Apple pie is only as good as the apples you use, and the kind of apple you choose depends on whether you want a sweeter apple or one that is fairly tart. This pie favorite is one of the easiest to make from scratch.
Start with a good baking apple, such as Granny Smith or Macintosh, or even Yellow Delicious, if you prefer a much sweeter apple. Where you live has a lot to do with the kind of apple you prefer, and the season when they become available. For some, the early variety Gravenstein is the only apple they use, but these are not always available in some areas. Some people prefer not to use a more mellow apple like Macintosh because they want a more solid apple in their pie, so that it remains intact and a little crisp after baking. By and large, what you need is a juicy apple in order to make a proper filling.
The number of apples you will need depends on the size of your pie pan and whether it is regular or deep dish. Remember that once the apples are baked, they will shrink somewhat, so you will need enough apple slices to heap them up high in the pan so that after they have baked, you will still have an impressively high pie.
Peel, and core the apples, cut the apple in half, and with the apple round side up, slice each half into equal slices, about 1/8th to 1/4th inch wide. To keep these slices from becoming brown after slicing, put the slices in a bowl with about a tablespoon of lemon juice.
Prepare a mix of sugar, usually about 1/4th cup, or more, depending on how sweet you like it, and three or four tablespoons of flour. You can also add a little cinnamon and some nutmeg to the mix. The flour turns the apples into a filling that will actually hold together once the pie is baked and cut.
Drain the apple slices, and toss them in the sugar, flour and spice mix, coating them completely. Scoop them out into your unbaked pie crust, and cover with the top crust or a lattice top. For a Dutch apple pie, you can use a crumb crust made with flour, and butter mixed together with a little more cinnamon and sprinkled over the top of the apples.
Once you have made a homemade apple pie filling, you probably won’t want to go back to the canned variety. While it may take a little more work, it is worth the effort.