As we escaped the hustle of Boston, I sat passenger side watching the bright yellow and burnt orange leaves swirl past. I pressed my hand to the window and felt the cool air against my exposed palm. This was nothing like Florida.
A sea of plump orange pumpkins dotted the gently rolling hills at the orchard’s entrance. I purchased my ticket, and before long we were wondering through seemingly endless leafy rows of stout apple trees. In designated passageways, an awning of twisting vines, colorful leaves, and bunches of tiny sour blueberries hung above our heads. I walked row after row, expecting something different but never becoming disappointed when each alleyway appeared nearly identical to the one before it. The scene was picturesque, serene, and utterly stunning.
Since it was near the end of harvest for some varieties, many apple trees had already dropped their fruit and locating the remaining gems became something of a game. For instance, juicy Gala, crunchy Honey Crisp, and vibrant Macintosh apples were scarce. However, tart Golden Delicious, dense Fuji, and wonderfully sweet JohnaGold apples (a hybrid of Golden Delicious and Johnathan) were plentiful. With a slight twist of my wrist, I grasped a sample of each and happily munched while pacing the fruit laden lanes.
I took home a haul of some of the biggest, most flavorful, and fresh apples I’d ever encountered. I knew I had to do something extra special with them. I had to create a dish that would be deserving of the overwhelmingly captivating lines of infinite trees. There is only one dessert that could do justice to the apples. Just one treat that would exude the respect that the orchard required – Classic Apple Pie.
Classic Apple Pie
adapted from: All Recipes
photo credit: Dana Burke
1 recipe for a 9 inch double crust pie, or store bought
1/2 cup (1stick) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 Granny Smith apples – peeled, cored and sliced (I used about 3-4 giant JohnaGold apples from the Orchard)
-Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
-Melt the butter in a saucepan.
-Stir in flour to form a paste.
-Add water, white sugar and brown sugar, and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and let simmer.
-Place the bottom crust in your pan. Fill with apples, mounded slightly. Cover with a lattice work crust.
-Gently pour the sugar and butter liquid over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off.
-Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven.
-Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F
-Cover pie loosely with tin foil if browning too quickly
-Continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes, until apples are soft.
-Let cool, serve a la mode with vanilla ice cream if preferred
Note: here is a link for how to make a lattice work crust, this was my first one!
photo credit: Dana Burke
I feel confident that this pie successfully encapsulated the essence of my visit to the orchard. The cinnamon-sugar soaked apples embraced the flaky pastry crust forming a matrimony of tart sweetness and butter-y decadence. A generous scoop of high quality vanilla ice cream, slowly descending in the crevices of the stacked apples and aggressively mingling with the thick sugary syrup, perfectly complimented this classic, homemade, apple pie.