Today is my Raully’s birthday. The step-father that stepped in and immediately loved me unconditionally, always believing in me…even as I made those questionable mistakes early in life. Raul’s tastes are classic, traditional, he isn’t one to order seared tuna with roasted strawberry sauce…though he did eat it when I made it for him, mainly because I know he will try anything I make for him (and yes, it was actually amazing.)
One of the most traditional favorites is an apple pie, that I started making for Raul when I was much younger, and continued to on each holiday I was home. Today is Raul’s birthday, and since I can’t be there with him, I send this apple pie and very big hugs out to you. Love you Raully.
4 granny smith apples – peeled, cored and chopped into cubes
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/2 teaspoon set aside
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/2 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon set aside
4 tablespoons butter – divided
1/2 tablespoon flour
2 deep dish pie crusts – I don’t make mine, they are just as good pre-made and so much easier to deal with
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees; in a large heavy bottom pan over medium heat add 2 tablespoons butter. Melt butter and whisk in 1/2 tablespoon flour. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes. When slightly browned add the apples, zest and lemon juice, vanilla extract, spices (reserving the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon) and sugar (reserving 1 tablespoon) and cook until apples are tender and a thick sauce is made. In the mean time place one pie crust in the oven and bake until just browned. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Once the mix has thickened remove from heat and let cool slightly. When cool fold into the baked pie crust and dot the top with the remaining butter. Place the uncooked pie crust on top of the mixture and seal. Brush the top with the egg wash (1 egg whisked with a bit of water) with a pastry brush until well covered. Mix the remaining cinnamon and sugar together and sprinkle over the top of the pie. Bake for about 25-30 minutes until the top of the pie is golden brown and bubbly.