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 Andrea's Famous Apple Pie

-from Andrea Hackman

Apple pie- image by Len Rizzi (photographer)  

I've always made my own pie crusts, using a never-fail recipe that includes an egg and some vinegar, and the recipe for the pie crust is here. That crust adds to the cachet of the pie itself, but it's the filling that makes guests swoon.

You don't want to use apples that get mushy when they're baked, which can happen with varieties like Red Delicious. The apples should be firm and combine just the right degree of tart and sweet. Your mileage might vary, but my favorites for baking are Northern Spy, Granny Smith and Cortland; sometimes I'll use all three to incorporate the special qualities of each variety. Macintosh apples are very good, too.

I'm sorry I don't have a picture of my own pie to share but this picture by Len Rizzi (Wikipedia) looks almost exactly like my own. You'll just have to take my word for it.


INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 to 5 tart apples
  • about 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon peel
  • 1 15-oz can pear slices, in juice/water
  • 1/3 to 1/2 C. sugar (to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine

pastry for double-crust pie

DIRECTIONS:

Pare and slice apples. Sprinkle with lemon juice to preserve color and flavor. Drain pears, reserving juice. Combine sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and lemon peel; toss with apples until apples are well coated. Stir in juice from canned pears, and pour mixture carefully into prepared pie shell. Arrange pears on top; dot with butter.

Place pie crust over the top, crimp the edges, prick the top in several places with a fork, and cut an outline of an apple on the top. Sprinkle
lightly with sugar and cinnamon and bake in 400º oven 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until crust is golden and juices are bubbling out of the top. (If pie edges get too brown too quickly, cover them with foil.) Serve warm with ice cream or slices of sharp cheddar cheese.

NOTE: you may add chopped walnuts, raisins or substitute half a cup of cranberries for the pears. Be creative!

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