My middle-school daughter is selling pies to raise money for band camp. Everywhere we go, we’re hawking pie in a variety of flavors. All that talk about pie made my whole family hungry for one. So I decided to make an apple pie.
There are about as many ways to make an apple pie as there are apples varieties. I found three recipes in one beautiful book given to me by my friend Jane Masters. They were all quite different-so I decided to make all three and go in the order of printing. This is the first recipe, from “Housekeeping in Old Virginia,” published in 1879. The book’s title page says it contains “Contributions from 250 of Virgina’s noted housewives, distinguished for their skill in the culinary art and other branches of domestic economy.” Good enough for me!
This recipe is attributed to Mrs. E. It’s super easy. I like that it was the first one that I tried.
It was also quite delicious. Admittedly, I was a little weirded out by the use of whole cloves. They look like bugs to me (!), and I never want to actually eat one-so I picked them out as I sliced the pie. But the flavor they infused into the apples was divine… and makes this pie anything but ordinary.
It’s also funny to me that this pie calls for powdered sugar. But with a little research, I learned that technological advances in the latter half of the 1800’s made the use of powdered sugar more common. So maybe Mrs. E. was trendy for her time!
I know that pie purists may believe that certain types of apples make for a better pie. In my experience, the addition of other ingredients like sugar, lemon juice, and whole cloves is more of a factor in determining the final taste. So I say, use whatever apples are on sale. For this recipe, I used store-bought red delicious-which I really don’t like to eat out of the bag. I think they taste like plastic. But in this pie, they were transformed into something magical!
I must also apologize for the appearance of my top crust. I hate weaving pie crust strips, so I decided to cut out four hearts and just put the decorative crust on top. It didn’t turn out as pretty as I had hoped-it looks a little warped. But it tasted so good!
• 2 batches of Pie Crust for Dummies (or a pkg of two refrigerated pie crusts)
• 4-5 medium apples, cored, peeled and sliced thinly
• 1 ¼ cup powdered sugar
• 4 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon whole cloves
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place one crust in your pie plate.
Place a layer of apples onto the crust. Using a spoon, sprinkle some of the powdered sugar over the apples.
Repeat this step until the whole crust is filled to the brim with apples dusted with sugar.
Add the lemon juice and the cloves.
Place the top crust on and seal it. Bake it for 50 minutes.
Look for the other two recipes from the same cookbook, coming soon!