Thursday, October 11, 2012

Lucy Burdette's Apple Pie a la Dad

LUCY BURDETTE: Apples are the perfect fruit for a mystery writer. After all, wasn't Snow White poisoned with an apple? And what about the apple Eve supposedly gave to Adam? You can cause a lot of trouble with an innocent looking apple...

One thing I discovered when we were chatting about "apple week" is that I don't cook with apples very often, poisoned or otherwise. I like a good crisp Macoun or Macintosh, but I cannot bear a mealy Delicious apple. And I certainly wouldn't put it in my crockpot or skillet. And yet they are Peg's favorite variety and Cleo used them yesterday in her amazing mini-caramel tartlets--so to each her own!

I'm going to stick with a classic apple pie, the one my dad used to make when his wife would let him in the kitchen. But be sure to check out the other recipes this week, where the other writers fill in with the fancy stuff. I've given you this crust before with other recipes, but it's so easy, I'll keep repeating until you agree to try it!


2 cups unbleached flour (can be partly whole wheat)
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk (I use 1%)
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I use organic canola)

Sift the flour with the salt. Measure the milk and oil, pour it into the flour, mix. Now comes the only tricky part. Divide the dough into two parts, 3/5 for the bottom crust, the remainder for the top. Place the dough between two sheets of waxed paper and roll it to the correct size. Carefully peel off the top sheet of waxed paper, flip the crust into a pie pan, carefully remove the other sheet of waxed paper. Since you are filling the crust with something delicious anyway, it's perfectly acceptable to patch as needed and then crimp the edges. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.


6 cups sliced apples
2 or 3 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1-2 Tbsp butter

Peel, core and slice the apples. Mix in a bowl with the flour, cinnamon and salt. Let the mixture sit for ten minutes, then place it into the bottom crust. Dot with butter.

Roll the top crust over the apples and pinch the two parts together, trimming as needed. Working around the crust, press a fork into the dough to make shapely crimped edges. Make vents on the top crust, with design of your choice. You may sprinkle a little sugar over the top if you like sparkles.

Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350 and bake for another 30 plus minutes until the crust is brown and the filling bubbling. (Put a cookie sheet on the rack underneath to catch the drips.) Let the pie cool on a rack. Serve with ice cream!

While you're waiting for the pie to cool, I invite you to enjoy the Key West food critic mysteries, full of food, friendship, and murder--all set in Paradise! PW said about DEATH IN FOUR COURSES: "Anyone who's overpaid for a pretentious restaurant meal will relish this witty cozy."

And please follow Lucy on Twitter @lucyburdette, or "like" her on facebook, or check out her boards on Pinterest for all the latest updates.


  1. The apples & pie are beautiful! The crust so unusual! I'll have to try it.
    Helena Georgette

  2. You just can't beat an old fashioned apple pie, Lucy! One little note, though, I used Golden Delicious apples (not Red Delicious) in my recipe this week. I know, I know, it seems a small detail to point out, but I want to make sure readers don't use the wrong apple in my recipe--if they do, the taste and texture will be way off. I do agree with you on Red Delicious. Not my favorite for eating or cooking. But I like the sweetness of the Golden Delicious and the fact that Goldens keep their shape in pies and tarts during baking and won't turn into applesauce on you. I think they'd be great in your Dad's pie, too--the non-poisoned kind. :)

    Love your post and that photo of your final pie is gorgeous (mouth definitely watering). Have a great weekend!

    ~ Cleo

  3. I too agree about Red Delicious--they were created for durability in shipping, not taste. Far too many of the interesting apples of the past have disappeared because they didn't ship or store well--our loss. But having said that, available apples vary widely. Some may taste great if you eat them raw, but try to cook with them and they turn into leather. Message to everyone: if you see a variety of apple you've never heard of, try it!

    And you can't go wrong with apple pie.

  4. Thanks Helena, I hope the crust works for you. My mother-in-law never did get the hang of it, but I find it foolproof:).

    Cleo, so glad you pointed that out--I don't know that I've ever used a yellow delicious.

    And Peg--didn't mean to knock your fave:)!

    Sheila's got such a good attitude--she'll try anything! xo Lucy

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  6. I agree with Sheila. Like tomatoes, too many apples were ruined when they were bred to be pretty and travel well. They forgot about flavor! Fujis are my current favorite, but my mother loves a good old-fashioned Golden Delicious. The Honeycrisps were outrageously expensive at my store this week, so I bought one for a taste test!

    Do yo think apple pie qualitifes as comfort food? It's always great, no matter what apples you use. Yum! Hmm, I have some pie crust (homemade, of course) in the freezer . . .

    ~ Krista

  7. OH, I agree with you about mealy mouth Delicious apples (both red and yellow). Give me a crunchy winesap any day. I cook a lot with apples. They're great with pork, especially. A pork tenderloin with garlic, rosemary and apples is the best. I don't much like your pie crust with oil, but the pie recipe is spot on.

  8. Oh Patricia, have you tried the oily crust? I know it sounds a little off-putting, but it comes out so well:).

    Yes, Krista, apple pie IS comfort food. I've always like the idea of putting cheddar cheese on it, though I've never tried it.

  9. Hi..I have a favorite apple pie recipe but because I have so much faith :-) in all of you great authors/cooks, I'm going to give your recipe a try! What do you think of Granny Smiths for
    pie? They're my regulars but I'm open to giving another type a try. I use Pink Ladies with some pork recipes. Please list a few possibilities for your loyal fans! Thanks...Adrienne in MN

    1. Adrienne - Good question. Here's a link from the New York Times that tries to help answer it. The link below features a little video in the post:

      Link to NY Times Diners Journal – What are the best apples for apple pie?

      The short answer is: We all have our favorites depending on taste and presentation--i.e., whether we'd like our apple desserts on the sweet side, on the tart side; and whether we'd like our apples to be mushy after baking or hold their shape. As Lucy said, to each her own. :)

      One more link for you. This one gives a quickie list of apple varieties that will work well in pies and tarts...

      Click here to see a list of good apple choices for apple pie.

      I hope that helps...have a great fall weekend!

      ~ Cleo

  10. Lucy, I loved the references to Snow White and to Adam and Eve. Apples are the "fruit" of all evil. LOL

    Lovely pie.

    ~Daryl aka Avery

  11. Thanks Adrienne, but do tell us how your recipe is different! I do like Granny Smiths for cooking, also Macintosh and Macoun. We get them here in CT but I don't know if they are only local?

    How about the rest of you?