Is there anything more American than apple pie? It is a true national dessert that is enjoyed year round by almost everyone. Do you dream of your grandmother’s apple pie? I do, no one made apple pies like my grandma. As I have gotten older, I realize that maybe I remember foods tasting differently than they actually did. Grandma used lard in her crust, everyone did in those days. Now, even asking for lard at the supermarket is asking for a lecture on diets and healthy eating.
That said, I admit that once I tried adding lard to a pie crust recipe, I wondered if I would ever go back to a lard-less crust. The taste and texture were amazing. Yes, the crust wasn’t healthy, but what pie crust is? I am baking a pie that is meant to be a treat. It’s not part of a diet plan and I am not trying to lose weight eating this dessert.
Pie crust recipes that use lard are simple. The results are crusts that are flaky, lightly browned and delicious. While this apple pie recipe is really good with a lard-less crust recipe, it is outstanding with a crust using lard. Of course, it’s not a health food or a diet food. Eating lard probably shortened my grandma’s life. She only lived to be 96.
You probably won’t need your stand mixer for this recipe. The dough requires a pastry cutter, the dough hook on your stand mixer is probably to rough on the crust. The filling doesn’t require a lot of mixing and you can use a mixing spoon to get the job done. Make sure you use the right measuring cups for this recipe, don’t try to eyeball any of the ingredients.
Apple Pie Ingredients
4 pounds of baking apples. You should mix types of apples, you will get a better flavor.
2/3 cups granulated white sugar.
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice.
6 tablespoons UNSALTED butter. Don’t use salted butter.
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon. You can use apple pie spice but it can have sugar in it.
1/4 teaspoon salt.
1 large egg, well beaten.
1 tablespoon white sugar for sprinkling on the top crust.
Peel and core the apples. Cut them into 1/4″ slices.
Toss the apples with the lemon juice and sugar.
Melt 4 tablespoons of the unsalted butter in a good sized skillet. Medium high temp is best.
Add the apples and include and juices from the bowl.
Cook for 12-minutes or until the apples have softened. Add the flour, cinnamon and salt. Mix well.
Cook 2-3 minutes, the sauce needs to thicken and the flour needs to cook through.
Remove from the stove and let cool completely.
Apple Pie Crust Recipe
Makes 2 crusts
3 cups all purpose flour.
1 cup lard
Pinch of salt
6 to 8 tablespoons very cold water.
In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt.
Using a pastry cutter, cut the lard into the flour until coarse crumbs appear.
Add the cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time until the pastry holds together.
Divide into 2 pieces of equal size and roll into 2 balls.
Wrap with plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Roll out one dough ball into a round circle about 1/8″ thick.
Put into a 10″ pie plate and flute the edges.
Pour the cooled filling into the pie plate.
Roll out the second dough ball and cover the pie, pinching the crust’s bottom and top together.
Wash the surface with the beaten egg and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Place the pie on a lined baking sheet.
Bake at 425 degrees for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cover the crust edge with foil if it is browning too quickly.
Let cool for at least 2 1/2 hours.