May 13th is National Apple Pie Day. We just love apple pie – warm or cold, as-is or a la mode. Growing up, Ken’s grandmother had a Wolf River apple tree; did you know that they are native to the Wolf River area of Wisconsin? Anyway, this tree provided the main ingredient for a lot of goodies growing up: baked apples, applesauce, and – of course – pies!
We use a cream cheese crust for all of our pies, which is rich, tender, and flaky; it also gives our lattice top a beautiful golden brown color. Whichever type of crust you use for your pie, here are some tips regarding the best part – the apples!
Storing Tip #1: Keep apples cool for longer shelf life. A cool basement is ideal, but the crisper drawer of your refrigerator also works.
Storing Tip #2: Don’t wash your apples until just before using them. This helps them keep longer. Ken’s grandmother swore up and down that if you were able to leave the stem on, that helped, too.
Storing Tip #3: Never store your apples near your potatoes. As potatoes age, they emit an enzyme that causes apples to spoil quickly.
Storing Tip #4: Some varieties don’t keep long, no matter what tricks we throw at them, such as Red Delicious and Golden/Yellow Delicious. Rome apples, however, will last for weeks!
Now for a baking tip: Ken’s mother always made her apple pies with a combination of Honeycrisp and Granny Smith, and the pies in the shop are Ken’s twist on this inspiration. After you choose the apples to put in your own pie, take a moment to adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe.
For example, if you make a pie with all Honeycrisp apples, use a little less sugar; otherwise your pie may turn out super sweet. On the other end of the apple flavor spectrum, if you make a pie with all Granny Smith, consider making it into a caramel apple pie; then the added ingredients will sweeten the base of those tart green beauties.
With cookout season coming up, any day can be apple pie day – al fresco!
Fresh from our oven to yours - happy baking!