October is the time for a visit to the apple orchard.
In particular, Whittier Fruit Farm. We love it. The apple selection is great, and you can’t really complain about apples at 80 cents per pound.
They also have a “trac-tor”, as Caleb learned to say, to take visitors to the various apple sections. Straight to the Cortlands and Macouns, please.
Look at how cool that kid is. Way cooler than me in those sunglasses. I’m definitely not getting any waves goodbye during his middle-school phase.
We also went with this sweet couple and their little Sophie.
And then we picked for awhile and ended up with 23 lbs of apples. That’s like, a lot of apples.
^ that many apples. With feet in the picture for reference.
We also attempted to take some photos in a wagon, and those just ended up being awkward because it was so windy. Note: always take the cute wagon pictures before apple picking when everyone is 100% happy and smiling.
Anyway, to the pie.
I had an apple-tasting helper. “Look, mom, try this!” I know, right, Caleb? Apples are pretty darn good.
A neighbor let me borrow her apple corer & peeler. It worked for smaller apples, but not so much for the huge Cortlands that we got from the orchard.
But, you can’t really argue with that cool spiral. 99.9% sure I can’t do that by hand. And the remaining 0.1% of me is not going to try.
For the larger apples, I just peeled and chopped them into large chunks myself, then used the slicer blade for the food processor – and voilá! Super thin apple slices. Why so thin? Well, my mom sent me an article on the science of a good apple pie, and that’s what science says to do! Apparently the apple cider vinegar in the crust is also based on science.
I like to use a large, plastic bowl with a lid to mix the spices and apples. Put the lid on and shake a bit, and the apples are perfectly and super evenly coated!
Then, of course, for proper ventilation (as also mentioned in the science of an apple pie article), a dinosaur can be cut in the middle of the pie. Because, why not?
I also read that pretty much any tool can be used to make a cool pattern in the crust, so I tried this heart-shaped wine stopper.
Foil to protect the crust + an egg white coating = a pie ready for the oven!
Then you wait a little for it to cool and devour it.
The pie ratings:
The pie rating scale is a Mike-determined scale from 1 – 10, with a 5 being the “classic, homemade apple pie”, and 10 being the highest rating.
I still like this crust recipe, although I am not certain that it was the right one for this apple pie. But, I think the amount of spice in the pie was a good, subtle amount to still get the chai flavor, but not be too overwhelming, so that was great!
Chai-spiced Apple Pie
Adapted from thekitchenpaper
- 1 batch of pie dough from this recipe (save the egg whites!)
- 5 large Cortland apples (~ 3 cups sliced)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/8 tsp coriander
- 1/8 tsp ginger
- pinch of black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375˚F
- Peel and slice apples in large chunks. Then, put through food processor using the ‘slicing’ blade to slice apples very thin
- Place sliced apples, sugar, cornstarch, and spices in a large bowl. Put lid on bowl and shake to coat apples with spices evenly
- Roll out the bottom pie crust and put it in the pan
- Place apples in the pie pan
- Roll out the top pie crust and use a cookie cutter to cut a shape out of the middle (I suggest a dino 😉 ) – then place the pie crust on top of the pie filling
- Trim excess crust from the sides and press the top and bottom crusts together
- Brush the top of the crust with egg white
- Cover the crust with aluminum foil, place the pie in the oven, and bake for 50 minutes
- Remove the foil from the crust and bake for an additional 10 minutes. The crust will be golden brown
- Take the pie out of the oven and let cool for two to three hours. Then, eat up!!