Homemade organic pumpkin pie is the typical pie fare at a green Thanksgiving dinner, but a really good organic apple pie can substitute in for more pie choices or stand alone as the official Thanksgiving pie.
Choosing Your Organic Apples
You may have heard that some apples are better than others for apple pie. In my experience this is true to a point. For example, if I use only organic Granny Smith apples, I never have an issues with watery filling, which works out since my family likes a tart pie. If I use different apples I have a harder time keeping the pie from being over-juicy, but there are ways around that, as I’ll show in the recipe below.
On average, Granny Smith (with enough sugar to combat tartness), Bramley, Jonagold, Rome, Honeycrisp, Cameo, Jonathon, Pink Lady are considered nice apple pie apples. More mealy or overly soft and mushy when cooked apples like Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Galas, McIntosh and Cortland are apples to stay clear of. Really, simply aim for the freshest, most local organic apples you can. This will improve your pie’s flavor.
The above said, type of apples to use in pie is a pretty huge debate among serious apple pie makers and everyone has an opinion. To see what some other people think, check out the following:
Organic Apple Pie Filling Ingredients
*Makes enough for one pie.
- About 6 cups of organic apples, washed, peeled and cut into slices or small chunks.
- 1 cup organic sugar.
- 2 tablespoons organic flour.
- 1 teaspoon organic cinnamon.
- A good dash of organic nutmeg.
- 1 tablespoon organic butter, if you’re making a shortening crust. Not necessary if making a butter crust.
- Optional – experiment with dashes of other spices if you like.
Organic Apple Pie Crust Ingredients
I’ve already written some tutorials on pie crusts. First read – Organic Pie Crusts 101. Then choose one of the pie crusts below to make.
Note, that I make apple pie with a butter-based crust, because it tastes awesome.
How To Make Organic Apple Pie
- Make your pie crust first, especially if you’re making butter crust, which will need to chill.
- In a small bowl mix your flour, sugar and spices.
- Pour dry mixture over sliced apples and mix to coat the apples.
IF you used a more juicy combo of apples, as I did for this pie (see image at top of post) put your apple mixture into a colander over a bowl and set it in the fridge, to allow some of the juices to drain out. Some people like to add a little extra cornstarch to their dry mixture to combat juicer apples or cook them a bit first, both of which can also help reduce juice, but I don’t do this because it’s too much extra work.
IF you used a harder, less juicy apple, simply mix the spices in with the apples and you’re done. I never ever drain Granny Smith apple, for example, and my pies aren’t too watery.
- Place your apples aside and get your bottom crust ready.
- Once the bottom crust is ready, pour the apple mixture into it.
- If using a shortening crust, dot the top of your apples with your tablespoon of butter. If using butter crust, the butter dots are optional, but likely unnecessary.
- Put your pie into the fridge and get your top crust ready. Roll it out flat and place it atop your pie, then pinch the top and bottom crusts together (fluting if you like), or get your dough ready to make a woven lattice pie crust top.
- If you chose a single sheet crust for your pie, cut small slits into the crust to allow your pie to vent as it cooks. If you went with a lattice top, obviously no vent slits are needed.
- If you like, sprinkle a little organic sugar on top of your pie (I always do for a little sparkle).
- If you made the butter crust, place your pie back in the fridge for a little bit (20-30 minutes) to allow the crust to firm up a little before you bake. This helps avoid a pool of butter in your oven. If you made a shortening crust, you can bake right away.
- Cover the edges of your pie with foil or a silicone pie crust shield.
- Bake for 25 minutes in a 375 degrees oven.
- Remove foil from pie edge and bake another 25 minutes at the same temperature.
- Take pie out of oven and allow to cool before cutting and eating. Letting it cool allows the last of the juices to set better, thus avoiding an overly juicy pie.
What kind of apples do you use for apple pie? Just curious, after the debate above.