I like a nice spicy apple pie with a flaky crumbly crust. This is it:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp + 1/2 cup sugar
2 lemons
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp molasses
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 stick butter
5 medium Stayman apples
1/2 cup vegetable shortening

First, make the crust: Scoop 1/2 cup vegetable shortening by teaspoons into a bowl. Keep the scoops separate in the bowl. Freeze it for at least 2 hours.

Put 2 cups flour, 1 tbsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt into food processor, with knife blade installed (not the dough blade). Mix the dry ingredients.

Add the frozen shortening. Mix until all shortening globules are less than pea sized. Add ~4 tbsp ice water. Mix until dough starts to hold together. If dough is still too loose after water addition, add a bit more and mix further.

Remove dough from processor. Split the dough into two halves.

With each half:

On a lightly floured surface, roll out and fold up dough at least 5 times. Flour the layers very lightly in between rolling out and folding over. After 5 rollovers, the dough should start to show some elasticity.
Roll dough out to circles, one large enough for the pieplate, one large enough for the cover.

Next, make the filling: Peel apples. Core apples. You need an apple corer if you're going to be baking pies. They're cheap; get one. Slice apples first in half, then in 1/2" arc wedges (about 5 per half).

Add apples, butter, vanilla, 1/2 cup sugar, molasses, nutmeg and cinnamon to medium saucepan. Add strained juice of 2 lemons. Simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until apples just start to soften on the outside, and syrup comes up to the top of apples in the pan. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/4 cup flour. Pour into lower pie crust.

Wet the exterior edge of the piecrust with water. Place the top piecrust on. Using a fork, mash the two crusts together along the outside edge. Cut off excess crust.

Place 5 1" long incisions in the top of the pie for venting. I space them evenly in a circle; you can get creative with the cuts if you like. Brush the top of the pie with milk, then sprinkle sugar on top. Bake at 375° F in the top third of the oven for 1 hour. The crust should be golden brown. Remove to rack to cool. Enjoy.

Easy as pie apple pie:


  • Make some shortcrust pastry.
  • While it's cooling happily on, slice some apples. Don't make the slices thinner than about 0.5cm, or they'll turn to mush in the oven.
  • Butter a pan thoroughly and line with pastry. Using a fork, make some holes in the base.
  • Curl off thin slivers of butter from a stick and spread them loosely all over the base.
  • Sprinkle a goodly measure of thick, yummy brown sugar over the butter.
  • Spread nutmeg and cinnamon generously.
  • Now arrange the apple slices in the pan, not too neatly but so that they form a moderately flat surface.
  • Repeat the spices, sugar and butter thing backwards - butter closest to the pastry lid.
  • Roll out a flat sheet of pastry for the lid - don't worry about what shape it is.
  • Lay the lid over the pan, press down around the edges with your fingertips and cut off any untidy edges with a sharp knife.
  • Beat an egg, or a mixture of egg and strong tea for extra colour, and brush it liberally over the lid.
  • Pierce holes in the lid, either with a fork or a decorative thingammiebob (it's important not to do these last steps backwards, 'cause the egg blocks the holes and you end up with exploding pie syndrome, which is tasty but inelegant).
  • Bake in moderate heat for about 30 minutes or until it looks nice. Pie is extremely forgiving that way.

You can repeat the exact same steps with cherries, pears, peaches, rhubarb (well, you need to cook the rhubarb first, and anyway it's gross) etc. I'd use flaked almonds instead of cinammon with pears, though. If you make them small, you can bake 2-3 different pies all at the same time.

Best Easy Apple Pie


1 Pillsbury All-Ready Pie Crust
8 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated (white) sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbs. flour
4-5 pats of butter or margarine

Stir sugars, cinnamon, salt, and flour into sliced apples. Unfold All-Ready pie crust into 9" pie plate. Pour apple filling into pie plate. Place pats of butter or margarine on top of filling and cover with top half of pie crust. Crimp edges.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour. Serve warm with vanilla ice-cream

Apple Pie 2

This recipe makes many drinks and is good for a party.

250 ml 100 proof Vodka or Everclear (adjust according to desired alcohol content),
1/2 gallon Apple Cider
1/3 gallon Apple Juice
2 tsp Cinnamon
3 Tbs Sugar

Mix well and chill. (Also good heated to create a "Warm Apple Pie")
Relax and enjoy in your favorite glass or mug.

This is especially popular in the winter months.

Back to the Everything Bartender

Apple Pie

3 oz. Apple Schnapps,
Splash Cinnamon Schnapps,
Apple slice

Pour schnapps into Old fashioned glass over ice. Garnish with a slice of apple. Sprinkle cinnamon on top

Back to the Everything Bartender
In the original Cosmos, Carl Sagan sagely intoned that: "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the Universe." (This can be seen done to music in the Symphony of Science version.) That observation, as I recall, made me fall in love with both Cosmos and apple pie. Apple pie is a metaphor which simply keeps on giving. There's a lot packed into it; and I aim to unpack it.

Food and Science

Imagine for a moment that you do indeed wish to bake an apple pie. A key component of this delicious dessert dish is the crust, but a scratch-made crust won't bake itself. You must know how long to bake your pie, and execute that baking accordingly. If the recipe demands one hour at 400 degrees, rest assured that you will not achieve an equally satisfactory result by baking your pie for six minute at 4000 degrees. But we may look at a fresh baked pie and, by our knowledge of how long specific chemical reactions take and how they look when they're done, we can tell within reason how long and how hot that pie was baked. Indeed, we need not examine the entire pie; a narrow slice will do; even a "core sample" obtained by injecting a hollow needle through the pastry and examining the contents drawn from that needle.

And if you are able to do so simple a thing as look at a pie and know that it isn't just six minutes old, but in fact sixty or more, congratulations, you are a scientist!! A food scientist perhaps, but applying the same relative tools as one who specialized in chemistry or biology or geology. You are examining a physical object and applying known characteristics of comparable objects to this observation. And it may well be that if you take an uncooked pie and cook it for just a few minutes, you will be able to observe how much it has changed in those few minutes and extrapolate from that the amount of time it will take to fully cook (or how much time a different pie has to have been cooking relative to it).

Intelligently Designed (but not Omnipotently)

And what else can you tell about that pie from thorough examination? You might deduce from its pleasant appearance (what with those crosshatched strips) and its assembly of flavors that it was made by an intelligent being -- and for the purpose of being eaten. There are many other things in this world which take as much or greater effort to make, and yet which are inedible (much less tasty) -- a sneaker, a solar panel, a life-sized painting of an apple pie. Make no mistake, the discovery of a lone freshly made apple pie on any planet would be a surefire sign of intelligent life on that planet. and it would simultaneously tell us that this life almost certainly has the capacity to taste and smell food, and a need to engage in processes of harvesting ingredients and painstakingly assembling and preparing and measuredly mixing and cooking them in order to obtain something useful to it. This would most likely not be any omnipotent race, for an apple pie would serve no purpose for such beings.

A human being is a prime example. A human being is powerful enough and intelligent enough to take a bunch of ingredients and an oven and transform these resources into a pie. But the ability to do so doesn't somehow make the piemaker immortal, omnipotent, omniscient. No finite thing can be observed to require capacities beyond the finite capacities needed to make a finite thing. Even a vast an enormous pie, a pie the size of a city, or a world, could be made by a sufficiently powerful finite being. And the very fact of the making of the pie tells us that it has needs which must be fulfilled through effort, and not simply through, well, omnipotence.

Our Pie-Hostile Universe

Lastly, one might look at the pie and contend that it must be here by accident because our Universe is clearly not made to accommodate pies. Most of our Universe is frozen vacuum where the pie would get a more serious case of freezer burn than you've ever seen; or alternatively be cooked to a crisp by radiation. One might claim the same as to the apples which went into it. An apple tree, one might argue, can't possibly exist for the purpose of producing edible delights, because the vast majority of the trees bulk is inevitable, tasteless bark and gritty roots and leaves and stems and such. And yet from the standpoint of evolutionary biology, we know that the entirety of the apple tree is indeed geared towards making apples -- or more specifically, tiny apple seeds nested within them, which carry its DNA out into the next generation.

The apple is delicious because that baits animals to eat them, which spreads the seeds. Perhaps a more accurate way to frame that would be that all of us complex organisms require certain chemicals for fuel -- fructose, for example -- and that in order to ensure the intake of these chemicals, such organisms have thusly come to reward themselves by experiencing them as tasting good when ingested some plants have thusly come to wrap their seeds in modified cellulose injected with high doses of these chemicals in enticing combinations, to get the tasters to carry them off. At some point, apple trees got very, very clever and realized that if they especially appealed to one species, that species would cultivate them all over the world and bake their fruit into pies.

And so, in closing, we can learn a lot from an apple pie. We can learn about the age of our planet and our Universe, and about the purposes for which it might exist and the characteristics of the sort of pastry chef who would need to bake it, and our own role as seeds carrying, perhaps, something even more deeply intertwined in our beings than our DNA. Blessings!!


lizardinlaw informs me as well that A was once an Apple Pie....

Ap"ple pie` (#).

A pie made of apples (usually sliced or stewed) with spice and sugar.

Apple-pie bed, a bed in which, as a joke, the sheets are so doubled (like the cover of an apple turnover) as to prevent any one from getting at his length between them. Halliwell, Conybeare. -- Apple-pie order, perfect order or arrangement. [Colloq.] Halliwell.


© Webster 1913.

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