Today is Veterans Day and I would like to take a moment to say “Thank You” to all of our service men and women who have served in the military. Thank you for your service. Thank you for protecting our country and Thank you for protecting our freedoms.
I would also like to pay tribute to my grandfathers who both served in the military during the time of the Korean War.
My “Papa” (Bobby Gene David Long) served in the United States Army.
My “Granddad” (Donald Rexford Gunter) served in the United States Air Force.
Besides, both serving in the Military, one thing that both of these men had in common is/was a love for a slice Homemade Apple Pie and what’s more American than a slice of Apple Pie? As a tribute to these men I would like to share my recipe for Homemade Apple Pie.
Basically, apple pie is just Apples (usually granny smith) Sugar, Spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice) a little bit of butter, a little bit of flour and a pinch of salt to balance it all out. Then depending on where you live, sometimes there is cheddar cheese involved, while some prefer Lemon or Orange zest and juice. I’ve even seen a Hatch Green Chili Apple Pie (YUMMY!) I hope to someday try that!
My little secret ingredient to make Apple Pie special is a splash of St. Germain.
What is St. Germain?
St. Germain is an artisanal French liqueur crafted from handpicked Elderflower blossoms at the foothills of the French Alps. I know it sounds fancy, and I guess it is. But once you have smelt the sweet floral perfume wafting out of this apple pie you will understand why it’s my secret ingredient.
What does St. Germain taste like? Well, picture yourself standing in the middle of an orchard on a warm day surrounded by plentiful pear, apple and quince trees all ripe for the picking. As you stroll through the trees filling your basket with fresh fruit the softest of breezes fills the air with the delicate fragrance of honeysuckle and citrus. Now take that vision and put it in a bottle and you have St. Germain.
That vision, those flavors are exactly what St. Germain tastes like and why I put it in my apple pie. As the apple pie bakes away in the oven the warm spices and the juice from the tart apples meld with this delicious liqueur and makes the most luxurious flavor. Seriously, this Apple Pie tastes just like it was baked right in the middle of the orchard. It’s that GOOD!
Anyways I hope you give this Apple Pie Recipe a try and please be sure to thank a Veteran for their service!!
Homemade Apple Pie
First start by making the pie crust… This recipe is fool-proof every time and tastes AMAZING!
Perfect Pie Crust
Recipe courtesy of Ina Garten
Copyright 2002, Barefoot Contessa Family Style
Yield: 2 (10-inch) crusts
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) very cold unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup very cold vegetable shortening
6 to 8 tablespoons (about 1/2 cup) ice water
Dice the butter and return it to the refrigerator while you prepare the flour mixture. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse a few times to mix. Add the butter and shortening. Pulse 8 to 12 times, until the butter is the size of peas. With the machine running, pour the ice water down the feed tube and pulse the machine until the dough begins to form a ball. Dump out on a floured board and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Cut the dough in half. Roll each piece on a well-floured board into a circle, rolling from the center to the edge, turning and flouring the dough to make sure it doesn’t stick to the board. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. Repeat with the top crust.
Next on to the Apple Pie Filling:
Apple Pie Filling
5-6 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
½ Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
½ Teaspoon Nutmeg
1/8 Teaspoon All-Spice
1 Teaspoon Salt
¼ Cup of Flour
2 Tablespoons of Butter
3 Tablespoons St. Germain
1 Egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
In a large mixing bowl toss the sliced apples, sugars, spices, salt, flour, and butter until well combined. Add in the St. Germain.
Carefully fit the bottom layer of pie crust in a pie tin or other desired pie baking dish. Brush the inside of the pie crust with a little egg wash, and pour in the apple filling.
Roll out the dough for the top crust and carefully place on top of the pie. Seal the edges in desired fashion and brush the top with the remainder of the egg wash. Finally cut a few vents to let out the steam.
Place pie on a baking sheet in a 400-degree oven for 1-1¼ hours, until golden brown.
**A good substitute for St. Germain would be a 2 Tablespoons of Apple Juice, 1 teaspoon of honey and ½ teaspoon of lemon zest.