This Friday brings my second favorite holiday of the year, 4th of July!
I love the hype of the day. The colors, the traditions, the food, the total ambience. Every year the food blogs and magazines come out with all their articles and recipes for “American” themed food.
Flags made out of strawberry, banana, and blueberries. Cakes, that when cut open, are red, white, and blue checkerboard.
As fun and delicious as these treats are, I enjoy the classics of the holiday.
One specific classic that I prefer is the not so all American apple pie. Ironically enough, one of the staple icons of celebrating our Independence, and just Americanism in general, is actually a thing from Europe.
It is said that our ancestors who came over on the Mayflower brought the concept of the apple pie to the states with them.
They were accustomed to savory pies, but as apples became popular in America, and sugar was readily available, the pies shifted from savory to sweet.
Despite not being from America, it seems that for almost every 4th of July and Thanksgiving, an apple pie is a staple in most households.
I know that this is definitely true for my family. My grandmother used to make multiple pies at once and stick a few of them in the freezer to have on hand to bake at a moments notice.
So in honor of our Nation’s Independence I thought I would feature this national icon this week.
For me personally, the key to a great pie is the crust. This is my go to recipe for a nice, buttery, crispy and perfect pie crust.
2 ½ cups all purpose flour; plus more for rolling
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold, cut into 1/2inch cubes
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
6-8 Tbsp ice water
1). Combine flour, salt, and sugar in large bowl. ( for a twist to the crust you may want to try adding cinnamon. If you do this though, watch the amount of cinnamon you add to the apples)
Add butter to the bowl. Using your fingertips, pinch the butter into the flour mixture. Work quickly so the butter stays cold and compact before melting. Continue pinching for several minutes until mixture becomes the consistently of sand.
2). Add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the mixture begins to clump together.
3). Separate dough into two parts. Form each part into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour. While the dough is chilling, you can work on the apples.
Apple Pie Filling:
8-10 of your favorite apples. For a naturally sweeter pie I usually pick honey crisp or granny smith.
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. brown sugar
4 tbsp butter; cut into ½ inch cubes
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp sugar
1). Peel and slice apples in ½ inch slices
2). Place apple slices in a bowl and sprinkle on cinnamon and brown sugar. Use your hands to really mix everything together well.
3). Let apples sit and marinate. While the apples are sitting, preheat oven to 350 degrees and roll out piecrust.
4). Place one crust in the bottom of the pie plate. Fill crust with apples. Place butter cubes on top of the apples, evenly.
5). Place the other crust on top of the apples. Cut to small slits on the top of the crust.
6). Using a pastry brush, brush milk over crust. Sprinkle sugar on top of milk mixture.
7). Using strips of foil, cover the edges of the crust with foil.
8). Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. After thirty minutes, check the edges and if they aren’t turning too brown then remove the foil. Bake another 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown and apples are soft and juicy.
This apple pie is best served hot and with a school of vanilla bean ice cream.
This pie may not be native to America, but it certainly has been adopted by our country.
So this Friday while you are celebrating everything that is the United States of America, I hope that you will be able to enjoy this pie or another one of your 4th of July favorites.