The hardest part of making an apple pie is achieving a flaky pie crust with perfect proportions of fat and flour, but ready-made pastry crust gets the crust right every time. Rolled or folded pie crusts are usually sold in packs of two so you have a bottom crust for the pie plate and a top crust to cover the apples. With the pie crust made for you, the simple apple pie requires only a few ingredients to complete.
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Unroll one pastry crust and lay it in the bottom of an ungreased pie plate. Press the crust firmly against the bottom of the plate.
Peel apples and cut them into thin slices, using enough apples to densely fill the pie plate and form a slight mound. Place the sliced apples in a mixing bowl and toss them with a bit of lemon juice to prevent browning. For best flavor, use a mixture of different apple varieties, such as gala, Granny Smith and red delicious apples.
Add sugar and cinnamon to taste, as well as optional ingredients such as nutmeg and salt. Use between 1/2 and 1 cup of sugar for one pie, depending on your taste preference. Cinnamon also depends on your preference, but more than 1 teaspoon of cinnamon per pie can overpower the rest of the pie. Only a pinch of nutmeg and salt are enough to flavor a pie, but these ingredients are optional.
Toss the apple and spice mixture with about 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour, or just enough to gently coat the apples. The flour helps thicken the sauce that develops as a result of the sugar and liquid in the apples.
Pour the apple mixture into the pie plate, spreading it evenly in a slight mound on the bottom crust.
Unroll a second pie crust and lay it over the apples. Tuck the edges of the top crust under the edges of the bottom crust. Pinch the edges together with your fingers to seal the pie. If you used a frozen pie shell already formed inside an aluminum pie pan, you must still use a rolled pie crust to top the pie. Alternatively, you can make a crumb topping by mixing brown sugar and flour. Add oatmeal to the crumb mixture to make an oatmeal crisp topping.
Cut 4 to 6 evenly spaced slits around the center of the pie to allow steam to escape.
Preheat an oven to about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the pie for about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the apples are cooked through. Remove the pie after about 20 minutes of baking and cover the edges of the crust with thin strips of aluminum foil to prevent them from burning.