Awhile back I posted a peanut butter balls cookie recipe from a recipe posted online from the 1933 cookbook Balanced Recipes. Not one to believe that just because I see something on the Web that it actually exists, I set about trying to find said cookbook in hopes it would have other winning recipes. When it arrived, it enchanted me. The aluminum clam-shell cover houses the pages. How adorable is that?! Little tabbed cards hold all of the recipes. I wanted to try out one of the other recipes and I thought what better recipe to try than their version of apple pie.
I was leery about using something other than the tried and true Perfect Pie Crust
recipe from Ina Garten. It truly is the most perfect pie crust – always malleable, easy to roll, and tastes light and flaky. The Plain Pastry recipe in Balanced Recipes
supposedly made 2 crusts, but while the flour to fat ratio was close to the same, Ina’s recipe doubles the amount of flour and includes sugar. I like a teeny bit of sweet to my crust. I also like her mix of butter and shortening vs. the just shortening in the Plain Pastry recipe – to me shortening crusts are a little bland and always seem to crack when you roll them. So I stuck with my tried and true.
APPLE PIE (Recipe from Balanced Recipes)
- Tart apples – I used 7 Braeburn apples
- ½ – ¾ cups sugar – I used ¾ cups
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon or more
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, optional – I included it
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 pie crusts
After you pare, core and slice the apples, the recipe calls for the apples to be placed into a pastry-lined pie pan. Then it calls for the sugar, spices and salt to be sprinkled on top. However, I didn’t do that. I like the spice to be on every surface of the apples, so I combined the spices, sugar, salt and apples together in a bowl first. The recipe gives the hint that if the apples are not very tart, you can add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and the grated rind of 1 lemon; or, if the apples are known to be dry, add 1 tablespoon water. I don’t like super tart apples, so I didn’t add the lemon. However, my apples were a little mealy, so I added the water.
I dotted the top of the apples with butter and laid the top crust on top of the apples. Next, I folded the edges over, and crimped with my fingers. The recipe called for the dotting of a few tiny dabs of butter on top. After, you put a light sprinkle of sugar and flour over the top. You could alternately brush the top with milk or beaten egg. I did the butter, sugar, and flour route. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 450F, then reduce heat to 350F and cook for 30 minutes longer. My oven usually needs a little extra time, so I left it in for 40 minutes (55 minutes total) and it was perfect.
As far as the flavor, it tasted like an apple pie. I liked the dotting of the butter on top, as it seemed my crust tasted even better than normal. I will add that to my standard apple pie recipe. Next day the pie actually tasted better as the flavors had melded. Overall, a simple, classic addition to add to my vintage repertoire.
This vintage recipe, adapted from the 1933 cook book Balanced Recipes, delights with cinnamon and spices.
Servings 8 servings
Calories 604 kcal
Apples (I used Braeburn)
Sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on crust
Flour, for sprinkling
Pie crusts, unbaked
Prepare your pie crusts from your chosen recipe, or use store-bought crusts. Roll out the dough on a floured surface and place in pie plate. Crimp edges and place prepared pie plate onto a cookie sheet to contain spills.
Preheat oven to 450F. Pare, core and slice the apples and place them into a large bowl. Add 3/4 cup sugar, the cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt to the bowl and stir gentle to combine with the apples. Place the mixture into the prepared pie plate. Dot the top of the apples with 2 tbsp butter and then place the second pie crust on top of the apples, crimping the edges of the pie crusts together. Take remaining tbsp of butter and dot on top of crust. Sprinkle crust with sugar and flour lightly.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 450F, then reduce heat to 350F and cook for 30 - 40 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Calories noted are factored using Ina Garten's Perfect Pie Crust recipe, in conjunction with the vintage recipe.