Sorry for the delay in getting new posts up – I’ve been traveling, first back to the United States where I ate to my heart’s content, including the most epic meal of my life at Le Bernadin in New York City. (!!!) And then I was in Rwanda for work, and now back to Liberia, catching up on the blog and baking, of course.
I celebrated 4th of July in Liberia with a number of people here – not all American, so we got to introduce our other friends to American culture. Meaning what we boiled down American culture to, such as root beer floats, puppy chow, hot dogs and hamburgers, rice krispie treats, and of course, apple pie. I made two apple pies for the party, and they were nicely complemented by a $20 tub of vanilla ice cream – food is not cheap in Liberia!
Also, I have a confession to make. I bake pies all the time, but I have never felt shame about cheating with the crust*. In the states the Pillsbury roll out crusts are so good, I am happy to whip up my favorite pie filling and toss inside those crusts, decorating with little cut out hearts. This year, I luckily found two deep dish pie crusts from a South African grocery brand in the freezer section at one of the Lebanese grocery stores here, and they turned out to be amazing. The only problem was, in trying to take one of the crusts from the pan to serve as the top, it totally fell apart on me, so I rolled it out and then made a bit of a lattice work top to the pie. My first time trying it, and it’s definitely a keeper for next time! On the other pie I managed to cut out my typical heart shape ventilations, and keep the pie a bit more covered.
It was an epic 4th of July, which ended in a dance party to songs such as “American Pie” and “Party in the USA,” my favorite all American mix. 🙂 And the pies were a roaring success! So enjoy this recipe, and make this pie your own, no matter where you live!
My Favorite Apple Pie
Recipe slightly adapted from Betty Crocker
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
8 cups peeled and sliced tart apples (8 medium – the best are Granny Smith apples, but a mix of different types will also do)
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 egg white
Tiny amount of turbinado or granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit/218 degrees celsius.
In a bowl, whisk the sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a separate bowl, add the apples, and mix with the dry sugar mixture. Mix well, so that all apple slices are covered. They will start to get liquidy (as sugar is a liquid), so don’t overmix.
If you’re using a prepared pie crust, place one part of the crust into a pie pan, with the crust hanging over the edges of the pie pan. Fill the pie pan with the apple mixture – I like to overfill with apples. It makes it lumpy (and therefore probably less attractive), but since the apples are where this dessert is at, go for it.
Cut the butter into thin slices, and place randomly on top of the apples, as in the picture above. Then, take the other piece of crust, and lay out top. Crimp the edges of the two pie crusts together with either a fork, or another tool, or your fingers. Also, I’m aware that my crusts are not terribly beautiful…or really attractive at all! So don’t be ashamed if you also fail to make perfect crusts like me…it’s all about how it tastes in the end, trust me! 🙂
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white. Using a pastry brush, or your fingers, brush the top of the pie crust with the egg white, and then sprinkle with the turbinado or the granulated sugar. Using a sharp knife, cut shapes into the top pie crust for ventilation.I favor hearts (channeling my weak inner Martha Stewart) but be creative!
Place the pie in the oven, and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the pie crust is brown on top, and you can see the apple juices bubbling. Best served warm with ice cream, but also makes an incredible leftover hot or cold, especially for breakfast!
*If you’re not a cheater like me, then you can use the Betty Crocker crust recipe on the same page as the apple pie. Or there’s also an incredible vodka crust recipe that you can find on my favorite blog, Baked Perfection.