Classic Lattice Apple Pie

There are a lot recipes around for apple pie — some of them fancy and some of them simple. But when you get right down to it, apple pie is apple pie.

And there’s no doubt a lot of apple pies have been cooling on counters of countless homes up and down the valley recently. That’s because this time of the year, apples are abundant.

This fall, just about every apple tree I’ve seen has been loaded. One of my friends has an apple tree, and it is so much fruit that some of the branches are touching the ground.

Here’s an apple pie recipe that’s on the simple side and features the traditional lattice top. It calls for baking apples such as Granny Smith or Golden Delicious, but any of those Haralsons, Haralreds or Honey Crisps from your backyard tree will do just fine.

Classic Lattice Apple Pie
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks
1/3 cup water
1 egg, separated
2 tablespoons rolled oats
1 tablespoon milk
8 baking apples (such as Granny Smith or Golden Delicious), peeled, cored and sliced (about 8 cups)
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
To make the crust, in the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the flour, salt and 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture forms chunks the size of peas. Pulse in the water 1 tablespoon at a time just until the mixture forms a dough. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Reserve the eggs, oats and milk for later.
Meanwhile, make the filling. In a large deep skillet, combine the apples with the sugar, vinegar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring and turning gently until the apples are just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir together the water and cornstarch, then add to the apples. Continue to cook until the juices thicken, about 1 minute. Set aside to cool.
Heat the oven to 350 degees. Place a pizza stone in the oven, if available.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces, one slightly larger than the other. On a floured surface, roll the larger piece out to a 12-inch circle. Fold the dough in half to make it easier to move, then transfer it to a 9-inch pie plate, unfolding it and allowing it to settle into the bottom. The crust should overhang the edge slightly.
In a small bowl, beat the egg white until slightly frothy. Brush it over the surface of the crust. Sprinkle the oats over the bottom of the crust, then spoon the apple filling into the crust.
On a floured surface, roll the smaller piece of dough to a 10-inch square. Using a pizza cutter or a paring knife, cut the dough into 1-inch strips. Weave the strips in a lattice across the top of the apple filling. Alternatively, roll the dough into a 10-inch circle and simply transfer to the top of the pie for a full crust.
Fold the overhang of the crust under the bottom crust, gently tucking them into the pie dish, then crimp the edge. Beat the egg yolk in a small bowl with the milk and brush over the surface of the pie crust. Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of sugar.
Bake on the pizza stone or on a baking sheet set on the rack in the lowest position of the oven until the crust is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Cool before cutting.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 480 calories, 43 percent of calories from fat, 24 grams fat (15 grams saturated, 75 milligrams cholesterol, 67 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 6 grams fiber, 310 milligrams sodium.