As American as Apple Pie

This is marathon weekend, so we have some marathon-related social activities going on. Today’s is a brunch put on by members of our running club. Naturally, I took pie—or, more accurately, a tart and a pie:

Square fruit tart

Square fruit tart


Patriots' Day apple pie

Patriots' Day apple pie

Marathon Monday is Patriots’ Day, April 19, so an American-style fruit pie is appropriate, and what’s more American than apple pie?

I used to make an apple pie maybe once a year because peeling, coring, and slicing the apples took forever. Then I took a cooking class, and Chef Dagmar showed us a very efficient way to prepare apples. Now I can get the apples ready and in a pie in less than 20 minutes. I came home from that class and told Dr. Science, “You can have apple pie any time you want now!”

You need a vegetable peeler, a large, sharp knife (e.g., a chef’s knife), a paring knife or small utility knife, and a melon ball tool.

Tools for preparing apples: paring knife, chef's knife, melon baller, vegetable peeler

Tools for preparing apples: paring knife, chef's knife, melon baller, vegetable peeler


Peel the apples with the vegetable peeler.
Peeling the apples with a vegetable peeler

Peeling the apples with a vegetable peeler


Whack them in half vertically with the chef’s knife (or other suitable large, sharp knife).
Cutting the apple in half vertically with a chef's knife.

Cutting the apple in half vertically with a chef's knife.


Use the paring knife or small utility knife to cut out the stem and blossom.
Cutting out the blossom with a paring knife

Cutting out the blossom with a small utility knife


Use the melon baller to scoop out the core.
Scooping out the core with a melon ball tool

Scooping out the core with a melon ball tool


Cut the apple half in half again horizontally.
Cutting the apple in half again horizontally.

Cutting the apple in half again horizontally.


Slice the apples into ¹/₈-inch slices and drop the slices into the sugar-and-spice mixture.
Slicing the apples right into the bowl with the sugar and spices

Slicing the apples right into the bowl with the sugar and spices

And here’s my recipe.

Apple Pie
dough for a 2-crust pie
⅔ cup sugar
⅓ cup corn starch
1 t cinnamon
½ t nutmeg
3 T Calvados (or other apple brandy)
2 lb apples (I use 1 lb Granny Smith and 1 lb Empire)

Make the pie dough and chill it for at least 30 minutes. Roll out two circles of dough to fit a 9-in pie plate. Return the rolled dough to the refrigerator.
Preheat the oven to 400℉.
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in the Calvados.
Peel, core, and slice the apples; drop the slices into the bowl with the sugar mixture and stir to coat the apples.
Fit one piece of the pie dough into the pie plate.
Turn the filling into the bottom crust.
Top with the other piece of dough, trim off the excess dough, fold the edges under, and crimp the edges.
Cut slits into the top crust to allow steam to escape.
Bake at 400℉ for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly.
Cool on a rack for 2 hours.

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