Now those are wise words from a wise cook! Mimi, my grandmother, is a fantastic cook, and she has told me those words for years. When making a dish one time, I said that I thought it needed more sugar…she said “add it…You’re the cook!” And I felt honored to be THE cook for that moment…and thus I’ve learned to constantly taste and try until just right.
“Sometimes I can just taste the flour, which is why I use tapioca…tapioca is basically bland but gives consistency to the pie…helping the ingredients jell.” Thus Mimi’s Apple Pie has been a family favorite for years and who knew she used tapioca? The type of apple is also severely important, and for this pie, we used Staymen’s and Pink Lady.
Staymen’s are a “mealy” fleshed apple and cook down to mush thus great for pie filling and applesauce (recipe to come soon) Pink Lady is sweet and tart, akin to Fuji (my favorite) and adds a nice complement to the Staymen’s. Of course, there are as many recipes for apple pie as there are cultivars of apples, but here is ours. I’ve “gilded the lily” by making a leave top crust…easy, elegant, and pleasing to the eye. I never really outgrew my Play Dough stage from childhood so that’s why this pie topper is so much fun! Enjoy!
Mine and Mimi’s Apple Pie
**Cooks note…we used a store bought pie crust…though homemade crust is easy, we had the crust on hand went with it.
- About a dozen apples, cored and chopped…Pink Lady and Staymen’s mixed…about a 1 to 6 ratio.
- 3 ½ tablespoons of minute Tapioca
- Tablespoon of Cinnamon
- A scant cup of sugar…depends on cook’s palette and sweetness of apples.
- 2 store bought pie crusts from the refrigerated section.
- 3 Tablespoons of melted butter…for topper.
- ¼ cup of sugar…for topper.
- Tablespoon of Cinnamon…for topper.
- 1 deep dish pie pan and 1 baking sheet…use this underneath the pie in case it bubbles over.
- Sheet of wax paper
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Roll out both pie crusts, lining one into the pie pan and rolling one on a sheet of wax paper.
Mix together apples, tapioca, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.
Cut out leaf shapes from pie crust…shape them with a paring knife. A cookie cutter may be “prettier” but I like the rustic elegance of my cutouts. Reform the dough scraps into a ball and roll out flat again…repeat process until you’ve cut out every leaf you can.
Add apple mixture to the pie pan and then start your topper…I began with the center and worked my way outwards…covering and layering the leaves in rough concentric rings.
Glaze the leaves with the Drawn butter and then sprinkle the leaves with sugar and cinnamon.
Bake at 350 until golden and bubbly…about an hour. If you want it “pretty” for serving, let it rest. If not, dig right in! Apple mush tastes just fine!
Served warm with good vanilla ice cream…a la mode is French for “in style,” so don’t be out of style without your ice cream!