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Abe and Jimi love apple pie. They ask me to make it a lot and it's always the dessert I make when I want to show a little extra love. I've offered to make them different kinds of pie- pecan, lemon, blueberry, anything for a little variety. All get shot down with a "No, can you make apple, please?" Fine, apple it is.
Lots of different types of apples can be used, but I like a combo of Granny Smith and Macintosh. The Granny Smiths add tartness and the Macs cook down to almost apple sauce and add a great texture.
The reason that the shortening is cold (or frozen) is so that it goes in hard and will melt while baking, making for a very fluffy crust.
The tapioca makes the juice of the apples silky smooth and prevents a super watery pie. It can be found in your baking aisle.
I like a lot of different recipes, but this one I go back to again and again. I found it in our local newspaper. It won best apple pie.
My Father's Apple Pie
by Fred Burns
2 cups flour
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cold shortening (try freezing it first)
1/4 cup ice cold water
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1 large egg
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
Dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons quick-cook tapioca
5 average-size apples, peeled, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
For the crust, in a large bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry blender until coarse crumbles form.
In a separate bowl, combine cold water, vinegar and egg and whip lightly, then add to the flour mixture, stirring lightly with a fork until it becomes a sticky dough; this dough is very soft and loose. Refrigerate finished dough in a small covered container or in a plastic wrap for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.
For the filling, in a large bowl combine all ingredients except for butter and apples.
Peel and slice the apples. Stir the apples thoroughly into the dry ingredients to coat all of the apple slices. Let mixture sit for 15-30 minutes to develop a juice while you roll out the crust.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Take about two-thirds of refrigerated dough out and keep the rest chilled. Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll out dough about 13 inches in diameter. Carefully adjust the crust to fit a 10-inch deep-dish pie pan and trim edges. Take the remaining dough and roll about 11 inches in diameter.
Add filling to crust in dish and place butter slices all over the top of filling. Add the upper crust, roll the edges over the bottom crust and flute edges as desired. Cut a few steam slits in a design of your choice. You may also want to brush an egg wash (egg whites whisked with a bit of cold water) to the top to make for a shiny crust.
Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and then reduce to 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.
If the edges start to brown too quickly, cover with foil. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.