When you think about “America,” what comes to mind? Freedom? The Star Spangled Banner? Mel Gibson in the Patriot? I think of pie. Apple pie, to be exact. ¬†Nothing is more American to me than apple pie. I mean, the saying “as American as apple pie” exists for a reason…
The last time I made apple pie was, coincidentally, on a 4th of July…5-ish years ago. I really want pie when I got up that morning, so I rolled out some dough and made a fresh pie brimming with tangy-sweet apples and topped with a pretty lattice crust. It didn’t occur to me that this was the perfect Independence Day dessert until we went over to a friend’s place for a BBQ, and got in the elevator with a random girl. She saw the pie in my hands and immediately blurted out “OMG, is that an apple pie? Did you make that for the 4th? That is sooo¬†American!”
And she was right — apple pie is¬†super American.¬†According to Wikipedia, apple pies have been a symbol of American prosperity and¬†national pride since the 19th and 20th centuries, and “for Mom and apple pie” was a common answer of WWII soldiers whenever journalists asked why they were going to war. ¬†Pretty cool, huh? I love apple pie. To me, it’s the ultimate comfort dessert, and every time I eat it I think of happy families, fat babies, lazy dogs, and white picket fences — the American dream, as it were. ¬†And, apple pies are really freaking delicious. Buttery, flaky crust wrapped around juicy, tangy-sweet apples spiced with cinnamon…what could be better? American or not, when served with some freshly whipped cream and/or ice cream, it’s basically the perfect dessert.
Happy belated 4th, everyone! Hope it was a good one.
Good Old Fashioned Apple Pie
- 1 package pre-made store bought pie crust
- 5-6 Gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1 generous dash ground nutmeg
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 egg + 2 tbsp water, whisked together (this is your egg wash)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Carefully roll out one of your store-bought pie crusts and gently press it into a greased pie dish, allowing excess to hang over the edge. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge to chill.
- In a large bowl, toss apple slices with lemon juice.
- Add sugars, flour, and spices to the bowl and toss to coat.
- Spoon apple filling into chilled pie crust.
- Cut butter into very small pieces and sprinkle over the apples.
- Roll out the remaining pie crust. Cut into strips 1/2 inches to 3/4 inches wide.
- Place one layer of strips across the pie, over the ¬†the apples, spacing strips about 1 inch apart. Do not press the edges down.
** There will be overhang, don’t worry about it.
- Put down another¬†¬†layer of strips across the pie, perpendicular to the first layer of strips. Weaving each strip over and under the first layer of strips to create a lattice effect.
** Alternate your weaving from strip to strip — for example, if one strip starts the weaving pattern going under the first layer, the next strip should start going over. See unbaked pie picture above for explanation.
- Press down on the edges of your pie crust to seal top and bottom layers together. ¬†Trim overhang, and crimp all around to make a stand-up edge.
** If you want it to look extra pretty, you can press a few extra strips of crust around the rim of the pie (you should have plenty of strips leftover).
- Brush egg wash lightly around the edge of the pie, and cover with a pie crust shield if you have one.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until top is golden brown and juices are bubbling.
- Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes.
- Slice and serve with freshly whipped cream and caramel sauce or ice cream.¬†