Here is a recipe for one of the easiest and best apple pies I have ever made. I made it similar to my blueberry pie, where I used cookie cutters to make the top of the pie crust
5-6 large apples, peeled and sliced (they don't have to be picked by you, but that sure does make it more fun!!)
Pre-made double crust pie dough (I said it was an EASY pie, didn't I?)
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
3 tbsp of brown sugar
1 tbsp of vanilla extract
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon (watch for seeds!!)
2 tbsp of unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg beaten
Preheat the over to 400*F. I put the upper oven rack in the middle, and on the lower over rack I place a large cookie sheet to catch any bits of apple that MAY drip over. (If it cuts down on my cleaning later, it is worth it!)
Place half of the pie dough on the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate and use your fingers or a fork to crimp the edges. Put this in the freezer while you prepare the rest of your pie. (Pie dough should never get below 60*F, so keep it in the freezer to compensate for the ingredients you will be pouring into it later).
In a large mixing bowl combine the apples, sugars, flour, spices and lemon juice. Toss it well, and don't forget to taste it as you go to make sure it is seasoned well (yes, this is very scientific and is required of this recipe, often :) )
Take the bottom crust out of the freezer and pour the appley-sugary mixture and its yummy apple-y juices into the bottom pie crust. Try to arrange the top layer of apples so they are flat. Place the pieces of cold butter on top of the apples.
Roll out the remaining pie dough. Using cookie cutters, cut out shapes in the dough to cover the top of the pie. You will likely have to regroup and re-roll out the dough for there to be enough to cover the pie. Have fun with it! For this pie I used a heart shaped cookie cutter (hence the name, "I Heart Apple Pie" - get it? get it?) No matter what shape you use, all of the cut outs should overlap.
Brush the top and edges of the crust with the egg. I also sprinkled granulated sugar and cinnamon on top (although the cinnamon gave it a burned look that I didn't like - but tasted fantastic nonetheless.)
Cover the edges of the pie with aluminum foil to protect it from getting burned. Bake the pie for 45 minutes, remove the foil, then bake it for an additional 10-15 minutes until it is golden brown and bubbly.
Remove the pie and let it cool on a wire rack for about half an hour.
Serve with vanilla ice cream and thank me later :)
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