|Traditional Apple Pie|
My brother has an apple tree in front of his place that already has ripe apples, and for me apples mean that fall is near! Fall is my favorite season because of the cooler weather, colorful leaves, and the many activities going on around New Mexico. Summer being my least favorite season because of the heat and lack of summer break ever since I became an adult and started working full-time. So it was a delightful shock when he brought over a bag of apples to Sunday dinner and "humbly" asked for me to make him an apple pie (or two).
This year, however, is also sad because New Mexicans are very attached to the Dixon's Apple Orchard who have some of the best apples on earth (and their apple cider is amazing!). Last year, Dixon's Apples were affected by the Los Conchas fire and subsequent flooding, which damaged much of the orchard. Many of us grew up eating the apples and traveling up to Dixon on opening weekend to buy apples. My favorite is their champagne apples and always find some way to get my hands on some and then go crazy looking for new recipes to try out.
Last year, Joe and I drove up to Cochiti where they were selling the apples because it possibly was one of the last times we could buy some. It was bittersweet rummaging through huge bins of barrels looking for the biggest and most delicious looking apples while dusting off the ash from the fire knowing very well this could be the last time they'd be available.
Now the future of Dixon's Apples is in limbo and they won't have a crop this year for New Mexicans to buy. There will never be anything close to their champagne apples. If Dixon's Apples never rebounds, there will be a huge void in the state of New Mexico. (Something for legislators to think about...)
I won't have Dixon's Apples this year to eat or bake with, but I already have plenty of apple recipes in my queue to make as my favorite season approaches.
This is my go-to apple pie recipe that I've been using for years. I just love how all the sauce oozes out when you cut through it-- though it doesn't make for good pictures or at least when I take them! If you think it might be too sweet for your tastes, add a little lemon juice to cut the sweetness a little bit. Depending on my mood, I'll either add it or leave it. This time I left it out. :-) Also, try it with my easy homemade pie crust and it will be even more decadent!
Traditional Apple Pie
Slightly adapted from Tyler's Ultimate, Apple Pie episode
2 9-inch pie crusts (store-bought or homemade)
6-7 c. apples, cut into thin slices (I like a mix of sweet and sour apples, like mixing fuji and granny smith)
1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. light brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2-1 c. all-purpose flour (enough to coat all the apples)
1/2 lemon, juiced (optional)
3-4 Tbs. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
cinnamon and sugar, for sprinkling on top of the crust
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Roll out one of the pie crusts and line a 9-inch pie pan. Set in fridge to keep cool while preparing the filling.
Place apple slices in a large bowl. Mix in granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add in flour and mix until well-coated. (Use enough flour so that all apples are coated.) Add in lemon juice, if you're using and continue to mix until incorporated (you may need to add more flour if you're using the lemon juice). Place in the crust-lined pie plate.
Scatter the pieces of butter on top of the pie filling.
Roll out the second pie crust and lay on top of the filling. Roll the excess pie crust over the edges and crimp to seal. With a knife, cut slits on top of the pie so that the steam can escape. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on top of the pie.
Cover pie edges with foil and bake for 25 minutes, then remove foil and bake pie for an additional 25 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown.
(Depending on your pie plate, you might want to place it on top of a cooking sheet while baking to catch any dripping. Mine usually doesn't spill into the oven, but it did this last time which wasn't fun.)