All American dessert is Best Ever Homemade Apple Pie. Baked in a Lodge cast iron skillet and using seasonal, locally grown apples.
Growing up on a small farm, we always had homemade pies for dessert. My dad is French Canadian and it’s a fact, you must serve bread with dinner and have dessert. After I got married, we moved 6 miles away into our first house. And, I remember he was lost after I moved out. Because I always cooked dinner. So, several times a week he would join us for dinner. And if it was last minute, I’d scramble to whip up something for dessert. Because, you could be for certain he’d expect dessert! Inspired from my rural upbringing, you’ll want to try the Best Ever Homemade Apple Pie. This all-American dessert is a must in our household!
At my parent’s farm, we pretty much used the sugarhouse kitchen exclusively and hardly ever cooked or baked anything in the farmhouse. If you’re wondering what a sugarhouse is, it’s where we boil down sap that comes from maple trees and make it into pure maple syrup. I had baked an apple pie in the sugar house and carried it into the house for dinner, straight out of the oven. And, dropped it on the mudroom floor. That was heart breaking!
Now, traditionally we always baked apple pies or any sort of pie in a glass pie dish. But, over the last few years, I’ve found that there’s nothing quite like baking a homemade pie in cast iron. The bottom crust and filling cooks perfectly. No soggy bottom crust, ever.
Always keep your pie dough cold. Place it back into the fridge if needed. This keeps the fat particles cold and make the pie dough flaky.
Sometimes I like to go with a simple crust and use a sharp knife to cut air vents in the top. Other times, I love a simple weaved crust. Just take a small pizza cutter or pastry cutter to cut strips of pastry dough. Then weave them back and forth. Tuck under the ends and crimp the edges with your finger or press down with a fork. Brush with an egg wash and bake for a little over an hour. My mom always liked the apples to be slightly soft, so that’s the way we prefer our pie. If you like your apples a little more firm, you can bake for less time. Let the pie cool before slicing, so your filling can set.
Be sure and pick up a copy of Taste of the South March/April 2018 issue. My first freelance article is featured on raising chickens and using farm fresh eggs in your kitchen. There are so many wonderful recipes in this issue!Valentine’s Day is this week! If you’re still looking for ideas- try your hand at my Decorated Heart Shaped Cookies! Make them as simple or detailed as you prefer. I’ve given you plenty of options and inspiration.
Best Homemade Apple Pie
- 6 granny smith apples peeled and cut up
- 6-8 Macoun or McIntosh apples peeled and cup up
- 1 cup granulated sugar adjust based on how tart your apples are
- 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 4 tablespoons instant tapioca
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- pie crust either homemade or store bought
Place the apple pieces into a large bowl and coat with lemon juice, tossing with your hands or a large spoon. Set aside.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the bottom crust. Spray a 10 or 12-inch cast iron skillet with cooking spray or lightly coat with canola oil, using a clean paper towel. Place the rolled out crust in the bottom. Gently press into the pan lightly, using your fingers. Use kitchen sheers to trim the edges of the crust, to about 1/2-inch past the pan rim.
Use a slotted spoon to scoop the apples into the pan. Discard the remaining lemon juice. Sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and instant tapioca.
Roll out the top crust. Cut strips, using a small pizza cutter or pastry cutter. Place strips of pie crust all going one direction over the prepared pie. Pull back every other strip and place another strip of pie crust, going the opposite direction. Gently place the pie strips you pulled back, back into place. Repeat until you have completely covered the pie.
Trim the edges of pie crust with kitchen sheers and roll under the crust. Crimp with your fingers or press with a fork. Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Place in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 1 hour. When the crust is browned nicely, about half way or three quarters through baking, cover with a piece of aluminum foil. Slice a hole in the center of aluminum foil using a knife or kitchen shears. This will let the steam escape, allowing the pie to continue cooking and while not burning the crust. Use a sharp knife to check the softness of the apples. Let cool for at least an hour before slicing. This will allow the pie filling to set. Enjoy with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.
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