Susan Odom, the owner, spirit and pie pro at Leelanau’s Hillside Homestead schools us on the perfect apple pie.
The Hillside Homestead in Suttons Bay is renowned for its old-fashioned and wholesome historical experience—including how to make Northern Michigan apple pie made right in Susan Odom’s kitchen. First prepare your crust with Susan’s perfect pie crust video, and jump back here for the how-to on an irresistible filling. Ingredients and instructions are below to follow. Happy Pi Day!
- 1/8 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 cups or 2 quarts of apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- ½ teaspoon of cinnamon or more to taste
- 1 overflowing tablespoon of butter
Line the pie plate with a pie crust. Use a fork to prick/press down the crust on the bottom and sides; this is to keep the crust from shrinking away from the sides while baking. Sprinkle half the flour and half the sugar on the bottom crust. Peel, core and slice your apples right into the pie plate. The recipe indicates 8 cups of apples but there is a lot of give and take. Susan likes an apple pie heaped up. The apples will cook down a lot and it will be nearly as high after it is done baking. When you have enough apples in the pie sprinkle the remaining sugar and flour on top of the apples. Sprinkle the cinnamon on too. Dot the pie with the butter. The butter helps the pie thicken up nicely. Now roll out your top crust and use a serrated knife to cut 3 slits in the middle of the crust for vent holes. Fold the crust over the rolling pin and carry it to the pie. Put the top crust on. Seal and flute the edges to your liking. The goal is to keep the juice from seeping out the sides, so seal well. Brush a little milk on top of the crust, about a teaspoon or less and sprinkle on some sugar; this will make the crust pretty. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or so. It is done when some of the juice starts oozing out of the top vent holes.
Which apples to use? Any cooking apple is nice. Susan likes Macintosh, Northern Spy, Empire, Ida gold. A mix of apples is always nice. Tart and firm apples are good in pie, don’t use over-ripe, soft apples. (This recipe is gleaned from many historic cookbooks and practice.)
More pie recipes from Susan’s kitchen: