Making apple pies when the apples are ready for picking may seem like a great deal of work. The work is worth the effort when you are able to pull out a pie ready to bake the rest of the year.
The same day we pick our apples we will make up 17-18 pies for the freezer. If you have a food processor, an apple peeler and apple corer the job goes fairly quickly.
Let’s start by preparing our pastry dough. This recipe is from my husband’s mom.
Alice’s Pie Crust Recipe
1 pound lard (or shortening )
1/2 cup margarine
5 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp vinegar
water to fill to 1 cup
Pie Crust Directions
1. In a food processor (or by hand)place all dry ingredients. Pulse a few times to mix.
2. Add the lard and margarine to the food processor, pulse until the lard is no larger than pea size.
3. In a measuring cup add 1 well beaten egg and vinegar. Add enough water to bring mixture up to the 1 cup measurement.
4. Add liquid to the food processor about 1/3 at a time. Pulse until mixture comes together in a ball.
5. Remove from the food processor, wrap in plastic then store in the fridge for 2 hours. (We make ours the day before).
Prepare The Filling
- In a large bowl add water to fill about 2/3 full.
- Add 1/4 Cup of lemon juice or fruit fresh. Following package directions. This will keep your apples from browning.
- Peel and core your apples then slice into 1/2 inch wedges. Place into the lemon water mixture. Approximately 20 Cups should be sufficient.
- In a small bowl mix 1/2 Cup all purpose flour, 1/4 Cup white sugar (Our apples are sweet and we don’t like overly sweet pies, so adjust to your taste) and 2-3 Tbsp ground cinnamon (or to taste if you want a strong cinnamon flavour) Mix well.
Putting the Pies Together
- Remove pastry dough from the fridge and divide into 8 pieces. This dough is quite soft and easy to roll. While rolling out a piece keep the plastic wrap on the remaining dough.
- Roll out the dough into a circle that is about 10 inches in diameter. Carefully fold the dough into quarters then place into a 9 inch aluminum foil pie tin. Unfold the dough allowing it to hang over the edge of the tin.
- Drain apples and add to the pie tin. I’ve found if the apples are almost even at the edge and mounded about an inch higher at the center this is a good amount that is not likely to boil over in the oven.
- On the top of the apples sprinkle 2 Tbsp of the cinnamon mixture.
- Roll out another piece of pastry the same as before. Fold into quarters. This time with a sharp knife cut a wedge from the center and add a few vent holes. This can be as fancy or as plain as you like.
- Place the top crust on top of the apples.
- Now pinch the bottom and top crust together all around the edge of the pie.
- Using the tines of a fork around the edge will also work.
- Once the top and bottom pasty is sealed, use the back of a table knife to cut off the surplus.
Prepare Pies for Freezing
Cover the pie with tin foil, then place into a large plastic bag removing as much air as possible. Place pies onto a cookie sheet and place into the freezer. Once the pies are froze they can be stacked without risk of squishing them.
Baking Your Frozen Pie
Remove pie from the freezer and place directly into a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven. Bake 50- 60 minutes. The crust should appear golden brown and you should see the filling bubbling through the vent holes. You may want to have a cookie sheet under the pie tin in case it does boil over.
Thawing your pie prior baking will make the bottom crust soggy.
You can reserve the peelings and cores for other apple recipes such as juice, jelly or apple cider vinegar. Apples with a strong flavour work well for this method.