Since I don't like pumpkin pies, or pumpkin desserts, Thanksgiving at my house is when I make apple pie. The apples are just gorgeous right now and I found the most perfect Spartans last week for this yummy treat.
With all my baking adventures, I still haven't mastered making pie dough and my buddy Darleen and I still haven't had the lesson she promised me on how to make that "perfect dough." Last year I discovered a wonderful invention - Pillsbury Pie Dough! Not pie shells, but two rounds of dough, rolled into two sleeves and neatly packed in one box, ready to use. I was so happy to find Pillsbury's product and it did not disappoint - the room temperature dough was easy to use and it was lovely and flaky after baking.
I wanted a good filling recipe and turned to my usual go-to - Ina! I modified the recipe (when don't I?) to use Spartan apples instead of Granny Smiths. I learned by trial and error years ago that you should *never* bake with Macintoshs unless you want an applesauce filling. They have far too much juice to bake well in a pie or a crisp. I also only had oranges at home so I used them instead of the lemon-orange zest and the same juice combination. Since I find nutmeg and allspice quite heavy I skipped them and increased the cinnamon to a full teaspoon. My other addition, which Anna Olsen suggests with her pie recipes, is one tablespoon of cold butter dotted across the apple filling, before you add the top pie layer. The butter helps the juice turn into more of a sauce, rather than having a runny mess when you cut into the pie.
Ina's Deep Dish Apple Pie
My pie isn't absolutely perfect, but it tasted wonderful - there's only one slice left today!
My lovely mother, The Baker, also brought some from-scratch goodies - palmiers (already gone!) and her world famous Lemon Squares, which aren't exactly square. :)
I know I still have enough Spartan apples left to make some more crisp next weekend...