Nov 27 2012
To be clear, this is not MY grandma’s apple pie recipe. That was the title that drew me to this recipe over a decade ago when I was first learning how to cook. My go-to website back then was Allrecipes and after Greg and I had our first round of apple picking, I was trolling the apple section pretty frequently in an effort to bake away a 20 pound of bag of Granny Smiths. There are dozens of apple pie recipes posted there but how can you resist the one called “Grandma’s Apple Pie”? It HAS to be good.
Well, I’ve now realized that Allrecipes has a lot of recipes with “Best Ever” and “World’s Best” and “Aunt Sandy’s Famous” labels slapped on them even though they are crap. But whomever’s Grandma came up with this apple pie recipe did not fail to deliver. I printed that recipe out on a sheet of paper that has traveled with me to three different apartments and houses and though I sometimes get tempted by other recipes, I always defer to Grandma’s.
This pie is really all about the filling–you can use whatever crust you like. The filling is perfect–enough apples to fill the pie plate, the right blend of spices to complement them, the right amount of sugar to be sweet but allow the tartness of the fruit to shine through and enough flour to keep the whole thing from being a soupy mess. It’s exactly what you want a classic apple pie to be.
Usually I use a double crust but this year I was yet again tempted by something different so I made just a minor modification to Grandma’s: I used a crumb topping instead of a second pie crust. It makes for a crunchy texture with added flavor and lends a hint of apple crisp to apple pie. And if you use a pastry recipe that makes 2 crusts, it leaves one for pumpkin pie (which is a leading reason why I used the crumble topping).
The piece of paper with this recipe on it is now folded in fourths, tattered at the corners and covered in years of filling splatter and a fine dust of flour and cinnamon and each year I dig it out because it makes the perfect apple pie thanks to (someone’s) Grandma.