With harvest season upon us, it’s high time for apple pie

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As noted in this week’s issue, we’re into harvest season, with apple producers expecting a good yield this year thanks to the summer’s weather. You can’t mention apples and recipes without thinking about apple pie, of course.

Now, it’s not uncommon for people to have a favourite recipe, often one that’s been in the family for at least a generation of two, but there’s no harm in experimenting – you can be sure few people will turn up their noses to a slice of apple pie.

There are plenty Ontario varieties to be had, so shopping local isn’t a difficult task. Ontario Northern Spy apples are hard to beat in this recipe. However, you may use Spartans, Idareds, Cortlands, Crispins (Mutsu), Golden Delicious and Empire apples which all hold their shape when baked. They vary in sweetness, so adjust amount of sugar accordingly.

Traditional Ontario Apple Pie

Crust ingredients:

  • 6 cups cake and pastry flour or 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 lb lard
  • 1 Tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • Cold water
  • Filling ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup – 1/2 cup brown or granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 5 cups sliced, peeled and cored Ontario Apple
  • 1 Tbsp. butter or non-hydrogenated margarine

In large bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in lard with pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. In a 1 cup glass measure, combine vinegar and egg. Add enough water to make 1 cup. Gradually stir liquid into flour mixture, adding only enough liquid to make dough cling together. Gather into a ball and divide into 6 portions. Wrap and freeze or refrigerate unused portions.

Roll out a portion on a lightly floured surface. If dough is sticking, refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. Fit pastry into a 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate. Trim edge, leaving a 1/2-inch (1 cm) overhang. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg and toss with apple slices. Place filling in pie shell and dot with butter or margarine.

Roll out another portion of pastry and place over filling. Trim top edge of crust, leaving a 1/2-inch overhang. Tuck overhang under bottom edge of the crust. Press together and flute edge. Cut several slashes as steam vents in top crust. Bake in preheated 425°F (220°C) oven for 15 minute s. Reduce heat to 350°F (180°C) and continue baking for 35 to 45 minutes or until fruit is tender and pastry is golden brown.

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