It is apple season here in Wine Country, and since my parent's property is rich with Gravenstein Trees I've taken it upon myself to put this abundance of deliciously sweet fruit to good use! Keeping with my theme of "Seasonal Sundays" I felt today was the perfect day for an apple recipe. Now, I know the internet is overflowing with recipes for "Mom's Apple Pie" and the likes, but after much experimentation I've finally found my own secret special ingredient: Cloves! This aromatic spice is typically used in Indian cuisine and as a key ingredient in Garam Masala, but when used in the correct quantities it provides quite a fabulous flavor to a homemade apple pie!
Apple Pie with Fresh-Picked Gravenstein Apples & Cloves
To Make the Crust:
- 2 cups All-Purpose Flour, sifted
- 1 cup Shortening or 2 Sticks of Unsalted Butter
- 4 Tbsp Milk, very cold (add more if needed)
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Sugar
*Knead into two equal-sized balls, sprinkle with flour and wrap in plastic-wrap to chill for approximately 1 hour. Small chunks of butter should still be visible. This will allow for a flaky crust.
*After the dough has chilled, roll out, using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, into two thin crusts. Place the bottom dough into a buttered, floured 9 inch glass pie dish. Pinch the dough into the dish so that it fully lines the entirety of the glass.
*Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
*To Save Time*: If dough-making doesn't come easy, grab a frozen pre-made crust from the grocery store. Just don't skip out on the fresh apples! The filling is what makes this recipe unique.
To Make the Filling:
- 8-10 Gravenstein apples (depending on size)- peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
- 1 Cup Brown Sugar
- 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp cinnamon (plus more to taste)
- ½ tsp Apple Pie Spice (optional!)
- 3 TBSP All-Purpose Flour
*Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, adding the flour last. Mix until the apples are well-coated in a gooey, sugary glaze. Pour the apple mixture into your crust and cover with the top crust, pinching the top and bottom crusts together, and fluting the edges. Cut small slits across the center. Sprinkle Cinnamon or the Apple Pie Spice across the top crust and cover with aluminum foil.
*Bake covered at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Next, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for one hour. Remove the foil and cook an additional 15 minutes uncovered. Remove from the oven and re-cover with the foil and a large bowl. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Serve with a Rich Vanilla Ice Cream or a thick slice of Sharp Cheddar Cheese. Whichever way you decide to dig in, your taste buds will surely thank you!