It isn’t quite fall yet, and even here in the Midwest it is still pretty darn hot. But the apples are ready for pickin’ and you couldn’t keep me away if you tried.
Picking our own produce is something the kiddos and I have enjoyed doing together since they were babies. I have always felt at peace out on the farm, and food is just at its best when it’s freshly picked. So last weekend we loaded up the car and went on over to our happy place, where we spent the afternoon filling our baskets to the rim with fresh, sweet apples and making plans for all the wonderfully delicious things we would make: applesauce, apple muffins, apple dumplings, and of course, apple pie.
I’m so excited to share our favorite recipes with you, but first I have a confession to make! As much as I love to bake (and that’s a lot), I have always been afraid of making apple pie. I was determined to kick this fear to the curb this year and that sent me on a hunt for the best dang apple pie recipe out there, and, you guys, I found it!! The crust is so flaky and buttery, I have no doubt you will be pleased. But all these recipes are great so I hope you enjoy them.
My only tip outside of following the easy step-by-step directions is to round up some cute little helpers. It makes all the difference in the world.
Flaky Pie Crust
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup salted butter -cold, like keep it in the fridge till the last second cold
6-8 tbsp ice water
1 egg beaten, for egg wash
*Double recipe for apple dumplings
Preheat oven to 400 F degrees and grease round pie plate.
Mix flour, sugar, and salt until blended. Great for little helpers!
Add cold butter and pinch in with your fingers until it is pea sized and grainy in texture.
Add ice water (not ice) starting with 6 tbsp and mix. If texture does not stick together between your fingers add another tablespoon until you have reached a consistency where the dough sticks together.
On a clean surface form the dough into a ball. do not over knead - you don’t want to melt that butter!
Split the dough in half and form into two disc shapes. you should still see pieces of butter and this is good. wrap each disc in plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator for 30 minutes up until two days.
when you’re ready, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. You need to do this so the dough will soften a bit.
Now, roll out each disc using a rolling pin, adding flour if the dough is sticking, until it is about 1’8 of an inch thick. This is my oldest daughters favorite part!
Place the pie dough into your pie plate and add your filling (recipe following).
The second disk can be placed on top as is, with vents sliced in the top, or you can cut it into strips for lattice crust, or any other decorative finish you fancy and trim the excess dough from the sides.
Brush the egg wash over the top of the pie crust
Bake the pie for about 1 hour at 400 F degrees, until crust is golden.
Apple Pie Filling
8 medium apples peeled, cored, and sliced
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
*double recipe for apple dumplings
While the pie crust (recipe above) is resting in the refrigerator mix the sliced apples with the lemon juice, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon and let it sit about 10 minutes.
It’s ready to go into the pie.
Plan ahead for these by making a double batch of the recipes above. They do great in the freezer! And since the ingredients are already made, the kids can do this all on their own.
Preheat oven to 375 F degrees and grease baking pan.
Roll out the extra pie crust dough into a rectangle about 1/8 of an inch thick.
Cut it into squares and add the extra apple pie filling into the center.
Now pinch the edges of the dough at the top and place it on a greased baking pan.
Bake at 375 F degrees for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden.
Applesauce and Super Easy Canning Steps
17 apples peeled, cored, and sliced
1-2 tsp cinnamon if desired, not needed
enough water to cover an inch of your pot
Steam apples in a large pot with one inch of water in the bottom for about 30 minutes. Stirring periodically.
Add cinnamon if desired - we did one batch with, and one without and they are both so good!
Once the water is gone, give it a good stir and you’re all done. Little helpers are great at this. You can keep the applesauce as is or throw it into a blender for a smoother consistency.
For canning, fill clean and sterilized jars with the applesauce and twist the lids on tightly.
Boil jars covered in water for 20-25 minutes.
Take them out carefully and put them on a dry towel until they have cooled off.
Check the lids to see if they have sealed properly, they should not pop in or out if you push on the center.
*we used 8 ounce jars, and filled about 6 with each batch, though my kiddos snacked on quite a bit of it before it ever made it to the jars.
The applesauce is pretty tasty on its own, but since we stocked up, why not try something new? These were a big hit with all of our neighbors!
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup applesace
1/3 cup brown sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts - for toppings
1/8 cup brown sugar -for toppings
Preheat your oven to 400 F degrees and fill a muffin tin with liners (this recipe makes 12 muffins)
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, applesauce, and brown sugar.
Melt the butter and mix in with the wet ingredients.
Now, pour the wet ingredients in with the dry and stir until combined.
In a separate bowl, mix together walnuts and 1/8 cup brown sugar for the toppings.
Divide the batter among the muffin cups and sprinkle with the topping mixture.
Bake for about 15 minutes, checking with a toothpick that they are done.
Let them cool for 5 minutes, if you can handle the wait, we couldn’t.