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5 mouthwatering pies anyone can bake

By: Rodale News on Dec. 12, 2011, 4:24 p.m.
Spiced apple crumb pie

Photo: ffolas/Shutterstock

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Spiced Apple Crumb Pie

This apple pie recipe calls for Granny Smiths, but you can substitute your favorite (preferably organic) apple variety. The phytonutrients in apples may help fight against liver and colon cancers, while quercetin, a flavonoid, may reduce your lung- and prostate-cancer risk while strengthening your immune system.


Pie crust

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

2 tablespoons ice water (more as necessary)


3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons butter


6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (about 8 cups)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup sugar

2 1/2 tablespoons quick cooking tapioca

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. To make a single 9" basic pie crust; in a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Cut in the butter and vegetable shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle 2 to 5 tablespoons ice water over the crumbs and toss with a fork until the dough holds together. Gather the mixture into a ball and press into a thick disk. Cover and refrigerate for 15 to 30 minutes before rolling out.

2. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Roll the dough out to an 11" circle. Place the dough in a 9" round pie plate. Firmly press the dough against the bottom and sides of the pan. Fold the edges under and crimp the crust.

3. To make the topping: Place the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Using your fingers, work the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.

4. To make the filling: In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, tapioca and cinnamon. Sprinkle over the apples and gently toss to coat. Spoon into the prepared crust. Sprinkle with the topping.

5. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake for 60 minutes, or until golden brown. To prevent overbrowning, cover the edge of the crust with foil if necessary during the last 15 to 20 minutes of baking. Cool on a rack for at least 2 hours.

No one can resist the allure of a buttery sweet crumb topping complementing the wholesome goodness of sweet-and-tangy Granny Smith apples. This is a pie you'll make again and again.