Here in the Sierra Foothills region where we live, apple trees thrive! And we have some great places locally where we can buy these apples at farm prices. It kills me to see folks buying apples at the grocery store when the apples that are locally grown are so close. This area is known as Apple Hill, and there are quite a few farms where you can stop by not only for the apples but other fresh produce. Be sure to check out links at the end of this post should you decide to come and visit!
Today, I made a lovely apple pie using the Fuji apples from my orchard, and I tossed in some walnuts too for added flavor! Good apples for pie include Gravenstein (tart), Pippin (tart), Fuji (sweet) and Gala (sweet). You can mix the types of apples up too for a great flavor burst. So, let’s get to making some pie, shall we?
Pie dough (you can easily make your own or if you buy the dough, the Pillsbury pie dough is the best)
1/2 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 cup to 1 1/2 cups sugar – adjust the sugar for the tartness of the apples
1/4 cup of flour
3/4 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
2 TBS butter
Milk and sugar
Peel the apples.
Lovely peeled apples from the orchard
Then quarter the apples and remove the core.
Quarter and core the apples
Next, slice the apples into a large mixing bowl.
Once all the apples are done, add the walnuts.
Next, in a small bowl add the sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix well. Then add this to the apples and walnuts and mix it up well.
Apples and nuts mixed with flour sugar mixture
Set this aside as we turn to the dough.
Today I used pre-made dough. I use the Pillsbury pie dough as it is the best out there and I have tried them all! This dough comes out very flaky when baked. You will need to take this out of the refrigerator to warm up before using it. I take this out before starting on the apples. Roll out the dough to a size much larger than your pie pan.
Roll the dough out for the bottom crust
Make sure that you flour your surface or the dough will stick. Lay the dough evenly in your pan. Then add your apple mixture spreading it out evenly. Dot the top with butter.
Add the apple mixture to pie pan and dot with butter
Do not forget the butter or your pie will not cook correctly.
Next, roll out the upper crust of the pie. This too needs to be bigger than the pan. Fold in quarters and slit with a knife as shown below.
Slits cut into the top crust
These slits create the steam vents for your pie. Center the quarter folded dough over the apples and unfold carefully so you do not tear your vents.
Lay the upper crust over the apples
Next, tuck the upper crust under the bottom crust so that the crust is at the edge of the pie pan. Gently pinch the dough to seal it. Holding your thumb and pointer finger together at the outside edge of the crust, use your other pointer finger to push in the dough creating this pretty edge.
Fold under and crimp the crust
What I like to do next is baste the top crust with a small bit of milk, then I sprinkle on a bit of sugar for added sweetness and a beautiful looking crust.
Sprinkle with a bit of sugar
Bake in a 425 degree oven for about a half hour. Check on the pie at this point. The crust should be a lovely golden brown. Using foil, make a collar to cover the outer edges of the crust to keep them from burning. Bake for another 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and then let the pie cool.
Pie is done!
Isn’t this just lovely? Serve this up with a bit of ice cream on the side!
The Apple Hill region in the Sierra Foothills is just outside of Placerville in the little town of Camino. You can access this region from Highway 50 heading towards Lake Tahoe. Here are some links of places here in Apple Hill that you might like to visit!
Boa Vista Orchards
High Hill Ranch
Gold Bud Farms
For general information on the area: Apple Hill Growers Assn.
Enjoy the pie, and do come and visit this lovely region!
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