Now of course is the perfect time to go into the countryside, buy some apples, come home and bake. For yesterday’s TBT Cookbook Review, I featured Apple Pie Perfect by Ken Haedrich, America’s Pie Master.

Here’s the obvious and sad truth about apple pie. It looks great when baked, then you slice it open and … That photo of mine is not pretty and I did not attempt to Photoshop it. That is the way the pie crumbles, folks.

However, if you look closely, you will see that there is not a lot of juice running around the bottom of the pan. Why? Well, in his book Ken tells you how to avoid that. Adding a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch to the spice mixture, the one your spread over your apples, helps to contain the fluid flow.

And the spice mixture? Ken actually varies it up. For his Farm Stand Apple and Peach Pie, he uses sugar, salt, nutmeg, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. No cinnamon.

For the pie in the picture you see here [with about 9 cups of fruit], we used

  • ½ cup sugar
  • A pinch of ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon [or more but be careful; this is apple pie, not cinnamon]
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla

 

That vanilla makes for a very smooth flavor experience. You probably won’t taste the vanilla, but there is now an elegance to the flavor that is undeniably sublime.