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The most important part of the pie is the filling and as long as you have a decent crust the results will be what anybody will expect from a home made apple pie. The filling for this recipe goes back over a century to Julie Geary's Great Grandmother who lived and made pies in Gloucester. In fact the tradition of great homemade baking has included her mother, Grandmother and many Aunts along the way.
There are a few tips and techniques to pass along with this pie. First, to save time you can buy a refrigerated, pre-made crust. There are several varieties and Julie has tried every one but has found that the Pillsbury is the best. (Note: As a policy brand names are not mentioned unless the Chef has a decided preference, such as in this case.)
The filling for the pie is made using 8 apples and in this video version of the pie half the apples are Granny Smith and the other half are Fuji. Granny Smith apples have a more tart taste and have less moisture to release during cooking. Also, they will hold their taste longer into the season so by Christmas time and later you may want to use all Granny Smith apples, which is what Julie often does herself.
The 8 apples should weigh about 2 and a half pounds and after you add the sugar, flour and spices the entire filling should weigh about 3 pounds. After placing the bottom crust and adding the filling to the pie dish be sure to press the filling down slightly so that when it shrinks during cooking the piecrust will not fall and probably crack. Lastly, the secret ingredient in the pie is butter - 4 or 5 pieces of butter on top of the filling before placing the top crust over it.
9 apples, peeled and cored (Granny Smith or half Granny and half Fuji)
1 cup sugar
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
4 to 5 teaspoons butter
1 package of refrigerated pie crusts (2 nin-inch)
½ cup half and half
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Peel and core apples. Slice into pieces.
2. Combine apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.
3. Roll out bottom pie crust and fill with the pie filling. Be sure to press filling down firmly.
4. Roll out and place top crust on top. Press two crusts ends together firmly to form a bond on the edges. Make a slice on top of the shell to allow air to escape during baking.
5. Mix half and half with egg to make wash. Brush the egg wash on top of the crust.
6. Cook approximately one hour. (If apples are crisp it should take the one hour.)
Recipe courtesy of Julie Geary, Classic Cooks Catering, 2011.
Julie is Owner and Chef of Classic Cooks Catering. Classic Cooks has been entertaining since 1980 all over the North Shore and Boston area. They catered the premier of the "Perfect Storm