What's Thanksgiving without Apple Pie?


In the past few years, I have become the designated apple pie baker for our family Thanksgiving.  Of course, this is a role I had to prove myself worthy of receiving.  I have always loved to bake and learning how to make family recipes.  I think it's important to carry on the family tradition and heritage.  I always thought my grandma made the best apple pie, so a few years ago I asked her to teach me to make it.  She has a few specific instructions that will make or break the pie.  First, you always have to use Pillsbury Rolled Pie Crusts - never frozen.  Second, Gala apples are the best choice for a not too sweet, not too tart pie.  Grandma has always been an incredible cook, so I never stray from her instructions.  Other than these couple of specific ingredients, the others are pretty standard for an apple pie.

Grandma Lucas's Famous Apple Pie:

7-8 Gala Apples (Peeled & Cored)

1 Pack of Pillsbury Rolled Pie Crusts

1/2 Cup Sugar

1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/4 tsp Nutmeg

1/8 tsp Salt

3 tbs Flour

1-3 tsp Lemon Juice

1 tbs Butter or Margarine

1 Egg

1 tbs Water

Start by peeling and coring the apples and slicing them pretty thin, not too thin though because they will just turn to mush.  Once they have been sliced, toss the lemon juice with the apples to cut the sweetness and keep them from turing brown.  In a separate, small bowl, mix together the sugar, brown sugar, spices, salt, and flour.  Add the dry ingredients to the apples and mix until they are coated thoroughly with the mixture.  

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. 

Line your pie pan with one of the crusts from the Pillsbury pack making sure there is plenty hanging over the edges.  You will need this excess to crimp the top and bottom crusts together.  Before adding the top crust, melt the butter and dab the apple mixture with it.  You can use a kitchen brush to do this.  

Next, pour the apples in the bottom crust.  Cover the apple mixture with the top crust and crimp the top and bottom crusts together.  To do this, just press the two crusts together on the edges and crimp (press the fork flat into the crusts) them with a fork.  Make four slits in the middle of the top crust to serve as a heat vent while it's cooking. 

Mix the one beaten egg with the tablespoon of water to create an egg wash.  Use the cooking brush again to brush the entire crust with the egg wash.  This will help the crust brown as it is cooking.  As a final touch, courtesy of grandma, sprinkle the crust with white sugar.  This will create a caramelization and make the crust pretty. 

Place the pie in the 425 degree oven for ten minutes.  Then turn the temperature down to 350 and bake for another 35-40 minutes.  Once the baking process is complete, you can place the pie under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the crust more if needed.  Keep a close eye on it while it's under the broiler though, it will burn like nobody's business if you don't watch it. 

I can't wait for all of the yummy food on Thanksgiving, but this is one of my personal faves!  Happy Thanksgiving everyone, and happy baking!