Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Apple Pie has been a timeless classic that has brought families together around the dinner table for generations. This homemade dessert is simple, yet satisfying, and showcases the delicious combination of tender, sweet apples layered between flaky pastry crusts. This recipe combines just the right blend of ingredients to create that nostalgic, heady aroma that wafts from your oven and pulls at the heartstrings. Today, we’ll be giving you a step-by-step guide to recreate Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Apple Pie in your own kitchen.
To make this scrumptious pie, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- For the Pastry:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
- 4-6 tablespoons ice-cold water
- For the Apple Pie Filling:
- 8 cups sliced and peeled Granny Smith apples (about 8 medium-sized apples)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
Follow these simple steps to create your perfect apple pie:
1. Prepare the Pastry: In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, blend in the chilled, cubed butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add the ice-cold water, mixing gently until the dough forms a ball. Divide the dough in half, wrap each half in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour.
2. Make the Filling: While the pastry is chilling, preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). In a large bowl, gently toss together the sliced apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside to let the flavors meld.
3. Assemble the Pie: Roll out one half of the chilled pastry dough on a lightly floured surface to fit a 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate. Place the dough into the pie plate and trim the edges. Spoon the apple mixture into the crust, mounding it slightly in the center. Dot the apples with the cubed butter. Roll out the remaining dough to cover the pie, and place it gently over the apple filling. Press the edges of the crust together to seal, and trim the excess dough. Cut a few small slits in the top crust to let steam escape, and sprinkle the pie with a bit of sugar if desired.
4. Bake and Enjoy: Bake the pie in your preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. If necessary, cover the pie with foil to prevent over-browning. Allow the pie to cool for a bit before serving.
The History and Curiosities of Grandma’s Old-Fashioned Apple Pie
Now that we know how to make this delicious dish, let’s explore its history. Apple pie has long been associated with American cuisine, but its roots can actually be traced back to Europe, specifically England, where the first recorded recipe dates back to 1381. The English settlers brought the apple pie recipe with them to America, where it’s been firmly ingrained in our culinary culture ever since.
One interesting fact about the history of apple pie is that early pie crusts, known as “coffins,” were tough and inedible, serving only as a vessel to hold the soft, sweet filling. This practice was later abandoned in favor of the more palatable, flaky crust we’ve come to know and love.
In the 1940s and ’50s, the phrase “As American as apple pie” was coined to reflect the patriarchy and sense of togetherness the dessert represented in American homes. Today, apple pie remains a favorite not only in the United States but worldwide, with variations that include Dutch apple pie, French tarte tatin, and more. As we gather around to enjoy this charming pastry dessert, we keep alive a culinary tradition that transcends time and borders.