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"Connecticut's Best" Apple Pie

By

The All-American Pie

Photo © U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
You may think all apple pie recipes are pretty much the same, but the slight variations in this recipe, like the brown sugar in the crust, and orange juice to soak the apple in, makes for some subtle, and delicious differences.

Any baking apple will work in this recipe, but in my opinion the Granny Smith apples I called for make the best pie. They are also very easy to find at the market.

Makes 1 Pie

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • For the crust:
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ice cold butter, cut into 1/2-in pieces
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 tbsp cold milk
  • ---------------------
  • For the filling and final assembly:
  • 6-9 Granny Smith apples (depending on size)
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 egg, beaten

Preparation:

For the crust:

  1. Sift the flour and baking powder together into a large bowl. Add the salt and brown sugar. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the shortening and butter until the mixture has a dry, crumbly texture and the pieces of butter are the size of small peas.

  2. Dizzle the oil in, and then the milk, one tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork after each spoonful. Once the milk has been added, form the dough into a ball with your hands and divide in two. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest before While it's resting prepare the filling.

The filling and final assembly:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  2. Peel and cut the apples into 1/4-inch slices. Toss the apple with the orange juice and mix well. Add the remaining ingredients, except the butter and egg, and mix until well combined.

  3. Roll half the dough on a lightly floured surface to form the bottom crust. It should be about 1/4-inch thick. Place into the bottom of a 10-inch pie pan.

  4. Pour the apple mixture into the bottom crust and pack in firmly and evenly. Dot the top of the apples with 2 tbsp of butter. Roll second half of the dough and cover with the top crust; pinch the edges with your fingers so that both crusts are sealed all the way around the pan. Some like to go around the edge with a fork to make a design and help seal the dough, while others like to "crimp" the edge using their fingers to make the traditional scalloped edge.

  5. Poke a few holes with a fork in the top crust so the steam can escape. Brush the top crust with the beaten egg to help give a nice browned finish.

  6. Bake for 1 hour, or until the crust is nicely browned. If the crust begins to browns too quickly, cover with foil. Let cool to room temperature before serving.
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