PICK YOUR OWN
When I was growing up in St. Louis, every few years we would make a trip across the Mississippi to Eckert’s Farm near Belleville, IL, go for hayrides, drink hot cider, and pick apples.. We’d bring back bags full of apples and at least a pumpkin or two. Mom would make a rich apple pie and the house would smell like apple cinnamon heaven.
I was hoping we’d go this year, but I miss calculated the season. So if you decide to go, make sure you get there between July and September. Walk through the orchards on a sunny fall day armed with your own pole basket. Pick until you can’t carry anymore. You’ve got plenty of varieties to choose from like Gala, Granny Smith, and Honey Crisp to name a few.
Now Eckard’s has a deli, café, and a restaurant too. They didn’t have those way back when. Although they’ve made a lot of changes, some things are the same. You can still get hot apple cider and a hayride too.
By the time I left for college, I could make a mean banana bread and a fairly decent apple pie. Since I lived in the dorms and survived on coffee, ice cream, and corn pops, those baking skills went dormant.
It was years later when I started making apple pies again. Thankfully my recipe is so easy, it was impossible to forget. If you want a great short cut, grab a Pillsbury pie crust, they’re usually in the refrigeration isle not far from the cream cheese. However, if you’d like to try your hand at a homemade pie crust check out Grandma’s Best Pie Crust Recipe. If you’re looking for a gluten free option head over to Gluten Free on a Shoestring’s GF Pie Crust Recipe.
How do you keep your apple pie from oozing out?
After it comes out of the oven let it cool. It’s so hard to wait, but it’s really worth it. I can be soooooo impatient! I couldn’t wait. I sliced into it way too soon and the juices didn’t have a chance to firm up. Letting your apple pie cool completely (at least an hour) before you cut into it is the key to keeping it from releasing it’s juices all over your plate.
But not to worry! Even though I cut into it too early within another hour or so it firmed up.
Add a big scoop of whip cream or cheddar cheese if that suits your fancy.
Homemade Mile High Apple Pie
This is a crazy pie with apple piled up as far as you can make them go. Make sure your apples are firm and crisp. It's sweet and tart! Serve it hot with a side of cold vanilla ice cream for a real treat!
- 2 pie crusts*
- 5-6 large apples pealed and cut into 1" cubes
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill gluten free baking flour
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter chilled and cut into pea size
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 egg white raw
- 1 pie dish
- 1 large bowl
- 1 vegetable peeler
- 1 cookie sheet
- measuring cups and spoons
- 1 small bowl and pastry brush
- 1 tablespoon thyme fresh
- Preheat the oven to 350. Peel all the apples and cut them into 1" cubes. Put them all in the large bowl.
- Pour the lemon juice and vanilla over the apples. Stir gently.
- Mix the cinnamon and sugar together and pour them over the apples. Stir to coat. Sprinkle apples with the salt.
- Remove all thyme leaves from their stems. Mix the thyme with the flour. Sprinkle the 1/2 of the flour/thyme mixture evenly over the apples and stir to coat. Then sprinkle the rest evenly over the apples and stir again.
- Put 1 uncooked pie crust over your pie dish. Pour the apples into the pie shell. There should be plenty to pile them up high! Dot the apples with the chilled butter. Then gently place the other pie crust dough over the apple mound.
- Press the two pie dough edges with your fingers to seal them together. Cut 4 slits in the top of the pie with your knife.
- Mix 1 tablespoon water and 1 egg white together in a small bowl. With a pastry brush, lightly coat the pie crust with the egg wash.
- Put the pie dish on a cookie sheet. Bake for 45 minutes. Cool completely before serving.
Short Cut: Pilsbury Pie Crust
Gluten Free Pie Crust- Nicole's Gluten Free on a Shoestring blog is an excellent gluten free resource. She does an incredible job posting delicious (and well tested) gluten free recipes with great pictures. This is her gluten free pie crust recipe that is light and flakey and worth the effort.