Finally the moment we have all been waiting for… a timeless, historical apple pie recipe! Preparing and assembling the pie filling is definitely the easy part of the pie-making process.
I have been desperate to make a recipe from “American Cookery”, the first American cookbook, and I was hoping that this would be my opportunity; however, the closest recipe to an apple pie was an apple tart and these are her instructions verbatim, “Stew and strain the apples, add cinnamon, rosewater, wine and sugar to your taste, lay in paste, royal, squeeze thereon orange juice – bake gently.” Pardon me, but what? Perhaps the American ladies in 1796 who bought this cookbook had a deeper understanding of the basics of baking than I, but this recipe left me confused. With trepidation I turned to The Joy of Cooking (1st Edition). I never thought I would be so pleased to see semi-exact measurements in a cookbook.
Apple Pie – Joy of Cooking
4 or 5 tart apples (Granny Smiths are an excellent choice)
½ to 2/3 cup sugar (I used 2/3 cup)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
½ teaspoon cinnamon (rounded)
1 tablespoon or more butter (I used 1.5 tablespoons)
Flour, if desired
1/8 teaspoon salt (I eliminated this because there was salt in the crust)
Preheat your oven to 450°.
Peel and core the apples and cut them into thin slices. I cut each half into thirds and then thinly sliced the halves. Arranged the slices in a pie pan covered with pie dough. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon rind and sprinkle the mixture over the apples. Add the lemon juice and a light dredging of flour if desired. I lightly dusted less than a tablespoon of flour over the top. Dot the apples with butter and cover the pie with an upper crust. Crimp edges, cut in vents, and decorate the top with cutouts if desired. I just lay my cutout on top, but apparently you are supposed to secure them to the upper crust with an egg wash. Dually noted!
Place pie dish on a baking sheet and place in middle rack of pre-heated oven. Bake at 450° for 30 minutes and then reduce temperature to 325° and continue to bake for 10 minutes or until the filling is bubbling out the vents.
The pie crust was flaky and perfectly cooked and the filling was tart and flavorful. It would be refreshing with some vanilla or caramel ice cream, but it was not my favorite apple pie recipe being a certified sweet addict.