The following post is from my lovely wife, Tara. If you know Tara than you know this woman knows how to cook. She loves bold flavors and is a master at baking desserts. So when she says a dessert is the “best ever” you better pay attention. Not only is the apple pie recipe she shares below amazing, but it also represents a marquee memory of home for her, especially this time of year.
It’s that time of year again. What time is that you say? Time for apple cider, apple butter, apple pie, cinnamon apple scones, pork roast with apples, Waldorf salad. Need I go on? It’s fall! It’s apple time.
My most nostalgic memories of fall home life include the scent of apple pie baking in the oven and eating my mother’s one of a kind sheet cake apple pie. She made it for many church potluck dinners and school bake sales, but it became even more special to me throughout my college years when I was far away from home (I grew up in Illinois and attended college in South Carolina). Every fall my mother would send a care package including boxed macaroni and cheese, oatmeal, laundry detergent, etc., and an entire sheet cake apple pie (She sent down a goodie box with a school group that traveled to the school every fall for a competition. I don’t know if the pie would have lasted in the mail). That pie was heavenly.
My roommates grew to appreciate this special treat as well, much to my dismay. A few times they finished the pie when I was out socializing, and I didn’t get my third and fourth servings. And of course, it never hurt to share a piece with a potential beau either. He could always hope that the baking gene had been passed along to the daughter. Mom’s apple pie became an important piece of home for me when I was away from home. And to my tastebuds, no other apple pie has ever been able to hold a candle to its flavor.
Part of its charm is the homemade crust. It wouldn’t be as good without it. Homemade pie crusts are a requirement for membership in my family. I think that if one of my sisters or sister in law ever tried to pass off a pie with a purchased crust she would probably be disowned. Well, that might be overstating it a little bit, but pie dough making and crust rolling were an important part of our Midwest upbringing. I digress.
Another part of its charm is that Mom’s recipe calls for mace in addition to the traditional nutmeg. It just adds an extra little zing.
And to complete the masterpiece, the pie is glazed with a little frosting! How can that be bad?
This specific apple pie is now integral to my family’s fall menu. It just wouldn’t feel like fall if we didn’t have it at least once. Try this recipe and it might become part of your family’s fall tasting requirements as well.
And just a quick caution: this recipe is challenging. The hardest part is transferring the crust from the pastry cloth to the sheet cake pan. If it’s your first try, give yourself plenty of time. It will be well with the effort.
Mom’s Sheetcake Apple Pie
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Divide Perfect Pie Dough recipe (below) into two large rectangular patties and roll the first to fit the bottom of the jellyroll pan, with a little at each side to flute later.* Store in the fridge while you make your filling. Make filling of:
11 c sliced peeled granny smith apples,
1 1/2c c sugar
3 T flour mixed with: 2 1/4 tsp cinnamon,
1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 t mace, 1/2 tsp salt
Spread some softened butter (2-3 T) on the bottom crust so that it doesn’t get soggy. Fill with the apple mixture, dot the apple layer with butter (2T) and gently cover with the second rolled crust. Press the crusts together to keep the juices from coming out. Cut vents in top crust. Brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake 40-45 min.Cool and frost with a confectioner’s sugar and water drizzle. (6 T powdered sugar and 2 T hot water).
*Don’t stress if crusts tear. Just patch together with cold water and flour and move on. No one sees the bottom crust, and the top crust will be covered with frosting.
* My jelly roll pan is small so I don’t need all the Perfect Pie dough recipe. I end up using 3 crusts instead of 4. If it’s your 1st time making this recipe, just use all 4. Better to have extra for patching then to run short.
Perfect Pie Dough
4 c flour
1 T sugar
2 t salt
1 ¾ c butter flavored Crisco
1 T white vinegar
1 large egg
½ c cold water
Mix first 3 ingredients in large bowl.Add shortening and cut in until pea-sized. In small bowl beat together with fork; water, egg, vinegar.
Combine 2 mixtures with fork til all is moistened. Divide into 4-5 balls and form into patties. Wrap each ball and chill for ½ hour. Can refrigerate 3 days or can be frozen.