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There’s a reason we say things are as American as apple pie – the smell of sweet, ripe apples and a touch of cinnamon wafting out of the oven brings us back to childhood.
Whether you’re a pie pro or a novice baker, these recipes are sure to please. Start with a classic apple pie, and for a fun twist, try one of our savory recipes below (then whip up one of the apple pies for dessert!)
The Perfect Apple Pie
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4-5 tablespoons ice water
Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut shortening into flour and salt until pieces are the size of small peas. Sprinkle in ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with a fork until all flour is moistened and a ball of dough can be formed. Add more water if necessary. Refrigerate dough until ready to roll.
8 cups thinly sliced apples (peeled, quartered, cored and sliced crosswise)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice
1 tablespoon flour
Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix all ingredients to coat the apple slices. Roll out refrigerated pie crust dough, place in pie pan. Add apple mixture. Top with remaining crust and seal the edges. Cut a few small slashes in top crust for a steam vent. With pastry brush, brush on egg wash (beat one egg with 1 tablespoon of milk).
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 375 F and continue baking for another 20 minutes.
Apple Obsession Pie
1 cup cold shortening
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
1/4 cup ice water
Mix together shortening, salt and flour until it resembles coarse crumbs. In another bowl, whisk together egg, water and vinegar, then add all at once to shortening/flour mixture. Toss with a fork until mixture forms a ball. Knead and pat into a disk. Refrigerate until ready to use. Roll out pastry, place into a pie dish and crimp the edges. Create cut outs for the top from the extra dough.
2 Jonathan gold apples, peeled, cored, sliced
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and sliced
2 Pink Lady apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons apple jelly
2 tablespoons fruit pectin
Crumb Topping Ingredients
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 400 F.
To make the filling: Mix sugar and pectin together. Toss into apples and add sugar mixture, apple pie spice, ground ginger and apple jelly. Toss again to coat evenly. Fill chilled pie crust, pressing down slightly to even the filling.
To make the crumb topping: Mix all ingredients except pecans to combine evenly, then add pecans. Top pie filling with crumb topping mixture.
Add pastry cutouts. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower temperature to 360 F and bake for 45 more minutes.
Beef and Guinness Pie
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lb. beef stew meat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup flour
1 large onion, diced
8 oz. small mushrooms, quartered
1/2 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
6 oz. Guinness
2 cups beef broth
2 small Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 recipe pie crust
2 tablespoons milk
Heat the olive oil on high in a stockpot or cast iron pot. In a bowl, toss the beef with the flour, salt and pepper until thoroughly coated. Add the beef to the hot oil and brown on all sides. Do this in two batches, so as to not overcrowd the pan. When the beef is browned, remove from the pan.
Add the onion and mushrooms to the pan (adding a little more oil, if necessary) and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. When the mushrooms and onions begin to brown, add the rosemary and continue to sauté for a few more minutes or until a deep brown color is achieved.
Add the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds more. Add the tomato paste and mix it into the vegetables, cooking for another 30 seconds.
Place the beef back in the pot and mix into the vegetables.
Add the Guinness to the pot, stirring and scraping the sides as it reduces to loosen browned bits and deglaze the pot. Add the beef broth, and bring the liquid to a simmer.
Place a lid on the pot and reduce the heat to medium/low.
Continue to lightly simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
After 1 hour of simmering, add the potatoes to the filling. Re-cover the pan and continue cooking.
When the meat is tender, remove the lid and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Roll out 2/3 of the pie crust dough to cover a 9-inch pie dish. Pat the dough down into the dish and fill with the hot beef filling.
Roll out the remaining dough into a circle large enough to cover the top of the pie. Place on top of the filling and seal the edges of dough around the dish.
Beat together the egg and milk and brush over the top of the pie.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Serve immediately.
Lamb, Mint and Rosemary Pie
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 lb. lamb mince
1 cup tomato purée
2 tablespoons store-bought mint jelly
1/4 cup chopped rosemary leaves
sea salt and cracked black pepper
5 sheets store-bought shortcrust pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
12 sprigs rosemary, for decorating
Preheat oven to 400 F. Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the onion, garlic and carrot and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the mince and cook, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until browned. Add the tomato purée, mint jelly, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Cool completely.
Cut 12, 5-inch rounds from the pastry and use them to line 12 lightly greased muffin tins. Divide the lamb between the cups. Cut 12, 3 1/2-inch rounds from the remaining pastry. Brush the edges of the pies with water, top with the rounds and press to seal the edges. Brush the pies with egg and top each with a rosemary sprig. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden. Serve with tomato sauce.
This article was written by Katie Simpson, contributor for The Daily Clutch.