warm it up in the microwave until it's liquid again.)  

Place pie on the preheated baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for 35-45 minutes, until the apples are soft.  Let the pie cool before serving so the filling has a chance to firm up.


  1. I'm glad you challenged on with your quest for making pies! Your applie pie crust looks perfect and flaky. Good job! ;)

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Cristina! I must admit, I was pretty darn proud of myself! Next challenge: yeast bread. (Shudder in fear.)