Apple Pie.

There are a few “basic” recipes every person benefits from having in his/her toolbox. When I say “basic,” I don’t always mean uncomplicated (hello, lasagna), but everyone has a version of these recipes that is theee best. I won’t argue with your chosen recipes! I’m not here to usurp Grandma’s/Granddaddy’s/Aunt Ethel’s authority on the classics because I myself am well-versed at bucking the system and making my own. I know I like semi-cakey, very salty chocolate chip cookies and gluten-free, vegetarian lasagna, so that’s what Imma make and tell you all about. This pie is one of those. I like uncomplicated pie. Dash of this, sprinkle of that. I don’t like anything that makes my sourpuss glands swell from sweetness, and I definitely want the layers of clean flavor to shine. I also want crust. Don’t get me wrong: this pie is all about the apples. However, let’s just say the crust kicks enough ass and is hefty enough to give the apples a run for their money. PLEASE NOTE that you make two totally separate crust batches. Now, about the apples. I prefer to bake apple and peach pies when they’re in season and I get the fruit fresh. They taste best then! My mouth starts itching come September for an apple pie, and I’ll be damned if I don’t get a massive slice by the first of October. It’s still apple season, so get pickin’ and bake this me-oh-my pie!

Crust: Make 2 of the following recipe.

1 c flour

1/2 c butter (1 stick), cold and sliced into 1/4″ slices

~1/4 c ice water + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Dash salt

Filling:

6 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced

1/4 c sugar

Juice of 2 lemons

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Dash nutmeg

Dash salt

2 tbsp butter

Preheat oven and a baking stone at 375 degrees. Start with the apples. In a large bowl, sprinkle sugar, spices, and lemon juice over prepared apples. Toss to combine and allow to sit for 1 hour. Next, work on the crust. Sift together flour and salt. Using food processor or hands, incorporate butter into flour until coarse and sandy. Drizzle vinegary ice water into flour mixture until dough just barely comes together. Pat into a 1″ thick round disc and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Pop into freezer. Repeat with second batch. After 1 hour, place a strainer over a bowl and pour apple mixture into strainer, allowing liquid to drain out for 10 minutes. Return apples to original bowl and pour liquid into a saucepan. Over medium heat, allow apple liquid to come to a boil. Do not stir. Mixture will turn a deeper brown and bubble up completely. Once entire mixture is bubbles, reduce heat to low and stir in 2 tbsp butter until a caramel consistency is reached. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Take out one pie crust and flour a large bench area. Roll out disc to approximately 15″ in diameter. Move dough to a lightly buttered 9″ pie plate and be sure to lightly press into the crease. Pour apples into pie crust and top with caramel. Roll out remaining pie crust to 15″ in diameter again; place over top of apples and tuck behind edges of bottom crust. Gently pinch edges to scalloped shape. In the center, cut 8 slits to allow steam to escape while baking. Sprinkle top with 1 tsp sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-35 minutes on top of a hot baking stone until edges are beautifully golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1 hour before enjoying.

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