If you are willing to spend a very long time sitting at the computer looking for a recipe, do a search for “apple pie recipes” and get ready for the long haul. We found more than 400,000 entries and that doesn’t count apple pie cookbooks. It’s enough to make you want to lie down with a cold cloth over your head.
To save you the job of clicking and scrolling, we’ve found the perfect pie. It has four pounds of tart apples, more than any pie we saw on the web. And to accommodate all that fruit, it’s baked in a springform pan instead of a pie plate. Also, if making a fluted crust is more than your fingers can manage, you’ll be glad to know the bottom pastry is flipped over the top, giving it a rustic look.
For more about apple pie, we went to Pie by Ken Haedrich (Harvard Common Press, 2004), a pie-maker par excellence. In his chapter on apple pies, Haedrich writes apple pie is the country’s favorite dessert, and the biggest pie, with 16 tons of fruit, was baked in 1997 at the North Central Washington Museum in Wenatchee, Wash. “It’s a symbol of things we hold dear,” he says.
Rustic Apple Pie
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup vegetable shortening
6 to 7 tablespoons ice water
4 pounds tart apples (such as Granny Smith), peeled, cored and sliced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. To prepare crust, mix flour and salt in a large bowl. Cut in shortening using a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add ice water 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir gently and gather into two balls, one about twice as large as the other.
3. Roll out larger ball on a lightly floured surface until it is large enough to cover the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan, with about 2 inches of overhang. Roll smaller dough ball into a 9-inch circle.
4. To prepare filling, combine apples, flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt; toss well. Spoon into prepared crust. Sprinkle pieces of butter on top. Place top crust over filling. Fold overhang evenly around top crust. Cut 10 to 12 slits in top crust. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar if desired. Bake about 1 hour or until crust is deep golden and the filling oozes through the slits. Serves 12.
Recipe by Mary Carter.
Per serving: 358 calories, 15g fat, 3g prot., 59g carbs., 3g fiber, 320mg sodium.
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Photo credit: Mark Boughton Photography / styling by Teresa Blackburn