Since I was a kid, we've gone apple picking in the fall, gorging ourselves on apples right off of the tree and cider donuts and hot apple cider from the farmstand. It's something I enjoy doing with our kids too, and they look forward to it every year as much as I do. One of the small drawbacks about having food-conscious kiddos is that they are fully aware of what can be done with delicious fresh produce, so they have a tendency to go overboard and pick ALL THE THINGS. Long story short, every fall, we have plenty of apples. For a small army of hungry fruit addicts.
This recipe for Irish Apple Pie has been one of my favorites since I started cooking. It's really simple to put together, using a food processor to do the hard work. The ingredients are straightforward, and I'm guessing you probably already have everything you need in your kitchen. And the taste is delightful. One of those magical moments where the simplest of things are elevated when put together in the right way to make something so satisfying that you can't help but sigh as you taste it.
This pie has a crumbly shortbread-like crust that matches well with the gentle spice mixed into the apple filling. The sweetness of the dish comes mainly from the apples themselves, so it's not overwhelmingly sweet. Every bites give you a tiny taste of autumn on your fork.
Are you drooling yet? Let's get to it then.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
In a food processor, toss in 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Slice up 3/4 cup of cold butter. That's 1 1/2 sticks. Add that in.
Run the food processor in short bursts until you get a coarse textured flour product.
Lightly beat 2 egg yolks together and drizzle them over the surface of the flour mixture.
Pulse the food processor again in short bursts until crumbs start to form.
Take out a tart pan, cake pan, deep pie dish, or springform pan. I usually go with a springform on this one, because it makes it relatively easy to keep the pie looking nice to serve. Press the mixture on the bottom and up the sides of the pan, making sure to press well into the edges. If you'd like, you can save some of the mixture to sprinkle on top of the filling, like a crumble. If I'm trying to impress people, I usually leave that off and let the apples look all posh on their own.
Once you have your crust set, set it aside. Time to move on to the filling.
Peel, core, and slice about 6 medium sized golden delicious apples. Could you make this with a different variety of apples? Sure. But golden dels bring just the right flavor and texture to the party here, so I highly recommend sticking with a proven winner. As for the peeling, I have this amazing old-fashioned apple peeling tool that peels, cores, slices, and makes everyone in my house volunteer to do work, so that is my weapon of choice with most apple recipes.
Once the apples are ready, toss them in a large mixing bowl with 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour,1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and a dash of freshly grated nutmeg.
Spread the apples into the crust evenly. If you're trying to impress people, take a minute or two to arrange the apple slices on top into a pretty design. If you just want to scarf down this pie while you are snuggled in front of the fire in a pile of blankets and don't mind a more rustic look, don't worry about arranging your apples. It works either way. If you saved aside some of the crust for topping, sprinkle it on now.
Put the pie in the over and bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Then reduce the temp to 350 and cook for another 20 minutes. This should give you a nicely tanned crust and a well-cooked filling.
Let it cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. This is tough, but it lets the filling set a bit, plus you are less likely to burn your mouth with lava hot delicious apples.
Serve as is, or, if you're feeling indulgent, add some vanilla or caramel ice cream to make it an ala mode treat.
Irish Apple Pie
2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. chilled butter
2 egg yolks
6 medium golden delicious apples
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 T. flour
1/2 t. cinnamon
freshly grated nutmeg
Oven to 400 degrees.
In a food processor, blend flour, sugar, salt, and butter in pulses until a coarse texture forms. Add egg yolks and pulse until crumbs form.
Press flour mixture into a cake pan or tart pan, making sure to press the mixture up the sides. Set crust aside.
Peel, core, and slice the apples. Add them to a large mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients. Toss to mix, and pour mixture evenly into crust.
Bake at 400 for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and bake for another 20 minutes. Let cool at least 30 minutes before serving.