I first made this apple pie in the fall of 2008. I was twenty-three years old, and the United States was in the throes of a subprime mortgage crisis. I had trouble understanding how the whole thing had transpired, despite how much I was hearing about it on the radio. At this time, I was working for my first steady paycheck since receiving my degree in dance and drama: I was a Mad Scientist. In the role of Mad Scientist, I drove a minivan all around eastern Massachusetts, bringing interactive science presentations to after school programs, birthday parties, and Boy Scout meetings. My uniform was a lab coat. My name tag said "Gravity Gus". There were times when the children I was meant to edu-tain (enter-cate?) knew more about the science I was explaining than I did. I once left the birthday boy sobbing at his party because I couldn't get the model rocket to take off. We both learned memorable lessons that day about how life can be disappointing. I was living with my parents. I was hearing some talk (on the radio, whilst driving the minivan) about how eating local was important--was a thing. It was fall in Massachusetts and apples were in season, and at the end of a long day or at the start of a long-awaited weekend I would make this apple pie recipe. The time spent rolling out dough, peeling apples, watching my pie brown through the oven door helped me feel like I had a handle on things. And that the American dream wasn't lost on me yet.
2 Servings of Pie Dough
6 cups apple (here, I used a combination of Cortland and Granny Smith--sweet and tart)
1 tspn lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
3/4 tspn cinnamon
2 tbspn cold butter
1 tbspn milk
1 tbspn sugar mixed with 1/4 tspn cinnamon for the top crust
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Peel and slice the apples (about 1/8 inch thick slices).
Combine with lemon juice to prevent discoloring and brighten the flavor.
Mix apples with sugar, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
This mixture can be refrigerated until ready to use. If you have some time and are able to let it sit in the fridge, the apples will release some juices which you can drain before filling your pie.
Roll out dough. Line a 9 inch pie pan with one serving, and stick in the freezer until ready to fill. The second serving of dough will be for the top crust.
Pour apples into pie crust and dot with butter.
Cover the apples with dough for the top crust, and crimp the edges.
Brush the top with milk, and sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Line the rim of the pie pan with aluminum foil so that the edge doesn't brown too fast.
Let cool for about 30 minutes before serving.