02 January 2011

Spies are for Pies

So I got a bit ahead of myself. The week before Christmas, faced with a sack of Northern Spy apples moldering in the corner of my kitchen, I decided to go ahead and make that apple pie I've been psyching myself up for since September. I know it was before my grand pie project began, but if I couldn't pull off a basic apple pie, what business do I have making 65 pies?

Full confession - I didn't do anything fancy. I didn't even make my own crust - a store-bought refrigerated crust worked just fine (and tasted great too). And the recipe? "Perfect Apple Pie" cribbed off the side of the crust box.

So, in to the oven: one double-crust, straight-ahead apple pie. And three-quarters of an hour later, the angels rejoiced. Or maybe that's just what always happens in late December when you pull homemade baked goods from the oven.

Seriously, though, this was one of the best apple pies I can recall. And I made it myself (sort of)! </giddy> I don't know if was just the variety of apple or what, but this was a really good pie. This was what I imagine when I imagine basic apple pie. It will be interesting to try the same recipe with a different apple and see what we get. But that's a pie for another day...

Postscript: These photos are actually from New Year's Eve. I made up the exact same pie, but expanded into the crust slits you see here and the fluted edge. Two things to note:

1. The refrigerated pie crusts have a distinctive 'ripple' at the tighter end of where they were rolled up in the box. I wonder if a little meeting with Mr. Rolling Pin before laying on the crust might remedy this?

2. My crust leaked again. Both times I've made this pie in the last two weeks, it's escaped out the side. (And that, boys and girls, is why I put a cookie sheet on the next rack under the oven rack holding the pie.) Again, my hunch is that a bit of work on the refrigerated crust with a rolling pin would give me a little more play in the crusts - without it, one side always seems a bit short. But it's the tasting that counts, right? We'll just chalk it up to "too much apple-y goodness to stay in one pie shell".


  1. I wonder - do you have a crust guard? I don't know if that's the technical term for it... I couldn't help noticing that your outside crust looks a little dark. Mine is a round piece of silicon that you place on the edge of the pie about halfway through the baking. It keeps the edge of the crust from burning while the rest bakes. You can do it with foil, but that involves forming a piece around an already hot pie plate, trying not to mess up the top of the pie. I think I got 2 for $10 from Bed, Bath & Beyond, and it is the greatest uni-tasker I have in my kitchen.

  2. Megan, I've seen that contraption called a "pie shield" before. I'm familiar with it, and I may break down and get one before the year is out.
    That said, I think the darkness of the crust in the photos here is 1) a function of the iffy photography setup (read: none) that I have and 2) the top of the pie is a bit paler than I'd like. It tastes good either way!