I've always loved the idea of baking pies but it sounds so intimidating that I've pretty much always steered clear and opted for cakes or cookies instead. That is, until I bit the bullet with this deliciously easy streusel pumpkin pie a few years back. I have been itching to try my hand at another pie since but just haven't gotten around to it. When I heard we were having a company potluck for the fourth, I decided it was ride or die time meaning try and if I failed, I'd be picking up something from Target that morning which I was totally ok with. You guys, this couldn't have been any easier and I'm so happy I went for it! Apple pie is my all time favorite of the pie world (and one of the few desserts I actually like/eat) and it just seemed like the perfect summer/fourth of july/americana treat to bring. My co-workers absolutely devoured it and had nothing but sweet things to say so I'm thinking this was a success! They were especially impressed with the cute little patriotic stars which look like they'd be a nightmare to do but between you and me, were actually super easy! Best trick ever, use cookie cutters to cut out festive shapes from dough and layer over top of any pie to take it to the next level hassle free. Another trick I have up my sleeve when it comes to pie baking, just go with pre-made dough for the crust and save yourself the trouble. Honestly, my co-workers could've cared less and still considered it a home made pie :)
Annie Eats Recipe (which I altered), makes a 9" pie
- ready made pie dough to make a 9" pie
- 4 small granny smith apples (peeled, cored & sliced)
- 4 small fuji apples (peeled, cored & sliced)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- ready made pie dough to make a 9" pie
- small star shaped cookie cutter
- 1 large egg + 1 tbsp. cold water (for egg wash)
- cherries or garnish of your choice
- The pre-made dough I got this time already came in an evenly rolled out circle, perfect to fit a 9" pie dish. I just carefully unrolled it and pushed it down into the pie dish with my fingers, making sure all the edges were touching.
- Cover dish with plastic wrap and set aside in the freezer for 30 minutes. Keep the other dough for the topping in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F (204 C).
- In a bowl, combine the sliced apples, sugars, flour, spices and lemon juice. Make sure to toss well to combine, I even used my hands (clean of course) to really get it all mixed good.
- Pour the apple mixture into the chilled crust as evenly as possible. Pour the remaining juices over the top of the apples.
- Dot the surface of the apples with pieces of cold butter and in case you don't know what that means (I had no clue) it's just placing pieces of cold butter throughout the top of the pie. I even pushed some in-between the nooks and crannies of the apples.
- Roll out the other chilled pie dough on a lightly floured surface. Using your star shaped cookie cutter, cut out stars and arrange over the top of the apples. I started from the outside of the pie and worked my way towards the center in a circular motion. I also slightly overlapped my stars but the design is completely up to you!
- Brush the top and edges of the crust with the egg wash to get the crust nice and golden.
- Place a baking sheet on the lower rack (I still have no idea why but hey, that's what the recipe called for so...)
- Place the pie on the upper middle rack and bake until the crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling (about 50-60 minutes). Keep a close eye on your pie to make sure the crust doesn't burn or go too dark too soon. Mine started to look finished 40 minutes in so I just covered the pie with aluminum foil and lowered it a rack for the remaining time.
- Transfer to a wire rack and let cool down for at least 30 minutes before slicing. I served at room temperature (can also be served warm) with vanilla ice cream and blueberry frozen greek yogurt... enjoy!
***Today I am thankful for another Independence Day to celebrate on home turf... let the festivities begin!***