Yeah it's March, and I've got pie on the brain. I've been making this particular apple pie recipe for over 20 years, and absolutely love it. This past year I made a couple of tweaks to it, and it's even better - and even more planet-friendly.
Most fruit pies at bakeries suck, in my opinion, because of the same bad habits of most pie makers:
Too much damn sugar!! Holy shit, I was looking at recipes again today to compare, and most of them ask for a CUP of sugar. Who the fuck can taste the apples with that much sweetener?! It's nauseating to me, as I like apple pie to taste like, well, APPLES. Not to mention the fact that no one - I mean no one - needs that much sweetener. And of course the fact that, white or brown, processed & refined sugar is just that - a nightmare for the body. These days? I sub 1/3 cup of maple syrup into the apples instead. That's a 2/3 cut on sweetener, and allows my apples to taste as meant to be.
Cheap, conventional apples. I have never been a fan of red or yellow apples, and when it comes to apple pie, the Granny Smith is the only one I'll consider. Period. In addition, the apple's thin skin makes it very susceptable to pesticides that leach into the fruit, and that's now how we play in our household.
Mushy filling! I still don't understand why folks will make and can 'apple pie filling'. Honey, my sliced apples in my pie should still resemble actual fruit...not applesauce. When I bite into mine, it should be softened but not mush.
Crappy crust. The pie crust is part of the dessert - make it right or don't make it at all, y'all. It's literally flour, butter, salt and water. Not as hard as one might think! The biggest tip I learned about a decade ago is to shred your butter with a box grater and toss it in the freezer for 5 minutes before mixing it in with your dry ingredients, then adding your ice water. Works like a charm. And for the other change we made in our pie? I use Miyoko's organic vegan butter now. It's still tasty AF - and just as good as using leaf lard or butter, believe it or not.
So yeah, mine is simple. Sliced Grannies, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, a little organic maple syrup, and a killer crust made with two sticks of vegan butter and organic all-purpose flour. Dreamy.
“We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.” ~ David Mamet