I have been trying to make a great apple pie for a quite a few years now. The crust is always perfect, and the flavor is very good. But in virtually every case, I have had problems with the filling being very runny. Well, with the advice obtained from asking all of my DC friends, I am happy to say that I have finally had complete success. I baked an apple pie for my Son-In-Law's birthday and it was perfect.
I simply used 3 cups of AP flour, giving me enough dough for the top and bottom crust, cut with enough shortening (I didn't have any lard available or I would have used that instead) to make the pebble sized sized chunks, with 1 1/2 tsp of salt. Lightly blend in just enough cold water to cold water to make it stick together and roll it into a circle 2 inches larger than the rim of my large, deep dish pie plate. Everything except the water was at room temperature, again proving that you don't need to have all ingredients cold. The gluten won't develop in the dough until the water is added. Then, just be careful to work the dough as little as possible.
For the filling, I used 6 gayla apples, cut into wedges that were then cut in half sideways to ;make large chunks. Place these into a large bowl along with 1/2 cup of flour, 1/4 cup of sugar, and about 2 tsp. of cinnamon. I tossed the ingredients with my hands to make sure all the apple was evenly coated. Pour the filling into the bottom pie crust, cover with the second crust, flute the edges, make three small steam vents, brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar. Place the pie into a pre-heated 400 ' F. oven and bake for 35 minutes.
All I can say is that it was dumb simple and deliscious. The filling was perfect, not runny at all, and had just a bit of bite to the fruit. If it were pasta, it would have been al dente. Nothing was mushy or runny. I couldn't have been happier with the results. Thanks everyone for the info. I was able to internalize it and let it percolate around in my head until I was ready to try making an apple pie once more.
The gayla apples make a very sweet filling. If you want a more tart pie filling, try using Johnathon or Mackintosh apples. I'm sure that others here can give you perfect advise on which apple variety to use for different flavor profiles. Again, thanks.
With the ability to make so many other things, why it took me so long to get apple pie just right, I have no clue. but I have it down now, and that's all that counts.
Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North