Apple Pie Advice
We take pie making, especially apple pie making, very seriously at the Snell Farm. Here is some advice from the veteran bakers on our crew. Marcia Bergman advises that a blend of apples is always best, including a variety for flavor, one for Juice, and one for texture. Early in the season this might include a mix of Lodi, Early Macs, and Ginger Golds; later might be Cortland, Macs, and Northern Spies. Wealthies are always super to mix in the blend as they keep their shape after cooking. Ramona Snell likes to mix the sliced apples, sugar, a little flour and cinnamon in a separate bowl and transfer the slices to the crust-lined pie plate. Nutmeg should NOT be used. Carolyn Snell counseled that the apples need to be well-cooked and others agreed that undercooked, crunchy apples are a disappointment in a pie. To that end, Linda Hunt said to start with good hard apples and slice them thin so they will cook well. Linda also wets her top crust with a little milk and sprinkles the top with a bit of sugar for a fancy look.
Wanda Rounds offers this simple list for great crusts. For every nine inch crust, combine 1 cup of flour, 1/3 cup lard, and ¼ cup very cold water (Ramona likes to add a pinch of salt, too). Before putting cutting vent holes in the top, Wanda puts the whole pie crust quickly under some water to delay the crust’s baking while the filling cooks. Wanda says she lets it get “pretty brown” before taking it from the oven, baking the pies for ten minutes at 450 degrees F, then reducing to 350 F for about another 50 minutes, longer if necessary. Everyone seems to have an opinion on pie and a general appreciation for the finished product. We are all happy to keep working toward perfection, and evaluate any new developments.
Snell Family Farm - Buxton, Maine - 207.929.6166